The last several months as I start to plan my next trip I’ve been bombarded with questions ranging anywhere from how do I manage to travel like I do, how can I afford to travel as I do, how am I not afraid to travel in today’s world, or my personal favorite, do I not just enjoy staying at home?
Granted, there is some truth to the not staying home question. I’m guilty of holing up in my house and binge watching Netflix with my son some weekends. Nothing is better than your old familiar pillow right? But, as a general rule I don’t like to be cooped up indoors. There are way too many in this world to discover to just sit at the house. Luckily, my son has the same curiosity with the world as I do so he is always ready to go anywhere we can think of.
Sometimes the negativity of the questions, depending on who they come from, really kind of sting. I understand that not everyone cares about getting out and seeing things. There are plenty of people who are content staying exactly where they are. But just because one person is content staying put doesn’t mean everyone is. Just because we are young doesn’t necessarily mean that we should wait until were older to go, see, and do, and just because everyone is under the impression that travel is expensive doesn’t mean it has to be.
We make our decisions about what we want to do with the extra money I bring in. We prioritize. Do we want to go out to eat or the movies, or do we want to take that money and put it towards running down to the beach for the weekend of scuba diving? Most people think I’m crazy for it. I believe it just reinforces the work hard play harder motto we live by. So, because of all these questions I decided it was time to write my top nine reasons you should travel now.
1. Times have changed.
Our grandparents and parents were taught to work hard and save, save, save. Then, when they were older and retired they could use what time they had left to travel and have experiences. I’m not saying this was a bad idea, nor am I saying don’t be financially responsible, just that I don’t agree with waiting until I’m in my
mid to late sixties to go try to travel. There are places I want to see and things I would like to do that I’m not convinced I would be able to do physically at that point in my life. Hiking Machu Pichu for example. While I’m sure there are less strenuous ways to go about seeing it I want to actually hike it and get the whole experience. So, that being said, If I get the opportunity to go somewhere or do something I’m going to do it.
2. You’re not getting any younger.
Speaking of hiking major trails; you’re not getting any younger. Your body may or may not keep up with you at a later time. It’s true, as you get older if you eat right, stay active, get plenty of sleep etc. you will be able to keep up better. But there are some things that you just cant help such as genetics. Time is not always on your side. Make the most of it when you can.
3. You’re not promised tomorrow.
My son is the perfect example of this. He was born with a rare 1 in 10,000 medical condition that has the potential to kill him. While currently we have it under control that doesn’t mean at any given point something unforeseen ( because of the rarity) couldn’t spark a crisis. He almost died on me when he was a baby, but I
have never taught him to look at that as a handicap. We are extra careful when we do go out exploring, but I have never wanted him to think that because of it he should be the boy in the bubble. ( However, I’m sure his doctor would be a lot less stressed out over us if he was.) You are not promised tomorrow; so why wouldn’t you want to live for today?
4. There will always be danger in the world.
People ask me all the time if it scares me to travel alone in today’s world. My response is always the same, there is danger everywhere, not just when you’re out traveling. I run the same risk of something happening to me right here in the states, or for that matter right in my home town, as I do while traveling.
Robbery, rape, murder, kidnapping, human trafficking; all these things exist right here in the states just as it does in other countries. So am I scared? I would be naïve if there wasn’t a healthy respect for the dangers of the world, but scared? No. I am aware and confident in my ability to take care of myself. At the same time I am also aware I’m not bullet proof there for I do pay close attention to the risks associated with where I am going and what I am doing.
5. Travel helps you discover the real you.
Not the you in front of your co-workers or local friends, but the real you. There is something about traveling elsewhere that frees you to open up and not care about going with the crowd. Instead you discover what you really enjoy as well as what you don’t. You will learn more about yourself while traveling than any other time in your life. Why would you want to put off learning about yourself any longer than you have to?
6. The world is ever-changing.
Polar shifts, climate change, and animal extinction are just some of the things that are happening every day in the world. I just read another list the other day of places you want to see before they disappear. It may be a while before they do but regardless, as with life, there are no guarantees so instead of taking the chance that those things will be there when you have “the time” to travel. Go and see it now!
7. It forces you to step out of your comfort zone.
Nobody likes to step out of their comfort zone, but without doing so you rob yourself of personal growth. You must have experiences that encourage you to grow as a person in order to fully become who your meant to be. A year ago I wasn’t the same person as I am today. This time next year I wont be the same person I am today. If I had never had the experiences I did I would never be able to see the world as I do now.
Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. – Neale Donald Walsch
8. To find your spirit.
Your spirit of adventure that is. I don’t know about you but I don’t want to look back on my life and say “I wish I would’ve done that. ” I want to look back and say” Wow, I can’t believe I did that.” Half the reason you travel is to find new things and have new adventures. Why short yourself of an experience by staying on the beaten
path? Life’s journey is not meant to arrive in a well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out yelling holy sh%t what a ride! And I intend to do just that.
9. Travel shows you what your really capable of.
You can do anything you set your mind to and travel will help show you that. From as small as eating alone in a restaurant, or ,on an even larger scale, driving across a country on the opposite side of the road than your used to. Travel will quickly prove to you that anything you set out to do you can. ( even when you never thought you could) It builds confidence in yourself to levels you never knew existed. That confidence will spill over into your every day life helping you to achieve your goals. So drive across that country, climb that mountain, take that leap of faith and don’t look back.
Have more to add? Would love to read your comments! Tell me why you think people should travel sooner than later.