We are the generation who have been taught we can do whatever we want if we put our minds to it. We can do it all, have it all, and realise our dreams. Yet what we perceive as 'having it all', is very different to what our parents envisioned for us, and is seeing our generation stray from the lines of convention.
Success, for us, is no longer measured by stability, income, marriage and a perfectly symmetrical suburban house. For millennials, success is now measured in experiences that push our boundaries, challenges that redefine what we once thought impossible, and moments that teach us exactly why we are here on earth.
We are the generation re-defining normality, and we should be proud of it.
According to a recent study by the GfK research group on behalf of Airbnb, millennials are more interested in spending their money on travel experiences then big purchases such as buying a car or house. The global study surveyed 1,000 students across the UK, USA and China, asking them to rank their fiscal priorities for the next 5 years. For millennials in the UK, travel and savings were ranked as equally important to the likes of savings and investment funds, whilst for Chinese millennials, travel was considered to be the highest monetary priority by a wide margin.
With 55% of UK respondents, 56% US and 83% Chinese stating they spent more on travel in 2016 than they did in 2015 - It’s evident that the importance of travelling and experiences is rapidly on the up.
These findings prove that we are a generation who value the experiences, connections & personal growth found through travel more than any other generation. This doesn’t mean we don’t want to settle down in a similar way to previous generations – it’s still on our agenda – but that can wait while we do things our way (i.e. holding off on the pressures of a high paying job and children).
According to Pew Social Trend, only 26% of millennials are married by the age of 32. The 20’s are now a decade to reign free exploring the world, finding new adventures, living in different countries, doing the jobs we want to do, in the places we want to be. This may sound selfish, irresponsible, and maybe even a little stupid, but don’t be too hasty to judge.
In turn we are a generation with a greater zest for life than ever before. We seek more connections, cultural and authentic experiences then any preceding generation.
A study by the Boston Consulting Group, reported that millennials have a greater desire to travel abroad than other generation, by a strong 23% margin. Not only this, but we also have the highest want to visit every continent. Our wanderlust tendencies are pushing us beyond any limitations our parents once faced.
And just because we’re not focused on a career path that revolves around a high earning salary to support a family, that doesn’t mean we’re not smashing it on the career ladder. We are instead a generation of entrepreneurs who have the ability and courage to get up and go. Whether this means working online just about anywhere, moving to a new city, county, or even continent to chase our career dreams, we are constantly searching for work experience that can be applied to future jobs. We are a savvy generation using travel to our advantage, and rather than joining the already saturated jobs market and struggling to find work, we’re seeking out ways to get ourselves one step ahead on the career ladder.
So maybe our white picket fenced gardens are being put on hold (for now), but in their place you’ll find open minded, determined and passionate individuals who cherish life experience over convention. Success for us is not measured by material purchases or having a family of 5 by 30. We are living years far richer than any 9-5 salary could pay.