We might have mentioned this a few times, but Virgin Balloon Flights is celebrating our 21st birthday this year and today is the final day of our month-long celebrations.
And that got us thinking about what we’d love to do during such a milestone year, when you’re officially an adult but haven’t necessarily ‘grown-up’ just yet!
Of course, a hot air balloon ride is always going to be top of any wish list we might have. What's not to love?
- Floating majestically in our iconic red balloon for around an hour through the stunning UK skies
- Breath-taking views of gorgeous landscapes, as though you have the very world itself at your feet
- A celebratory post-landing toast to mark one of the best birthday experience days you have ever had.
So here, in no particular order, is our full list of 21 things to do when you’re 21.
Visit Somewhere New
Pick 21 different places you’ve never been before and make a point of paying a visit to each one before the year is out.
Whether it’s a whole different town or just the local tourist attraction down the road you’ve never had chance to see, make the effort to go somewhere new.
21 Random Acts Of Kindness
While the next official Pay It Forward Day isn’t until 2016, how great would it be to do good deeds for others all year round?
Lots of coffee shops, cafes and takeaways now run schemes where you can ‘pre-pay’ for a meal for someone who needs it.
You could offer to help the mum with a screaming toddler in front of you at the supermarket checkout pack her shopping.
If you get fantastic service in a restaurant, why not leave a note for your server telling them just what a great job they have done alongside their tip?
Or you could even just tell a friend how awesome you think they are.
For more inspiration, visit the Random Acts Of Kindness Kindness Blog.
So go on, see if you can fit in 21 ways to make someone’s day better before you turn 22.
Do Something That Scares You
Hate spiders? Try and hold a tarantula. Scared of heights? Climb Blackpool Tower. Clowns give you the creeps? Head to the circus the next time it’s in town.
Can’t stand the sight of blood? Visit your nearest blood donor session and give a pint – you’re facing your fear and saving a life at the same time.
Dance In The Rain
Yes it’s cheesy but trust us, unleashing your inner child and throwing some shapes when the heavens open is great fun.
Book A Hot Air Balloon Flight
Why wait to experience this incredible adventure in the skies? With memories to last a lifetime, enjoy them for as long as possible by booking your flight now.
Virgin Balloon Flights has been taking passengers up, up and away since 1994 and we’re also celebrating our 21st birthday this year.
With prices from just £79, if you want to become one of them, visit our website or call our team on 01952 212750.
Get Dressed Up ‘Just Because’
We all have clothes, shoes and accessories that we save ‘for best’ but every once in a while, it’s fun to go all out glam and look our most fabulous on just a regular day.
Enjoy A 24-Hour Box Set Marathon
Whatever takes your fancy, be it Lost, Doctor Who, Hawaii Five-0, Heroes or the entire Harry Potter film series, everyone needs to spend a day in front of the TV, eating popcorn and Pringles (disclaimer* other sofa-edible snacks are available) and devouring their favourite show in one fell swoop.
Do it now, before life as a grown-up truly takes over!
Learn A New Language
Habla Español or have you always wanted to learn? Maybe you really enjoyed French or German at school and wished you’d taken it more seriously.
You could even have a go at something more unusual, such as Icelandic, Ukrainian or Japanese.
Not only is knowing a second language handy for holidays abroad, it also looks great on your CV.
Websites such as Babbel offer a great introduction to learning a new language, covering the most popular choices from Italian to Indonesian, with prices from £4.25 a month to join and get access to its huge online language resource.
Or check out your favourite bookstore and grab a ‘teach yourself’ guide. Waterstones alone has hundreds of different options, from basic to advanced.
Write A Proper Letter To An Old Friend
You’re 21, which means you can just about remember the days before Twitter, Facebook, Whatsapp, text messaging and email, when catching up with an old friend either meant a phone call (from a landline using a phone attached to the wall in the hallway and usually cut short by your mum and dad threatening to make you pay that month’s phone bill) or a putting pen to paper and writing a proper letter.
Writing a letter takes time and effort and means so much more than firing off a quick Facebook direct message.
So go retro: buy some nice quality paper, get a decent pen and take the snail mail option.
You’ll most probably make the recipient’s day.
Look After Your Body (It’s The Only One You Have)
If you haven’t treated it too well up to now, make your 21st year the one you really start taking care of your body.
Whether you vow to get fit by joining the gym, giving your diet a healthy overhaul or even just switching to a moisturiser with SPF 50, do it now (while you still have youth on your side!).
Virgin Active has more than 80 health clubs across the UK for those who are really serious about improving their fitness. Find out if there is one near you here.
Buy A Funky Hat
Or another item of clothing completely different to what you would normally wear. Being daring is great fun.
Learn A Circus Skill
Riding a unicycle, juggling, stilt-walking or hula hooping (which, incidentally, if you’re looking to get fit is great for both cardio and core muscles and burns up to 600 calories an hour) – get out there and learn to do so something awesome that none of your mates can.
There are plenty of companies out there that teach circus skills, including the National Centre For Circus Arts, which offers courses in everything from flying trapeze to globe walking. It even runs experience days where you can try a range of different disciplines to see which is right for you.
Go Star Gazing
Dig out an old blanket, fill a flask with hot tea and head out to the nearest field or hillside free from light pollution to enjoy an uninterrupted view of the night sky.
An Adventure Awaits
Bungee-jumping, land yachting, snowboarding, zorbing, abseiling and even your very own live action zombie experience are just a selection of the adventures on offer with our fellow Virgin Group company, Virgin Experience Days.
Get The Festival Vibe
A music festival is a rite of passage and if you haven’t done one by the time you’re 21, you really need to pull your socks up and get on it!
There’s dozens to choose from in the UK alone, including Virgin Media’s very own V Festival – which also celebrates its 21st birthday in 2016!
Choreograph Your Own Dance Routine With Friends
Then perform and record it to post on YouTube. Even if it’s rubbish, it’ll make you smile years later when you’re approaching your next birthday milestone – the big 3-0.
Get Your Shred On
Forget those school music lessons where you had a 35-year-old violin with a warped neck shoved into your hands and to spent the next few years tormenting the ears of every parent at Christmas concerts.
You’re 21 now, which means YOU get to choose what cool instrument you learn to play.
Guitar, piano and drums all proved popular choices among the Virgin Balloon Flights team but the options are endless – laser harp anyone?
While we can’t promise you’ll ever be the next Slash, Dave Grohl or Ed Sheeran, you can have plenty of fun trying to be.
Expand Your Culinary Skills
You might already be a dab hand in the kitchen but there is always something new to learn. Why not take a sushi-making course or try your hand at learning how to make the perfect authentic Indian curry without a jar of pre-made tikka masala sauce in sight?
Sweet tooth? Virgin Experience Days has a chocolate making course that could be right up your street.
Start Saving For A Rainy Day
Yes, we know it’s not the most exciting thing to do when you’re 21 but now you’re a grown up, you really need to start planning for the future.
The Money Advice Service has lots of advice on how to go about saving your pennies and the different options out there, from savings accounts to investments and pensions.
Virgin Money also has a range of savings options, so it’s worth also checking out their website here.
Enjoy A West End Show
From Cats to Kinky Boots and Hamlet to Wicked, just like music festivals, a West End show is a rite of passage for anyone living in the UK.
Check out the official London Theatre website for a full list of what’s on offer right now.
Choose A 21st Year Charity
Everyone has a cause that is close to their heart so how great would it be to spend an entire year doing as much as you can to support them?
Whether you sign up for a monthly direct debit donation, organise a series of fundraising events or just make a point of putting a few pence in your chosen charity’s collection box every time you see one, use your 21st year to benefit others.
For our 21st birthday, Virgin Balloon Flights picked the British Lung Foundation as our chosen charity and by the end of 2016, we aim to have raised at least £30,000 for research, treatment and support of those living with lung disease.
What Would You Choose To Do When You're 21?
So those are our suggestions for 21 things to do when you’re 21. We’d love to hear yours!
Post them in the comments below, tweet them to us @VirginBalloons or add them to our Faceboook page using the hashtag #VBFTurns21.
Our five favourites will each win a Virgin Balloon Flights chocolate heart.