Traveling is easily my biggest passion in life. There’s no way to analyze how much of a difference it has made, but I know that I have become a much better person from living and traveling abroad for the past several years. Traveling is so rewarding, and I want to inspire others to get of your comfort zones, find adventure, and explore the world. Here are my 13 reasons why you should travel as much as possible when you are young.
1. The People
I’m starting this list with what I believe to be best part about traveling; the people from all over the world you are guaranteed to meet. While I write this I can’t help but think about the incredible people I have been lucky to spend some time with on the road. Whether it’s the friends I only spent one night with on the Koh Tao pub crawl, or the friends I spent an entire weekend with in Halong Bay. There’s something special that happens when you travel. Everyone is more open to new experiences and opportunities. People are friendly and welcoming. You never know when a person you meet on the road can become a lifelong friend. It’s hard to explain, but people connect much faster when they are traveling. I believe it to be because we all are searching for a similar thing. We seek adventure. We seek new experiences. We seek new friendships. We are travelers.
2. The Freedom
Now, this one is probably the most obvious, but also one of the most important! This is the time of our lives to explore the world, to make connections, learn new languages, and become better people. Why? Because we have the freedom to do so. We have the rest of our lives to work. I mean, if we’re not going to retire until were 65, why not take some time off in your 20’s to travel before you settle down, get married, build a career, have kids, etc. Why spend so much time in a cubicle at this age when there is so much to explore? Honestly, I feel that a lot of people want to travel more, they are just scared to make the first step. I met a girl in Koh Phangan who moved to Australia with $150 in her bank account, and ended up traveling for the next 2 years. This is the time of our lives when we can get away these drastic changes, and I guarantee that it will make a amazing impact on your life.
3. The Hangovers Get Worse With Age
Alright, so I had to put this one on the list. Because let’s face it…we’re not getting any younger. Do you remember being 18 and were able to drink all night and wake up with basically zero hangover? Well, things change. I can already tell that being 25, the hangovers are getting exponentially worse. And from what my older friends tell me, these things get don’t get better with age. Damn….I know you don’t really have to drink while you travel. But, I must say. Experiencing the madness of the Full Moon Party in Thailand, or going to Oktoberfest in Germany won’t be quite as fun without throwing back a few beers. We’re young. Let’s celebrate our health and go on that pub crawl in Siem Reap, and jump on that 3-hour booze cruise in Barcelona!
4. The Stories
You know what people enjoy hearing? A great story. Traveling is going to give you a whole new selection of those to choose from. Traveling will also teach how to you become a story teller, which is very important. You’ll sit around the hostel bar, chat it up with some people, and exchange your various travel shenanigans. I think it’s vital to know how to be able to interact with people, and swap stories. Also, you’ll go home after traveling and have some fun things to share with your friends and family. Hopefully, to inspire them to start planning their next trip. If you ever hang out with me, you know I’m always down to share one of my many travel stories.
5. The Resume
You know what looks great on a resume? International travel experience. When people are interviewing candidates, they are also interviewing people that will be working alongside them. Traveling shows a lot about a person, and can definitely help you stand out in the interview process. Traveling is not about going on a one-week vacation in Hawaii or weekend trips to Vegas. Traveling teaches you so many valuable life lessons that can greatly help when applying for your next job. Learn how to make traveling look good on a resume here.
6. The Languages
This could just be me, but I really want to learn four languages conversationally fluent before I die. Growing up in America, we really don’t put an emphasis on languages, and I wish that were different. I love going to new countries and learning different phrases. Even if you just learn how to say “Hello”, “Please”, “Thank-you”, and “Good-bye”, that will go a long way. If you’re anything like me, you’ll most likely want to learn how to say “cheers”, which is equally as important. As well, being in a country where English is not prevalent can teach you patience and how to communicate to others in other ways.
7. The Education
“I am a passionate traveler, and from the time I was a child, travel formed me as much as my formal education.” – David Rockefeller. I could not agree more. Traveling teaches you so much about the world. You become more responsible. You become more tolerant. You learn how to interact with people from different countries. You learn to respect other cultures, religions, and ways of life. Traveling is easily one of the best forms of education.
8. The Value of Money
This one definitely hits home for me, and I’m glad I figured this out now. Traveling has given me a whole new appreciation of money, and how LITTLE I NEED to be happy. I used to care about having nice clothes, wanted a fancy car, and a rolex to match. Now, I honestly could not care less about owning anything expensive. I know that makes some people happy, but those material possessions don’t interest me anymore. I look at how some people spend their money, and my mind instantly goes to, “Wow, I could live off that in Thailand for 3 months”. Traveling has taught me how to budget and how to stick to it. Traveling to certain countries will also make you realize how much money you actually have, and how fortunate we really are. Traveling will definitely make you re-think your spending habits, and make you want to start saving your money for your next trip, instead of purchasing that expensive new outfit or pricey dinner.
9. The Personal Growth
I’m pretty sure most people who have traveled with me can agree on this one. You learn a lot about yourself while you are traveling. I think if you look at the first 8 reasons, you can see how all of those can play a part of personal growth and development. Personally, it made me realize what is important to me in life, and gave me completely new goals and life aspirations. I’ve met incredible people who have given me ideas and inspired me. I’ve also made mistakes, but have learned from them. Traveling makes you a better person.
10. The Australians
Oh, you didn’t know? Australians are absolutely everywhere, and they are the best. I’ve said this before, and I stand by it; I believe Australians to be the coolest people in the world. When I ever I meet and spend time with people from Oz, I have the time of my life. They bring so much energy and life wherever they go. They love to travel, they love to drink, and they are always up for an adventure. I’m definitely looking forward to moving there for one year during my working holiday visa.
11. The Food
One of the best part about traveling around the world is trying different countries cuisine. It always makes me a little mad when I see a big line at McDonald’s in Thailand, or people getting Subway in Malaysia. Yes, sometimes a little taste of home can be nice when you are on the road for awhile. But if you really want to understand other cultures, eat like the locals! One of my favorite meals in Thailand was just done the street from my apartment, and cost 35 baht, and was truly amazing. Street food is where it’s at.
12. The Cultures
This has been touched on a bit already, but it needs to be it’s own separate reason. Traveling and learning about other walks of life can be so eye-opening. It gives you a new outlook on the world, and you quickly realize that there is so much to discover. You become appreciative for the differences of your culture and the countries you visit. You embrace them.
13. The Carpe Diem Factor
Finally, because we’re all going to die one day. None of us know how much time we have left on this beautiful planet, and we need to make the most of our time. Get out of your comfort zone. Buy a one-way plane-ticket. Explore. Meet people. Embrace other countries cultures and languages. CARPE DIEM!
“If you’re twenty-two, physically fit, hungry to learn and be better, I urge you to travel – as far and as widely as possible. Sleep on floors if you have to. Find out how other people live and eat and cook. Learn from them – wherever you go.” – Anthony Bourdain
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