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Two in Five of America’s 11-24 Year-Old’s Have Never Seen A Cow!

  • By Kate Moore
  • on 
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Over three years ago, we packed the essentials into our DIY camper van and set off to see more of the world.

Not everyone is fortunate enough to travel full-time. In fact, if you haven’t seen much of anything–you’re not alone.

We asked more than 3,500 of members of the public, between 11 and 24 years-old, to find out how they feel about their life experiences and here’s what we found:

van life view out the back of a camper van conversion

Travel and Communities

In terms of communities and travel, four in ten (42%) Americans have never visited another country, with 15% of young Americans having never left the state that they were born. Shockingly, a fifth of Americans (22%) haven’t even met a person from a different country.

  • 88% of respondents stated that they would love to travel more if they had the chance.

Life Experiences

The research revealed that less than one in ten (9%) people were completely happy with their experiences and achievements with three-quarters (73%) wishing that they could experience more.

The main reasons for not being able to experience more were cited as:

  • Not having enough money – 80%
  • Not having enough time – 77%
  • Having too many other responsibilities – 62%
  • Not having a companion to experience things with – 54%

As seen above, sometimes daily life just gets in the way of fulfilling our goals and aspirations!

The research also showed that more than half (58%) have never tried any form of DIY project, with four out of ten (43%) never experiencing the great outdoors with activities such as hiking or camping. In a similar vein, more than a quarter (27%) have never seen the sunrise.

Additionally, 19% and 13% of people never cooked a meal from scratch or sent ‘snail mail’.

Children and Young People

Our research has shown that a majority of young Americans feel as though their self-esteem decreases when finding out that they haven’t ‘seen or achieved’ as much as their peers, with two-thirds (65%) of respondents agreeing with this sentiment.

With this in mind, 63% of participants that identified themselves as parents stated that they were actively trying to increase the memories made with their families, with 81% saying that they value family experiences over material possessions.

Oh, and did you know that 33% of young Americans have never seen a cow in real life?!

The ‘actually achievable’ life experience guide

Give yourself a compliment every day

This is a great habit to start and honestly, the younger the better. It might feel weird at first but it’s definitely achievable and is bound to make you feel better.


Again, this is a tip for everyone, no matter your age. Journaling gives you the opportunity to reflect on your feelings in a safe place. It helps you articulate your feelings and can also enhance literacy skills.

Have a photoshoot

Get dressed up and serve some looks! Nothing boosts your confidence like having some fantastic photos to look back on when you’re not feeling your best.

Level-Up Your Skills

Whether you’re still at school or in the height of your career, learning a new skill or pursuing a hobby is a super easy way to fulfill new interests. It’s also a great way to make new friends and the potential to experience things that might not have been possible before.

Wake Up For The Sunrise

I’m struggling to think of anything more beautiful to experience that is absolutely free of charge. Just wake up a little earlier and head outside, or even just to a window! To me, the sunrise is like a massage for the soul.

Dine out alone

Adults only for this one! It might take some practice but having the confidence to sit down by yourself to dine is empowering, it allows you to be comfortable with your own company.

Travel solo

Again, not one for the kids! But a solo trip can be such an amazing experience. It’s confidence building, it gives you the opportunity to learn about yourself, plus you can change your plans however you see fit!


Just like journaling and complimenting yourself, this is another beneficial habit for people of any age. Meditating can help you feel at peace with your surroundings and help teach you how to keep a level head in some testing situations.

Take a cooking class

Get messy and learn some life skills! Not only can cooking classes be extremely fun, but they are also fantastic for learning about other cultures, about nutrition, or just how to show off to your friends and family!

“Every experience, no matter how big or small you deem it to be, is valuable and that shouldn’t be forgotten. That being said, it’s just human nature to feel like we’re missing out on something so if this guide can help spark a little joy in someone’s life then that is nothing short amazing.”


Kate is the lead content creator for and has spent over two years living in a camper van conversion. She has traveled through 48 US states and writes about van life, camping and RV living.

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