It must be nice to knock out your lifelong dream by the age of 21, right? Californian Taylor Gleason got to do just that when, after graduating two years early from UCLA, he went on a two year journey around the world, hitting up a total of 50 countries, in addition to 15 other countries he had visited earlier.
He put photos of his globetrotting adventure on Instagram, and managed to amass 64,000 followers, many of whom probably wanted to live vicariously through him.
“I’ve always been one of those people that just needs to be constantly doing something, being active, and being an explorer. I like writing my own narrative and going wherever life wants to take me,” Gleason said.
He worked hard for this opportunity, not only studying to get through college early, but also working at UCLA to save up for the trip. He stayed with foreign college friends whenever he could in order to keep costs down.
He also did a lot of research in order to figure out the best way to spend his time and energy on his lengthy trip. And when it ended, he says he had a very hard time figuring out which destinations he liked best.
“I also really enjoyed swimming with the Great White Sharks in New Zealand,” he recalls. “It was in water coming up from Antarctica, so it was incredibly freezing. But having a real life Jaws character coming after you full speed, with an open hole in the cage … I definitely got an adrenaline boost.”