Whether you’ve just graduated and want a little life experience before entering into the workforce, or still aren’t quite sure what life has in store for you yet, traveling in your twenties should be at the top of your priority list for so many reasons. (Hint: it will change EVERYTHING!)
8 Reasons You Should Travel in Your 20’s
You’re Not Tied Down
If you haven’t yet started a family or settled into a long-term career, take advantage of the independence you have! There’s a small window of time when you’re young enough venture off with minimal responsibilities or commitments, and old enough to appreciate everything the world has to offer – that time is now.
Odds are, you don’t have a mortgage to worry about or hefty child expenses to budget for; although you may not be making lots of money, you likely don’t need to spend much either. Save 10-15% of your paychecks and other income (side jobs, tax returns, etc.) and put it into a savings account dedicated to traveling. You can afford to. And while we’re on the topic…
Money Isn’t Everything
By traveling while you’re young, you will undoubtedly realize that money and material objects are so much less important than you think they are. Don’t worry about getting the nicest car, newest wardrobe, or biggest apartment – getting a taste of the world by backpacking Asia or exploring the different countries of Europe is so much more fulfilling and absolutely priceless.
Experience Cultures Unlike Your Own
You will see amazing places that leave you speechless, and others that humble you far more than you could ever imagine. You will learn different social rules, ways to communicate, and (perhaps most importantly) gain insight to the real, everyday lives of people who have a completely different perception of the world than you do. Let me emphasize that this is invaluable.
Befriend locals, other travelers, and everyone you meet along your journeys. Not only are you making new friends, but you’re also making connections that may serve you in the future. Add the people you meet on Facebook or LinkedIn, or at the very least get their contact information. You never know, they may offer to host you on your next visit or have business connections in your line of work!
You Can Do It Cheaper
When you’re 20-something, you don’t mind staying in hostels or grocery shopping at the local markets rather than dining out at every meal. Later in life you may become accustomed to the “finer” things in life or a slightly more expensive style of living, but for now you’re just happy to be experiencing something new. Backpack, camp, ride the rails of international train systems – you’ll love every minute of it, and you’ll see twice as many places at a fraction of the price.
You Won’t Have The Time To Go Everywhere Later
So many men and women wait until they’re retired to travel, but the truth is you can’t see all the places you’ve dreamed of in a limited period of time. You can never plan for unexpected circumstances that may arise in the future, so don’t chance it. Take advantage of time you have now, or make time, to do whatever traveling you can – even if it means just exploring the areas around you on weekends!
Learn About Yourself
By going outside of your comfort zone and everything you know, you’re not only learning about the places and people around you but also about yourself. You may face fears you never knew you had (and overcome them!), and understand what intimidates you, stresses you out, or puts you at ease.
You’ll find new interests, or rediscover old ones. You may recognize that you prefer rural small towns rich with authenticity, or large, anonymous cities you can get lost in. You’ll realize what you value, and what you don’t. Learn these lessons young, friends.