Gen Z: The New Globetrotters

With the summer in full swing, I wanted to share a piece with you about following your own pace and doing what works for you. I’m honing my blogging skills and will be sharing more articles like these in the future!

As the youngest sibling, I’ve seen generations of youth grow into their cohort-stereotypes. My oldest brother, classified within the “older millennial” range of 1988 or earlier, always wanted the best tech there was. He was one of the first in town to have a PalmPilot or iPhone 3G because, just like his friends, he wanted to stay connected to this new innovation—the internet. My middle brother, classified as the classic millennial age range of early 1990s, loves to go to the best restaurants and most artisan breweries. He’s willing to pay anything as long as there’s great quality ingredients, no matter the price.

And me? I’m Generation Z, born in the mid 1990s to early 2000s. Even though we’re frugal, we’re obsessed with travelling. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve sat at a dinner table with friends and shared stories of countries we’ve been to. We flip through our passport stamps like prized photo albums as 79% of Gen Zs got their first passport stamp before they even applied for their driver’s license.

Why is this? First, Gen Z is one of the most ethnically diverse cohorts anyone has ever seen, with 48% identifying as nonwhite. Generation Z have roots that span further than the country we reside, and we are itching to find out more of our heritage and ultimately, how we got here. I got my first passport stamp when I was 9 to visit Vietnam and meet my aging grandmother. We saw my mom’s childhood home, my dad’s surviving family and on top of that, tasted authentic Vietnamese food my parents desperately tried to incorporate into our daily meals back in Canada. I learned at the age of 9 that my story didn’t begin in Canada, and instead covered the stories of my parents in Vietnam, uncles in France, cousins in Australia and grandmothers in Hong Kong. It was a humbling experience and grew a love of learning new histories wherever I visit.

Second, Gen Z can’t afford the traditional purchases that millennials saw as ‘milestones’ in their lives like a down payment. I can’t even realistically dream of homeownership, because I had to have started saving up when I was 4 years old to afford one today. Older millennials and baby boomers lecture us again and again that they purchased their first condo when they were in their early 20s, and why can’t we? Well, tuition costs are higher than ever, wages have stagnated, and in general, things are harder for Gen Zs than our predecessors. I opened my first GIC when I was 15. I had $20,000 in liquid assets by 21. When I realized that I could never afford a home in Toronto, I invested some money into retirement and then invested in myself: a bachelor’s degree and travelling the world. I’m not financially illiterate, I’m just a realist. If I can’t purchase the big-ticket items that mean I’m ‘adulting’ correctly, then I’m spending my money on plane tickets and hauling outta here.

As peak travelling season is upon us, if you have the privilege and financial freedom to take an adventure, go for it! Where are some places you’ve been? What about where you want to go next? Sound off below and let’s share stories! And for all you fellow Canadian bloggers, have a great long weekend ahead 🙂

Love,
ELLE

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13 thoughts on “Gen Z: The New Globetrotters

  1. Never give up hope about owning that home, travelling the world and everything else in your dreams. In my time I have seen families struggling to put food on their table now in their own homes, for some the opportunity never came until they were in their fifties. Above all, as a member of the younger generation shout for your rights, challenge the establishment as we did in the sixties. Have a great weekend 🙂

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    1. Thank you for such kind words! Everyone is at their own pace I suppose, hopefully I spend my life adventuring and settling down when my feet get tired, haha. Have a great weekend!

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  2. Hi Elle! What an interesting and informative explanation of the millennial and Z generational differences! Fascinating! You asked, “Where are some places you’ve been? What about where you want to go next?” Welllll, I’m a WWII baby – 1939. Do I get a letter like A or B or Z? No, probably just WW! What does it mean to be born at that time? It means I grew up with the greatest of opportunities! My parents experienced the Depression era, and they wanted to be sure their children had the opportunities they lacked: mainly a good education, fashionable clothes, and plentiful varieties of food. Owning your own home was a must… and saving for it was a priority. Traveling distances was not a part of my parents’ priorities, hence it was not a concept I embraced early on either. I never left the west coast (CA, OR, WA) until I married and my husband was stationed in Germany, so I flew there to join him. My eyes were opened to the beauty of Europe. My mind was opened to the diversity of cultures and the appreciation of differences. In the 80s we had an AFS exchange student from Switzerland – and my life changed forever. Our daughter married the first cousin of the family eventually – and now lives there with her husband and three of our grandchildren. Because of our Swiss connection, we have traveled to many of those European countries. The travel bug bit me! But there are states here at home that I have not visited. I have a “Maine or Bust” binder and long to spend some time in that part of the USA and take a cruise to Nova Scotia. I’ll be 80 next month and have never been on a cruise. Don’t you think I should apply to the “Underprivileged Children’s Society?”

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing your story! What decades to have lived through, you’ve experienced so many lifetimes of experiences! I can’t wait to see what’s in store for me in the future, but I can’t imagine it’s more colourful than yours. I’ve never been on a cruise either, maybe one day once I’ve seen all the lands I want to see, that I’ll adventure to see the seas. Thank you for commenting 🙂

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  3. I am never sure why adults try to make all children be the same. We adopted a rule that we would never compare our two boys to each other…”Why can’t you be more like your brother?” The same goes with home ownership, marriage, having a baby. Each one is an individual and makes their own choices. If asked, we will give our advice. We paid for both kids education. It was a hardship at the time and has certainly kept us from adding to our own assets. But it has been worth it to see them successful and debt free. Perhaps, they will return the favour one day. Our oldest may never buy a house and my thought is, why would you in the over inflated market that is Vancouver. Our youngest has just bought a house, so it is still possible. It all depends on circumstances and priorities.One problem I do see today is that the young ones think they have to buy everything big and new (forever home) right from the start. We started in a basement suite, then bought a small old fixer upper, before buying our forever home 11 years later. Everyone’s path is different. Enjoy your weekend Elle. Allan

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    1. I love your comment because it’s so true! Just because everyone else has a house in their 20s doesn’t mean it was the right choice, or that it’s also mandatory you follow their footsteps. Everyone really does have their own path and there is no right or wrong answer of where you end up next, as long as you’re happy. Thank you and have a great weekend, to your amazing family as well!

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  4. It’s good to travel when you are young enough to enjoy it! I moved my family from California to England when I was in my late twenties. We’ve lived in the UK, Singapore, and Australia plus several states here in the US. Sounds to me like you’re doing everything right!

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  5. Here are a few places i’ve been. I took 2 cruises. the first was for a seven day adventure of which took us to the cayman islands, cozumel, and new orleans. the second was to the bahamas of which that was a 3 day trip. enjoyed them but you don’t get much time when ya get off the cruise ship. the last place i went was to was margarita island off the coast of venezuala. it was for two weeks and all trips a good time. one thing i can say is you can’t take your money with you when you die. secondly, if you had a house with a huge mortgage payment going on trips wouldn’t be happening quite the way you are doing now. enjoy it while you can.

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    1. “can’t take your money with you when you die” is so right! You can amass thousands of dollars but if it doesn’t translate to anything, where is the value? Thank you for sharing your travels, I’ve always wanted to do a cruise. I often gravitate to places I know, like Vietnam, Australia or even within Canada, but definitely a cruise to an absolutely new terrain is my next goal. Thank you for commenting!

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