One of the young women brought up a question.
“Do you think I should go to graduate school or move to Africa?”
I don’t think she was talking to me. In fact, I’m pretty sure she wasn’t. But that didn’t stop me from offering my opinion.
I told her to travel. Hands down. No excuses. Just go.
She sighed, nodding. “Yeah, but…”
I had heard this excuse before, and I didn’t buy it. I knew the “yeah-but” intimately. I had uttered it many times before. The words seem innocuous enough, but are actually quite fatal.”
Travel. That’s always my answer. If you have the opportunity to live somewhere new, live it. I’m always an avid supporter of traveling. I have a friend who is in his last year of college. He always mentions how he wants to move out of his parents’ home, ideally by the end of the year, but he also wants to take a trip when he graduates. I told him to take the trip, move after. The experience of exploring and being somewhere new would be far greater than still going through the same routines, just not being at your parents’ house. I told him to take advantage of the fact that he won’t have rent to pay from now until that time so that he could save funds for the trip and funds to move out after. Also by that time, once school is done, home could be anywhere!
While you’re young, you should travel. You should take the time to see the world and taste the fullness of life. Spend an afternoon sitting in front of the Michelangelo. Walk the streets of Paris. Climb Kilimanjaro. Hike the Appalachian trail. See the Great Wall of China. Get your heart-broken by the “killing fields” of Cambodia. Swim through the Great Barrier Reef. These are the moments that define the rest of your life; they’re the experiences that stick with you forever.
A couple of years ago, I took a break from school so I could put some money towards traveling rather than tuition. I get upset with how life works, how unexpected obstacles can often leave you with unfulfilled daydreams. Sometimes with unfortunate events, you don’t always have “later.” For those who have seen the Disney Pixar movie Up, the opening scene broke my heart. Although most us will live well into old age, the thought of not being able to see parts of the world I want to see did not sit well with me so I took that trip to Iceland a few years ago. Then last year, I was fortunate enough to go to Japan. The top two countries on my list. I am now behind with school and often get frustrated with that fact, but I take comfort in the fact that despite everything, I was able to explore the places that I yearned to go.
- Why Young People Need to Travel (generationhopeblog.wordpress.com)
- Things I learned wandering around Europe for 7 months