Travel is my passion, so you don’t have to tell me twice to travel now and later. However, I have a lot of friends who keep putting travel off. “I will get there someday” or “We will go when the kids are a little older” or “After we retire, we will have the time and money to travel, right now we just don’t”. Why not make travel a priority now? To those putting travel off I offer 10 reasons to start traveling now, and enjoy your travel while you are young, and while your children are young.
1. Travel increases confidence. It empowers you to take on new challenges. There is nothing quite like trying to fuddle your way through another country with a different language, and a complex public transit system. But when you arrive at your destination, you can’t help but feel achievement. Learning confidence young can only benefit you for the rest of your life.
2. Travel changes the way you relate to others. It opens you eyes to different cultures, beliefs, and ways of life. This means that you will be able to relate to people in a different way because your world is no longer one dimensional. This can benefit you in business, parenting, and socializing your whole life through.
3. There are no guarantees of tomorrow. Stop putting off life experiences. If there is one thing I have learned in life, it is to live each day to its fullest. This does not mean eat, drink, and be merry, but rather stop putting off ‘til tomorrow what can be done today. If you can make it happen now, do it, as there is no guarantee you will have the health, means, or opportunity later.
4. Travel changes the way you relate to the world. One of the most amazing sights I have ever seen are the Cuevas del Drach in Palma de Majorca. When you travel and see art, history, wildlife, culture, and the many beautiful and amazing things this world has to offer, you appreciate it so much more. You realize what an amazing place the world is, and are more inclined to do your part to keep our planet beautiful.
5. Travel increases gratitude and empathy. It is easy to take what you have for granted. My husband and I traveled to South Africa in 2012, and saw first hand the shanty towns, poverty, and conditions there. It made me so grateful for my little house and not new car. When you travel you form a personal connection with the people and places you see, which can compel you to help others and give back. When you hear a news story of a far off place, it does not feel as distant or disconnected.
6. Travel is educational. History takes on real meaning when you have seen and visited the places you study. Language really gets put into practice when the person you are trying to converse with doesn’t know your native tongue. You become much savvier when you are across the world without access to friends, family, or money, and you have to make what you have work. Travel offers endless opportunities for education, beneficial to adults and children alike.
7. Travel gives opportunities for new perspective. Travel offers experiences, the opportunity to try new things, and to figure out what you want in life. Why wouldn’t you want this early in life? Each new place you visit, and each new experience gives you another lens through which to view the world, widening perspective.
8. There is less keeping you home. As you age your physical attachments to home grow. You have things like children who can’t miss school, mortgages, car payments, grandchildren, and the like that can keep you from going. If you do not take an opportunity when you are young, and your children are young, you may never do so. And that is like owning a book, but never bothering to flip it open and read the pages.
9. You will be physically more able. Travel will be more fun and comfortable if you go when you are young. We took a two week tour of the Western Mediterranean, and happened to join a group of individuals in the senior set. We probably should have realized that most of our travel companions would be older. It was a blast, but one thing I noticed is that while I was exploring our various destinations, many of them were struggling up steep stairs on bad knees. Or waiting in lines for bathrooms. Or cleaning their glasses. So while I know they all enjoyed their travels, I truly believe I had a richer experience because I did not have age-related obstacles.
10. You won’t have regrets. One of the best reasons to travel young is you will never regret it, but you may find yourself older and unable to travel, and regretting not going sooner. Sure, schlepping through an airport with a crying toddler is not fun, but you are building memories and character.
Check out our post for finding Low Cost Accommodations to make travel easier and less expensive.