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This post is brought to you by . The content and opinions expressed below are that of Meihoukai in Wanderland.
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I, I reluctantly admit, am not special. Science says so.

Actually, I didn’t really need science to tell me that. The whole point of this ‘lil ol blog — other than to obsessively document my travels for my own feeble-memoried self to flip back through — is to show that heck, if I, the cheerleader next door, can do this travel thing, surely so can you! Have I never mentioned that I was a cheerleader? It’s true. I was also in AP History, so take that, stereotypes! (But I do have blonde hair and also once broke a microwave by trying to heat up soup still in the can. So there’s that.)

Anyway, back to how not special I am. It might seem like becoming a divemaster, frolicking with elephants, and attending international music festivals are exciting and special things. But no, I’ve learned. Those are just things millennials like.

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Often, when brands want to work with me, it’s because they are hoping to tap into this mystery market of those of us born between 1980 and the late 1990s. They want to know what makes us tick. I love when this happens, because I have a lot of exciting ideas to share (we want, for example, a more clear explanation of what metals can and cannot go in the microwave.)

One brand wanted to know more — so they asked a bunch more people. recently conducted a nationwide survey of travelers (defined by those who stay in a hotel at least five nights per year) aged 18-67 to see if they could once and for all suss out what us millennials (ages 18-34) are really into.

Your Standard Model Millennial

Based on their findings, shown above, I’m a pretty standard millennial. That divemaster training I loved so much? A full 67% of millennials interested in so-called “thrilling vacations” are into watersports too. That elephant I fed bananas to? Yup, 63% of millennials are armed with a fruit basket and up for hanging out with wild animals. And Tomorrowland, the electronic playground I attended in Belgium last summer? Well, 28% of millennials seek out nightlife when they travel, almost double the number of Gen Xers (15%) ages 35 – 49, and more than quadruple the number of Boomers (6%), ages 50-67, who do the same.

Marriot Rewards

To me, all these findings speak to an idea that I believe to my core — in general, my generation doesn’t want to simply take vacations, or fly to another country just to plop on the beach and relax. There’s sleeping-when-we’re-dead for that! No, we don’t want to take vacations — we want to have adventures.

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Are you a standard millennial like me, or do you deviate from the norm?

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32 Comments...
  • Mary B
    June 26 2015

    At 32, I’m not sure how I feel about being grouped with Millennials – but based on the survey findings, I do fit right in! I’m a PADI-certified, mountain-climbing, safari-loving international volunteer! I’m not particularly interested in nightlife, but I do travel in search of delicious food.

    • Katie
      June 27 2015

      Haha I am also 32 and feel the same way as you Mary but I also think that I do fit in to the Millennials group as I like to seek adventure rather than just lying on a beach when I am travelling (although I like that too)
      Katie recently posted..

    • Camels & Chocolate
      June 27 2015

      Mary B, I’m also 32, and I’ve always understood that we’re right on the cusp of Millennials, so I also identify with parts and don’t with others. Like you, though, I’m a dive fiend, an outdoors enthusiast, a food lover and don’t care so much about late nights out…unless Meihoukai comes to visit, that is. =)
      Camels & Chocolate recently posted..

      • Meihoukai
        June 28 2015

        Hm, it must be interesting being right on the cusp of two. Being right smack in the middle of the millennial bracket, I have nothing to say to defend myself against any accusations against our generation πŸ™‚

        • Angie Away
          June 30 2015

          I’m on the cusp, too! And it totally makes a difference. I’ve found that it helps me bridge the gap between boomer/Gen X management and junior staff, that is, when I’m working in an office setting. The Millennial in me could only make that work for so long….
          Angie Away recently posted..

          • Meihoukai
            June 30 2015

            I hope you put that on your resume, because you totally just sold me on your workplace value! What a great benefit of being on the cusp…

  • becky hutner
    June 26 2015

    Yup, total millennial traveler (even though it’s hard to accept that people born in the early 80s and late 90s are the same generation! Such a difference). I think you captured the ethos best with this line: “we don’t want to take vacations β€” we want to have adventures.” That is absolutely what I’m always after in travel. It’s rarely, “Man, I really need a holiday,” and almost always a scheming, “C’mon! Let’s go have an adventure.”
    becky hutner recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      June 28 2015

      Ha, I hear you. In fact, some of the only times I’ll utter the words “I need a vacation” is… at the end of a long trip full of adventures, ha.

  • Millennial traveler and proud right here!! I never can relate to my parents who think going on vacation is lounging at an all-inclusive resort for 7 days straight without even leaving the property. I’d take an exotic adventure surrounded by locals and non-American comforts any day! …at least until I turn 60 and want to lay around at a resort for a week straight πŸ˜‰
    Shelly I Norway to Nowhere recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      June 28 2015

      I do admit that every once in a while I love to lay on a beach and do absolutely nothing. But a week? I’d never last. I’d probably get the itch to get out and explore on day four πŸ™‚

  • This makes me think that my Mum must be a secret millenial! She spent her 50th year becoming a dive instructor, sailed to Borneo to trek with orangutans and I regularly leave her still on the dancefloor because she’s (yet again) managed to out drink me… πŸ˜‰
    Francesca @ Cheskie’s Gap Life recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      June 28 2015

      Um, your mom sounds like she rocks! You should have her write a guest post πŸ™‚

      • Oh she has her own blog! She’s a bit of a celeb in some sailing circles as she wrote a daily diary on there when she sailed around the British Isles…!
        Francesca @ Cheskie’s Gap Life recently posted..

        • Meihoukai
          June 30 2015

          Okay well I’m going to need the link to that one please! πŸ˜€

          • She blogs over at , I keep telling her she has a niche and needs to exploit it…!
            Francesca @ Cheskie’s Gap Life recently posted..

          • Meihoukai
            July 8 2015

            Literally cannot wait to read this πŸ™‚

  • Dani
    June 26 2015

    I’m a lounger. Because of our crazy schedule in the ad world, I see vacations as opportunities to sleep longer and do nothing (with a nicer view and in a softer bed). I try to stick in an activity or two (rock climbing, island tours, historical tours) but, generally, I prefer laid-back trips. πŸ™‚
    Dani recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      June 28 2015

      I totally get that. The rare times I have gone to an all-inclusive or something similar, I have been so lazy and wanted to do absolutely nothing! Normally I can’t seem to sit still, but every once in a while I DO love a true vacation. (And I’m grateful that my lifestyle means I don’t have to choose.)

  • Megan
    June 26 2015

    I agree with that. I think that my parents’ generation (baby boomers) are much more interested in relaxing beach vacations. But I want to do all the things while I’m on vacation! You’re right, I want to have an adventure!
    Megan recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      June 28 2015

      Hm, it makes me wonder if all inclusive resorts and cruises will wane in popularity as time goes on. It will be interesting to see!

  • Leah
    June 27 2015

    I oscillate between wanting adventures and wanting time to relax, but that’s probably true for most millennials who work and travel at the same time! Currently doing the latter and I couldn’t be happier πŸ™‚
    Leah recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      June 28 2015

      Yeah, because I’m always working when I travel, when I take an ACTUAL vacation I basically want to do as little as possible and more or less never leave the hotel. But I kind of differentiate between “vacation” and “travel.”

      I feel super lucky that I have the time and freedom to do both, but if I didn’t… I know I’d chose adventure and travel over vacationing any day. (Thank god I don’t have to!)

  • TammyOnTheMove
    June 27 2015

    I think all people who were born between 1961-1981 technically belong to Gen X. Looking at the stats I probably fall more into the Millenials rather than Gen X though. Still young at heart I guess.;-)
    TammyOnTheMove recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      June 28 2015

      Travel keeps everyone young, I think. And you do a lot of it! πŸ™‚

  • Camille
    June 28 2015

    Haha yup, as soon as I’ve lined up a new destination, I start looking for ‘extreme’ sports or cultural activities to do there! I’m really not a partier though, so in my case the nightlife aspect doesn’t apply.

    On another note, I agree that microwave rules are confusing πŸ™‚
    Camille recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      June 28 2015

      Haha. I think I have the general idea of it now, though I probably put plastic in there sometimes that isn’t meant to go. Oh well, at least plastic won’t blow up the microwave.

  • Clementine
    June 28 2015

    Bit of a sales pitch for this Marriot Card – which is probably one of the least desirable Chase products. Many many other better credit card alternatives. Otherwise a great blog!

    • Meihoukai
      June 29 2015

      Hey Clementine, as stated at the beginning of the piece, this post is sponsored by the Marriott Card, so no secret there πŸ™‚ But thank you for the kudos otherwise!

  • Marni
    June 29 2015

    I am definitely more of a normal millennial, and I completely agree about the vacation thing. I’ve been on plenty of trips in the past few years, but I can’t remember the last time I had an actual vacation.

    • Meihoukai
      June 29 2015

      I find it hard to settle down and not want to explore when I’m somewhere I’ve never been before. So probably the only times I can really vacation is when I’m in a place I’ve been a million times before, like Myrtle Beach for example!

  • Haley Chambers
    November 11 2015

    I am smack dab in the middle of the millennial grouping, at age 25. I agree with most of this.
    My nerd culture provokes me to visit places I have seen in video games and films, while my adventurous side beckons me to wander deeper and discover.
    My motherly side keeps me too busy to worry much about the night-life while I am away from home, but my rebellious side keeps me in-tune with the urban culture and spirit of the youth.
    I feel one day soon, I may even find a balance, but for now, what the heck. This is me.
    Haley Chambers recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      November 15 2015

      Sounds like you’re getting the best of both worlds πŸ™‚ Enjoy your travels, Haley!