An Open Letter To Grant Cardone And *Every* Person Who Thinks Millennials Shouldn’t Travel

Sticker Mule - unsplash
Sticker Mule – unsplash

Well, well, hello Mr. Cardone (assuming this ever reaches you).  I recently stumbled upon your article that essentially urges Millennials to stop traveling and begin building their career.  While I respect your opinion, I absolutely believe this is terrible advice (sorry, that was harsh). 

Your article begins by stating the many benefits of traveling like “getting recharged, inspired, and connecting with others”.  Sure, this is all true.  But what you forgot to mention, was that travel teaches you to think on your feet.  It teaches you the perfect balance of being cautious while taking risks at the same time.  It teaches you, firsthand, about the different cultures around the world.  It teaches you how to budget.  It teaches you to get out of your comfort zone.  Although you believe “getting recharged” is a benefit of travel, I think it’s just the opposite.  I often end a trip feeling drained and exhausted, but I have learned that life doesn’t usually wait until I’m feeling 100% to continue (the world doesn’t revolve around me, shocker I know).

You said, “when you don’t know what you should be doing, it’s easy to put life on hold and backpack abroad”. 

Who said my life is on hold?  Just because I am not following the typical route of graduating college, accepting a 9-5 job, and working for the rest of my life, does not mean my life is on hold.  If anything, I believe travel is catapulting my life to where I want to go.  You’re right though, I don’t know what I want to be doing.  Quite honestly, I haven’t got a clue where I see my career going in ten years.  But I know that I will be successful.  I know that because while traveling abroad, I have met some of the hardest workers I know that barely make enough to provide for their families.  I have met some brilliant people who have more than they could ever need in life, but are utterly miserable.  The people I’ve met and the places I’ve been only inspire me to be successful in the future.  When I do finally decide to pursue my career, I will remember the woman who worked 15 hour days 7 days a week just to make enough to live.  I will remember the middle aged man who has spent his entire life working and has nothing to show for it.  I’ll remember these stories and these people, and I’ll work that much harder, knowing that there are people out there who would kill to be in my position (whatever position that may be). 

A popular line in your article is when you say “I want to inspire millennials to work hard now so they can travel the world in style later”. 

My response to this, is when I get there (and I will), I want to be able to appreciate it.  I want to appreciate the first class seats, extravagant meals, and five star hotels.  How am I going to appreciate these things if I’ve never experienced commercial flying, ramen noodles, and cheap hostels?  My mom often flies in business class when traveling abroad.  Once I asked her why she spends the extra money on business class, and her answer was simple: because I’ve earned it.  At age 53, I’ve earned it.  I want to earn it.  I want to fly with my legs cramped, without complimentary water, and a seat that doesn’t recline for so many years, that by the time I make it to business class, I know I’ve earned it. 

A line that really bothered me in your article is when you stated, “the reason many millennials want to travel is because they have no purpose at home”. 

Excuse me?  I’m sorry, but you have no idea my purpose.  Purpose can come from many different things.  Purpose can come from a career, but it can also come from providing support to family members, from being there for your friends, from volunteering at a local homeless shelter.  People find purpose in many different things, and I can almost guarantee you that no one takes off to travel because they have absolutely no purpose at home.  Everyone has a purpose.  It may not be what you consider a worthy purpose, but everyone has a purpose.

Lastly, you say, “comfort is the enemy of abundance”. 

Travel is anything but comfortable.  I am constantly thrown out of my comfort zone.  I am constantly learning to be comfortable in my own skin in a completely unfamiliar place.  When, and if, I ever get comfortable, I’ll know it’s time for a change.  But for now, I am happy being uncomfortable.  I am happy that travel makes me uncomfortable and I find comfort in that.

So, Mr. Cardone, I appreciate your opinion, I really do.  I see where you’re coming from, but I urge you to see where I’m coming from.  The benefits of traveling in your early 20s are not only irreplaceable, but an unparalleled learning experience that simply cannot be taught elsewhere. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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