Travelling is important at any age. You should travel young, old and everything in-between. There is a certain period in your life though where it can really have a greater effect on your life, and that is when you’re young. And no, I’m not referring to those young at heart. But those that are sort of between that 18-25 young. Those years can come with some of the dumbest decisions and questionable moments. Those are also the years that can really develop your future, so help develop them with some travel, and here are my top ten reason why you should travel when you’re young!
NUMBER ONE: No responsibilities
Looking back at my youth, I just now realize how little responsibility I truly held, and am fully aware of how little responsibility I still have. The thing is, saying that you’ll go out and travel after you settle down is a flat out lie. It won’t happen. Once the bills roll in, the mortgage payments seep through and you have a child attached at the hip, the real world takes over and dreams of far away places become even further away. Without true responsibilities, you can do those things you’ve always wanted to do, and not be guilty that the time or money could have went else where. The older I get, the more pressure I feel to save money, buy a house and really be responsible. Sadly, I, like many people don’t have the means to do it all- so do it when it doesn’t matter. That window is small, crawl through it while you still fit through it.
NUMBER TWO: Full Capabilities
Working on cruise ships for a little while, and seeing the some of the guests on board, I instantly knew I never wanted to travel and see the world post retiring. That’s not to say travelling after retirement shouldn’t happen, and of course the term “better late than never” rings incredibly true, however the experience is never the same. Mobility is different, perception is different and quite frankly, the energy levels you need to travel just are not there. I want to be able to climb mountains, jump off high things and maintain energy levels to be able to do anything and everything travel has to offer. I’m already at a point in life where I have bad knees and excessive exertion isn’t ideal, so I can’t imagine half of my experiences 20 years down the road.
NUMBER THREE: Fearless and Invincible
The younger you are the less consequences you have. The fewer consequences the more fearless you are. Bad ideas seem like the best ideas. And doing really dumb things are just so awesome at the time. Even now I look back and shake my head at a few questionable moments that probably would never occur nowadays. But that is the beauty of being young and abroad, you let your inhibitions go, and you just do what you want, and trust me when I say this, eventually you do stop doing what you want, so do what you want now, and do it without fear, after all, it seems all those under the age of 25 are invincible, well maybe under the age of 30 as I’m still feeling pretty invincible.
NUMBER FOUR: Disposable Income
There are many members of our society that are youthful and responsible and even great with their finances. I was not one of those people, in all fairness, most youth aren’t, and even still, I’m not really. If you are lucky enough to be able to live at home, and have mommy and daddy fund your life for the most part, the income you do make is in fact disposable. You can do what you want with it and buy anything you want with it. It is easy to buy lots of junk with a disposable income, but while you’re lucky enough to have it, I urge you, spend your money on travel- it will not feel like wasted funds and you will not question where your money has gone; instead you can consider it an investment in your future, as it will change you. And as the previous topic goes, trust me, at some point income will no longer be disposable and those horrible words of mortgage, marriage and babies will start ringing in your ears- its sooner than you think.
NUMBER FIVE: Become a better person
Lets be honest for a minute. When you’re young, everyone seems to be a bit of douche. I was. My friends were. Everyone my age was and a lot of young people today are. It’s not for any other reason than really just not knowing any better. I urge the youth of today to travel- today; if for no other reason than to be a better person for themselves and for those around them. Culture is a lesson that staying at home cannot teach you. Learning about people across the world, is the best life lesson you can be given. Go volunteer abroad. Place yourself in shoes of those who will never taste the opportunity your life gives you, trust me, your parents and society will thank you.
NUMBER SIX: Figure it out!
From a young age, there is so much pressure to know what you want to do and know who you want to become. Most days I still don’t know. After highschool going straight to college or university isn’t always the answer. I mean, I had no idea what I wanted to do, and what happened? I dropped out. Many young people do. How are you supposed to at the age of 16 or 17 just decide what you want the rest of your life? Some people know exactly what they want, and that is great- it’s truly amazing! But it seems as though many people just don’t. I wish that instead of wasting a year of doing nothing and not gaining anything from it I had went to travel, or gone to volunteer somewhere. My best advice to those who don’t know what they want to do is to take the one-year to explore. Gain some perspectives; open yourself to possibilities you didn’t know were possible. Perhaps when you come back you will know- or almost know, and instead of wasting that year, and tuition money, you can come home and spend it wisely.
NUMBER SEVEN: Appreciate
I remember being in my teens, and sometimes feeling so entitled. I could never appreciate much of anything, whether it was money, people or material possessions. I look at the youth of today and can tell they are not much different. Things that reign supreme at a young age are material possessions, brand name labels, the newest technology and how many followers you can collect on various social media channels. Not until traveling did that really change. You see the world for what is important. You can see people with absolutely nothing who can appreciate the small things; you come to realize that things like phones and clothes are fairly meaningless. Go out and appreciate that there really is more to life than what is marketed to you.
NUMBER EIGHT: Only one opportunity
I hate to bust this out… but YOLO! Seriously though. We are given one life. That life is not meant to have regrets or doubts or what-ifs. People need to stop being afraid of doing the things they want and dream about. At the end of the day, there may not be another day. I consciously ask myself daily, if today was the end, would I be happy with what I did with my life? I’m not just saying travel has to be that one thing- but if that is something you want to do, you can’t wait. The world is changing every day, and you need to be part of the change, and not just watch it disappear. Don’t be the person who just talks about doing something, go do it- don’t even talk about it and just do it!
NUMBER NINE: Learn a little
We learn a lot in school throughout the years; Mathematics, Language, Science, Sociology etc. But what school does not provide you is real world experience. Remaining in one place your whole life, does not teach you about life. Go meet people from around the world. Go on a trip, meet the locals, meet the other travelers, and learn from them. Allow them to teach you something new, give you a different perspective. Learn their politics, learn about their education, learn about their culture- perhaps it will have you think differently of your own, good or bad. Life is all about perspective, and you only really start to understand life when you can see it from all angles.
NUMBER TEN: Recovery capabilities
So here’s something I’m having a great deal of difficulty with at this ripe old age of 26. The ability to recover from anything! Be it a late night out, a long haul flight or literally just eating a crappy meal- the bounce back is getting worse. Recovery time is only getting longer and longer, the hangovers are hurting more and more and my stamina for it is becoming shorter and shorter. Just like many youth, I never thought I would see the day. There have been so many times now that I travel somewhere and I so badly just want to get to bed at 9 (I don’t, but when I was younger it didn’t cross my mind). People don’t lie to you when they tell you it’s not the same when you’re older- and being older is inevitable. Again, you can still do it, but your body is crying out for help. Go climb a mountain, go party in Europe, check out the night markets in Thailand, and wake up and go do it again!