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Why You Should travel while you're young

Looking over Shibuya Tokyo
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We do a lot of traveling and people often ask me both how we travel so frequently but also why. As for the how and the why, the simple answer is because we can and because we want to. So we make it happen. We’re fortunate to have the time and resources at the moment to travel, but also to have the mindset to put aside all the “shoulds.” 

I’ve learned so much over the years with my passport alone and I wouldn’t change it for the world. Traveling the world has definitely changed my life and my entire perspective on the world in an enormous way. Spreading my wings abroad has been one of the best investments into my personal growth imaginable. 

We’re fortunate to be born in the USA and have the unique freedom and ability to travel the world. I definitely don’t take this for-granted. Traveling while you’re young doesn’t have to be hard and honestly it’s the best time in your life to travel. So here are some reasons to use that passport as much as you can in your younger years. 


1. You Can’t Get Your Youth Back

I believe your twenties ought to be spent traveling, exploring, and seeing the world, particularly if you desire to travel!!! We grow up, graduate high-school, maybe go to college and then go out into the real world armed with our checklists and resumes. This doesn’t leave much time at all to actually pursue these dreams.

I’m not advocating a YOLO philosophy on life, but the simple fact is that you’re only young once. Few people actually stop and say, “ok, I’m not going to go this prescribed route. I’m going to put this on hold to simply live my biggest dreams first.” If you don’t take this precious time to travel and instead have kids or jump into this commitment “adult” kind of life super early on, this leaves practically no time left to pursue these dreams until years down the road.

True, people travel with kids and 9 to 5 jobs, but it’s a lot harder working around these commitments unless you’re super financially well off. You can’t just get up and go anytime you want. When you’re young, you’ve got your entire life ahead of you which is why you should exploit the heck out of your youth. I know that once or IF we ever decide to go down the family road of life and settle down, then there’s no turning back. But as for now, we’re still exploring the world contentedly child-free.

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2. You Don’t Need to Be Rich to Travel While You’re Young

Now you don’t need to have a lot of money to travel while you’re young, you simply need the time and the ability, which are in my opinion equally valuable resources. When most people are young, they’re starting out financially and don’t have a lot of savings so it’s really easy to simply say “I can’t travel, I have no money.” BUT, having your youth and freedom is the MOST important thing you need in order to travel.

Money helps get you nicer hotels and first class upgrades, but it shouldn’t be a primarily inhibition if you truly want to see the world. You don’t need to travel the world like a rockstar to travel the world. With the Eurorail pass, hostels, budget airlines and the fact that most traveled countries are not even in the first world, traveling has never been cheaper!!

Travel while you're young
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Exploring Yakushima Japan

If you’re savvy enough, there are ways to maintain a life on the road if this is truly your dream.


3. Traveling Young Is A Larger Investment into the Rest of Your Life

Traveling gives you perspective and it teaches you soooooo much more than you can ever learn in college.

If you take the time to travel the world while you’re young, you can reap these benefits LONGER for the rest of your life. The knowledge, perspective and self-fulfillment you obtain will last you through the years.

The lens you see the world through is different when you’re younger and the accumulation of knowledge and perspective you obtain while you’re younger will benefit you over a longer span of your life.



4. You’ve Got More Energy to Travel While You’re Young

It’s really strange to see your energy decline as you age, which is why I’m determined to keep in shape as I get older. 10 years ago, I used to pull all-nighters in college but today, that would probably kill me. Generally as you age, you simply have less energy.

Earlier bedtimes, dark circles under the eyes, and afternoon naps will creep up on you. There are definitely some types of travel that are more suited to a younger person’s stamina, such as cross country road trips, hiking excursions, backpacking, etc. So if there’s something you really want to do now when you’re young, why wait?

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5. You’ll Have No Regrets When You’re Older

 Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. – Mark Twain

Travel while you're young
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6. You’ll Challenge Your Beliefs

After growing up with a religious upbringing, honestly traveling abroad and living in Japan has completely opened my eyes. I’ve never been a religious person, and I’m not trying to say that traveling will necessarily make you a complete relativist, but simply seeing the way other people live and questioning your own beliefs is generally a good thing.


   

In my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.

— Bill Bryson

7. Traveling Young is A Different Experience

Traveling young, staying in youth hostels, and seeing the world through your impressionable youthful eyes is simply a different experience. You’re getting to know yourself and the world still for the first time and in many ways, this is a different kind of experience than when you’re older.


8. Tomorrow May Not Come

The sad truth is that there’s no guarantee you’ll be here tomorrow, next week or even next year. Life is short. Assuming that you’ll just travel later in life is definitely a faulty assumption. You can save up all your money for retirement in preparation for the future, but putting everything away for the future is a terrible assumption. 

 If there’s a place you really want to see, there’s no time like the present. Just make it happen. In the end, I’m not advocating a life of instability, frivolousness,  irresponsibility, or living a purely nomadic life. Saving is important as is laying the foundation to one’s future. But taking a year or two off to live a nomadic lifestyle in your twenties is by no means out of reach. By all means, keep it in balance.

TAKE YOUR TRIP TO THE NEXT LEVEL. UNLOCK THE MAGIC.

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2 Comments

  1. August 7, 2015 at 7:01 pm — Reply

    My first experience abroad happened when I was 17 years old. I backpacked around the United Kingdom with my best friend. As it turns out, that month was the most pivotal month of my entire life, and I am now almost 30 years old. After backpacking through the UK, I backpacked through Western Europe, and then Southeast Asia, and then New Zealand. All of these experiences helped me open my eyes to the sheer possibility of the world and my place in it. Now, I am a long term expat based out of Taiwan. I love my life and my travels, and unless I had taken that first trip in my youth, it never would have occurred to me that there was a different, less conventional way to live my life. For that, I am eternally grateful!

    • August 7, 2015 at 10:37 pm — Reply

      It’s so true that unless you get out there and see the rest of the world, you really never know what you’re missing. We live in a bubble day to day but traveling exposes you to another reality. Glad you were able to realize that at such a young age!

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