Everyday I see memes and articles that emphasize the importance of traveling but they pretty much all say the same thing.
– Travel the world while you can…
– Live a life full of traveling adventure…
– There’s a big world out there. Explore.
Blah blah blah. We get it. However, yesterday I encountered an article that a friend on Facebook posted titled 3 Reasons to Travel While You’re Young. So I clicked on it, read it, and now I’m here blogging about it. It was that inspirational to me. I read travel articles all the time that tell you what countries to visit, what attractions to see, and what events to attend. They’ll explain to you that it’s cool, it’s fun, it’s indescribable. But what most readers won’t get out of the article are the underlying messages that traveling experiences give you. An article by Mind Openerz tells you in 3 simple sentences on why you should travel, albeit young.
1. Traveling teaches you to live an adventure.
I think of the word adventure and then scenes from The Goonies and Indiana Jones come immediately to mind. But those are fictional adventures and things I’ll never, in my wildest dreams, attempt to do. I’ve never hiked Mount Everest, swam with Great White sharks, or smoked with an indigenous tribal group but that doesn’t mean my travels aren’t adventurous. To me, adventures are moments that you experience out of your comfort zone. Times when you thought, “F*ck it. Let’s do it!” Doing spur of the moment things and having fun all the while. Experiencing my adventures has helped me break out of my shy shell and be more open-minded. I always tell myself, “I’m never going to do it anywhere else so might as well do it now.”
It’s not about being a tourist. It’s about experiencing true risk and adventure so you don’t have to live in fear for the rest of your life.
2. Traveling helps you encounter compassion.
I’ve never been to a war-torn country, aided during a big natural disaster, or volunteered for an organization that sends you off to underdeveloped countries. That doesn’t mean I don’t see those people during my travels. Yes, I may be distracted with the pretty historical buildings but it doesn’t mean I don’t notice the begging child on the sidewalk. My parents exposed me early on to the hardships of life in the Philippines. I’ve learned to be more empathetic and tenderhearted to those less fortunate. It helps me stay humble and truly appreciate the life I’ve been given.
Traveling will change you like little else can. It will put you in places that will force you to care for issues that are bigger than you.
If you go to southeast Asia, you may encounter the slave trade. If eastern Europe, you may see the effects of genocide and religious persecution. If Haiti, you’ll witness the the ugly side Western paternalism.
Your heart will break.
You will begin to understand that the world is both a big and small place. You will have a new-found respect for the pain and suffering that over half of the world takes for granted on a daily basis. And you will feel more connected to your fellow human beings in a deep and lasting way.
You will learn to care.
3. Traveling allows you to get some culture.
It’s not easy for Americans to experience distinct cultures as it is in Europe. Traveling like the locals, eating regional dishes, and socializing with those of a different background can only be experienced and not be explained by anyone else because no two people see the same exact things. You don’t even need to travel to another country to get cultured in America either. Visit an Indian Reservation, The South, or a US-Mexico border town!
The world is a stunning place, full of outstanding works of art. See it.
Many of you may think, “Yea, but this b*itch doesn’t realize how expensive traveling is.” I just came back from 2 weeks in Australia. Trust me, I know expensive. If done right, it won’t cost you an arm and a leg. And even if it does, how do you compare money to the life lessons or unforgettable experiences you just received? There are probably 100 more reasons why you should travel at any age; not just young. However, I think Mind Openerz did a brilliant job of summing up key points in 3 easy reasons. Please be sure to check out the full article here.