1. You have very limited responsibility. The younger you are, the more selfish you can be – in a good way! It may be the only time that your life is all about you. Before you know it, you may get a big promotion or get married, or have kids, and it will be a lot harder to push everything aside to travel once you have other obligations. So if you want to travel, do it now, while you are your own main priority.
2. You’ll gain perspective, and this will change your outlook on life. If you’ve only grown up in one area your whole life, it’s hard to get a sense of the world without seeing it with your own eyes. You’re accustomed to your own little bubble, but once you get out there and witness true poverty, or drug wars, or slave trade, you’ll grasp how much you’ve taken for granted and realize that you are not, and will never be, the center of the universe. Your newfound perspective will change the way you see the world, and little things that used to annoy you will be insignificant. You will start to care for problems that are bigger than your own, and this will make you a better person.
3. You’ll acquire life skills that will enhance your resume. It’s easier to travel and then go get the job of your dreams than it is the other way around. Many people who wait to travel because they think it hinders career advancement will never end up going. But the truth is that travel (especially long-term travel) will give you skills and a personality that will make you an asset to any future employer. For more details on how to use travel to enhance your resume and help you land your dream job, click here.
4. It’s a valuable learning experience. Not only will you learn more, but travel will make you desire to learn more. History was always my least favorite subject in school. There was something about memorizing dates and names and event timelines that just bored me to death. But traveling has made history so much more enjoyable. Visiting Machu Picchu was ten thousand times more fascinating to me than reading a dull history book about it (which I vaguely remember doing ~10 years ago). Seeing the world wonder in person gave me a new appreciation for history and actually motivated me to research more about the Incas to learn about their story. Knowledge from a book is one thing, but an experience will stay with you forever.
5. “Someday” may never happen. Not to be pessimistic, but someday is never guaranteed to us. I constantly hear people waiting for the “right” time. They want to save up more money, wait until they’re single, or focus on their career before traveling. There will always be some kind of excuse like this, but that’s really all it is – an excuse. The reality is that there’s no better time than now; if you want to travel, just go. Do it now, while the time is still guaranteed.
Note: Even if you’re reading this thinking you’re not still young, that’s ok – travel anyways! Better late than never.
Agree/disagree? More to add? Comment below!