Is now a good time to travel?
After spending 19 years in school, stressed out by tests, teachers and subjects you didn’t like, is it wise to jump on yet another hamster wheel right away? Here’s another thought: how about leaving it all behind to travel for a while? Here are some great excuses to travel that will get you packing!
You may be thinking… “Not now, I’m missing out on good jobs’ or ‘I don’t have the money.’ But why not take a break before jumping right back into a routine? The world you know will still be there, and you could burn out—fast. (The first two excuses!)
Take a breather
If you’re unsure of what your life’s calling is right now, giving yourself some time to breathe can clear your head. Traveling has many benefits, so take advantage now while you’re young before having responsibilities such as a full-time job, providing for a family or paying off a mortgage.
Here are just a few good excuses to take some time off to do YOU before climbing the career chain, and how it can actually help, not hurt your career.
You will view the world differently
“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page,” —Saint Augustine
Whether in the far reaches of the Himalayas or on the streets of New York City, traveling will open up your mind to new cultures, foods, lifestyles and languages.
Americans who never leave the country have a limited view of how the rest of the world lives and form ideas of other people that traveling may change. Those who have traveled have more empathy for those that are different from us, fostering a more peaceful world. Bilingual? Trilingual? Put that on your resume!
You will get to know yourself better
Your 20’s are for growth and self-discovery. Challenge yourself by leaving your comfortable day-to-day life. See how you respond to new situations, unexpected hassles, new experiences and new ideas. Nothing does that like throwing yourself in a new country. Traveling builds your confidence.
Perhaps your whole life you thought you wanted to be in analytics, but after traveling, you discover you’re passionate about photography. Or, maybe you want to work in international affairs or serve in a charity. Whatever it may be, there’s always something new to discover about you in another part of the world.
You can too travel on a budget
Most of the best travel discounts are given to those under 27. International student IDs or university IDs can buy you a hefty discount for airfare, train fare, tours, museums, park entry fees and much more. When you’re young, it’s also easier to backpack, couch surf and stay at hostels. When you’re older, you may not be up for that. Many hostels and areas also offer work/trade arrangements so you can eat and sleep for free. Visit www.workaway.info to learn more.
You’ll learn how to be independent
When you’re out of your comfort zone and out of the country, you can’t exactly crash at mom and dads’ when you’re out of money. Traveling forces you to be responsible with your finances and teaches you how to fend for yourself. Expect the unexpected to happen, because it will. But that’s what an adventure is. It can also teach you about foreign currency, something that may benefit you down the line in your career like it did for Alexander Hamilton.
“When overseas you learn more about your own country than you do the place you’re visiting.” – Clint Borgen
You’ll add to your resume
Employers actually prefer candidates who have had worldly experience. ‘Volunteered at South Africa orphanage’ will likely get a second look over a high school job. Traveling shows you’re ambitious, resourceful, responsible and have a bigger view of the world. Plus: if a company is looking to send someone abroad for work, who do you think they’ll choose to be a reliable person who’s comfortable in another culture? (Hint, hint).
You’ll meet new people
This one may seem obvious, but the perk of meeting new people in other cultures is that you’re encountering people you normally wouldn’t. They may also be traveling from all over the world, from different cultures, with viewpoints you have never heard, and interesting careers.
It’s easy to pigeon hole ourselves into friend groups that are just like us – so becoming close with those who are different widens our horizons, and helps us accept diversity. And who knows—maybe you’ll meet the love of your life.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” – Mark Twain