Solo, single and nearly 30: Travellers, isn’t it time you settle down?

Single? Travelling alone? About to hit 30? US TOO! And what a wonderful feeling that is, but why on earth are we constantly being asked these questions?
Isn’t it time you settle down?
But don’t you want a relationship?”
How come you don’t have a partner?
Don’t you think the clock is ticking?

Since when did life become so defined by relationships and age? Sure, the older we get the less time we have left on this planet, but doesn’t that mean we should be doing exactly what WE want, rather than others around us? One girl that has heard these questions too many times is one of our regular bloggers Sarah. She explains to us how she’s gone through it all and still doesn’t get affected by society’s views, and how many travellers she meets along the way are in the same position:

“I wish I realised 10 years ago that life isn’t about trying to conform to these made up rules.”

“I wish I realised 10 years ago that life isn’t about trying to conform to these made up rules.”

The new generation of travellers

I’ve been travelling around the Middle East for the last few months, and I’d say within about 5 minutes of meeting someone new I am asked if I am married. This is a culture thing; many women my age here have already been married a fair few years. When I reply I am not married, they always ask why. Other than the fact of asking a 28-year-old woman – who is travelling alone – why she hasn’t found a man to sweep her off her feet yet, I find this question hard to answer. Not because I don’t know the answer. The answer is very clear to me: because I don’t want to get married yet. I find it hard to answer as all I want to say back is “marriage doesn’t equal achievement”.

Something that bothers me about today’s society is that we all seem to live within a made up time frame. We are told we should finish school by a certain age, marry by another, and have children soon after. I’ve never been one to conform to these rules, and recently I’ve discovered there is somewhat of a breakthrough to this way of living. There is actually A LOT of us travelling the world and making our own individual rules. There’s a new generation appearing.

The age of 30 used to be when the ticking time bomb started. The age where you should have your ‘s#*%’ together: family, job, house, money. 30 now is celebrated as a new chapter, away from your younger years, heading into your mature(er) years and ready to live the life you’ve created for yourself!
solo traveller

Don’t grow up, it’s a trap.

I met a woman recently who had just turned 40. She was divorced, no kids, and travelling the world. She beamed when we spoke about life and laughed when we spoke about the past. “I wish I realised 10 years ago that life isn’t about trying to conform to these made up rules. I started making my own rules when I went into my 30 years and my life did a 360. I realised that actually, I didn’t want kids and that my husband had more of a negative than positive effect on my life. I started to do what I always wanted to do, yet never thought I was allowed. It’s funny to think I used to let these made up rules control my life and restricted myself from my dreams.”

She had a beautiful soul, and I took so much away from that. It’s ok to be 30 and not be married. It’s ok to be 30 and have not completed your education yet, to not know what job you want. It’s ok to be 30 and not want children or to want 10. It’s OK not to be where everyone else thinks you should be at your age. If you wanna be a traveller, start travelling- this is your life. Come and join the solo, single and nearly 30 club with us, we promise you it’s A LOT of fun. So why not take a look through our host list of over 25,500 hosts now and see where being solo single and nearly 30 could take you this year!?

settle down travel age

65 replies
    • Daniel Trepanier
      Daniel Trepanier says:

      NO AGE LIMIT, I’m 72 yrs of age and I’ve been travelling around the world for the 3 last years doing Workaway. Many countries in Africa, Asia, South America and Europe. And not about to stop.

  1. Julien Ml
    Julien Ml says:

    Behind everyone? I feel like I’m ahead. Good luck visiting and living in as much country as I did, when you have 4-5 weeks paid vacation a year! Nah, it’s never time to settle down when it’s a life choice :3

  2. Jon Raffel
    Jon Raffel says:

    The problem is god didnt bless me with the most enjoyable face to have to look at, so even if i do die a lonely, ugly jerk, might as well travel and see some sights before i go?

  3. Linda Ghio
    Linda Ghio says:

    29… tried the settling down thing, and it was killing me inside. Even though it’s hard to resist the social pressure, since I’m from a small Italian town and I’m supposed to be married and procreating right now, I don’t want to let it hold me back from what I really want to do.

  4. Hannes Tiedens
    Hannes Tiedens says:

    Already in my thirties and still travelling, doing social work and riding my motorbike around south america. I couldn’t think of anything better than waking up in my tent, not knowing what the day will bring and learning about a different culture and picking up a new language, making amazing friends all around the globe. The key to happiness is to find out what you are meant to do, do it, be and stay happy. Happyness is what we need and the most important thing in life. And time is the most valuable thing – so use it to wisely and do whatever makes you happy! And do lots of it – whatever it might be!

  5. Kady Midgley
    Kady Midgley says:

    The older travellers are the better travellers in my personal opinion and experience. Me and my partner, 28&36, find that the younger ones are backpacking getting drunk, walking around in skimpy outfits that barely cover them and can be rather disrespectful. Of course this isn’t all young travelers but we have noticed it during our travels. I think as you get older you learn more respect for others and cover up accordingly and general respect other peoples homes and countries that you are visiting. So in conclusion the world needs us older travellers, gives us the chance to amend the opinion locals have on the backpackers

  6. Preethi Perera
    Preethi Perera says:

    As a 32 (soon to be 33) year old solo female traveller, I couldn’t have put this better myself.

    It’s society and people’s expectations of us that keep us in a life that we know doesn’t fit us. I wish I’d have had the courage to do what I wanted 10 years go. But after 13 months on the road I can safely say that the decision to give everything up for time on the road was one of the best decisions of my life.

    Good luck to all of you that finally feel confident to take the plunge and do what YOU want with YOUR life xxx

  7. Ricky J. Woodman
    Ricky J. Woodman says:

    @anna i think you absolutely hit the point. we “young” people, the new generation react on something that we think our parents did “wrong” – the steady life, house, work and family is all so conservative, boring, closed minded and capitalist. These are prejudice of so called open minded, interesting and liberal people. But routine, security, steady life can be as fulfilling (and necessary) as the travelers life.

    Why necessary? I want to emphasize one thing: 90% of travelers i met where white, privileged, western, young and pretty well off. If you have your passport, your family, your bank account, your skin color as a backup, always ready to rescue you from your self chosen precarious adventures then you know that you are privileged. Because it’s easy to move around, to travel, to talk and be respected.

    it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t travel. But awareness and respect for other peoples choices, past, living situations and circumstances are crucial (for an open minded person).

  8. Stefano Ad Luchin
    Stefano Ad Luchin says:

    Don’t feel that much love in the post 😀
    That said, since not settling down still a minority, when the topic comes up you see this kind of enthusiasm for non settling down people. Social pressure it’s not on who get a job for 50 years the same, get married and make babies and wait the pension. When this balance will be reverted, well we will talk about that again.
    Much love though 🙂

  9. Monica Ehman
    Monica Ehman says:

    ‘Tis true! I spent 10 months backpacking around Asia last year. At 42, I’ve never been married and have no kids. This was difficult for many to understand. Hey, it’s my life! I’m about to set off again – seasonal work in WY, MT, or AK for the summer. Still trying to decide and it feels awesome to have to make such a “tough” decision.

  10. Tracey
    Tracey says:

    I love this article!!!!
    One woman who gave up on her dreams for a husband in China even ‘advised ‘ me to drop my ambitions of traveling the world .She told me to go home to get married .
    I wasn’t really surprised cause marriage is very important for her and her family.
    But for me , this is what is important and I love every moment of it.

  11. Kye Michael
    Kye Michael says:

    LOVE this one! Def not time for me to settle down which is what brought me to Workaway. Travel, love, explore, inspire, grow!

  12. Claudia
    Claudia says:

    just a small note though: when you do a 360 deg turn, you end up in the same place 🙂 so I think she meant 180 deg haha
    sorry, love travelling, but love maths too 😀

  13. Tania
    Tania says:

    37! wow. People on this page made me think about waitingwisely for every stage in life and getting rid of social predjudices, staying well on his/ her own and nothing bad in not having fullfilled with the common rituals of most people. Thank you you all!!!

  14. Asmaa
    Asmaa says:

    Just on time!!! I am almost 30 years and single who was born , raised and live in a the Middle East, and after spending my 20s in working and getting experience in my career , I feel bored, trapped and missing a lot out there.
    And here I read your post and it is motivating and inspiring. The first thing I will do this summer will definately be volunteering.
    Age is only a number
    Do it when you can
    It is never too late

  15. Hayley Beech
    Hayley Beech says:

    I am 34 and still on my own……. now living in my van!!

    Thank you, I needed to read this as I recently broke up with an ex who thought it was strange that I didn’t want children! I’m very glad to know that there are others out there who feel the way I feel. I just want to have adventures and also the unknown is kinda exciting to me..not knowing what my future may bring. Scary, but exciting.

    I’m a free spirit and do most things on my own. Sometimes in this society it is difficult for me to meet other like minded people, but the fact I can go online and see what you and others feel about this subject makes me feel that I am not alone in this and therefore not CrAzY!


  16. Sandy Freckle
    Sandy Freckle says:

    Life can be short…, but it can also very, very wide if you choose it…., there are 360 degrees of choices available…, for people of all ages.
    You’re never too old to play like a child….., etc etc.

  17. Elisangela Lima
    Elisangela Lima says:

    Eu acabei de completar 44 anos e ainda estou solteira! Sinto falta de uma companhia, sim! Mas, quero alguém para me complementar e não para ser um fardo. E vamos viver felizes!

  18. carlos
    carlos says:

    I have been traveling for almost 5 years, and i have met many couples of travelers, and I would recomend that before getting married, you should try have a long trip with your partner. exposing your relation in to a itinerary, budgets, and out of the confort zone, would really prove that you could handle a life together. I wish i would find a partner, to share this experiences, and why not, even have children and travelk with them. i saw families traveling, where the kids are learning to farm, to build eco-friendly places, helping orphans, and getting to know people form many different cultures. some of these kids speak more than one language, and have a better understanding of what humanity means. they dont have a “system based education”, and I want that for my kids, they could choose to become architects, or sociologist, or anything they want, but having this background would ensure that they would have an educated soul. I could Workaway non stop, as long as I could make a little cash for moving from one destination to another. Cheers!

  19. Catia
    Catia says:

    Thank you for sharing this inspiring post. I relate to your situation and it is always good to read that there is a lot of women travelling solo, no matter their age or status. I think like you but I hear a lot of times how wrong that is. Thank you for showing that I am not alone 🙂

  20. Craig
    Craig says:

    I have just turned 34 and am still traveling. Many girls have tried and failed at getting me to settle down. I take adventure over a mundane lifestyle anyday.

  21. Flavia
    Flavia says:

    So so so true!
    Thank you!
    It’s nice to read a good article that see my values agreed!
    I needed that ♥️
    Be free to be yourself without labels.


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