Traveling internationally is such an eye-opening, growing experience that I believe everyone should do it at least once in their lifetime, and in their 20s if possible. If you’re considering traveling in your 20s but still haven’t booked your flight, here are nine reasons that will hopefully give you that final push:
1. You have time
You’re young. You want to go. Go now. Maybe you’re still in college. Maybe you have a job. But there will be breaks or time off eventually – use those breaks and plan your travel accordingly.
2. If there’s a will, there’s a way
The top two excuses for not traveling are 1) time and 2) money. People always say you have either have the time to travel but no money to do so, or have the money to travel but no time. Trust me when I say that if there’s a will, there’s a way. If you want it bad enough, you will make it happen. Yes, you may have to make sacrifices, or set up a tighter budget, but if you truly prioritize travel, you will make it happen. Period.
3. You have a number of options if you’re still in college
Studying abroad is one of the most unique ways to travel. You get to live in a foreign country, take classes, have a routine, travel on the weekends, and have a home base to come back to. You’ll meet new people, make new friends, and have a much different experience than if you went there on vacation with family or a group of friends.
If you don’t study abroad, take advantage of all the time you have off: spring break, summer break, and winter break are all great times to travel abroad. And those three-day weekends? Well that’s enough time to explore your own city, do a quick road trip, or spend a weekend somewhere new.
4. You have even more options after college
After college graduation is the only time you’re not tied down. This is the perfect time to travel and/or work abroad prior to settling down to an apartment, bills, job, etc.
5. Because you can change the world
Well you can change the world at any age, but what better time than now? Look into Peace Corps or some of the many other ways to give back abroad. Who knows, maybe it’ll change you for the better, and I haven’t met anyone who has regretted something that changed them for the better.
6. Because your job will still be there when you get back
If your job gives you vacation days, use them! That’s what they’re there for.
7. Traveling will give you life experience that will make you wiser beyond your years
By exposing yourself to new cultures, you learn a lot about the world and how the world works. You become more open-minded and tolerant of other people. These are all qualities that we hopefully all possess as we get older with time, but by traveling to foreign places, you’re likely to realize these qualities sooner.
8. You’ll learn a lot about yourself
…And in your 20s, which are arguably our most identity-making years, it’s a good thing to know who you are and who you want to become.
9. Because you want to
That travel bug will keep bugging you until you take action and just go.