While I've traveled for fun, worked a travel job, or traveled outside of my full-time desk job, I make sure to put aside time to see more of this world, because seeing more of this world is something I love to do.
I took the advice from countless others of older generations that tell us to travel while we're young.
Not everyone feels this way.
Those still in the workforce at the same place for the last 30 years often tell us otherwise. "Get a job, climb the ladder, pay your dues, keep your head down, and then you can take your little vacation when you retire." I think they're afraid to admit that that is not the only way to live life because that's how they've been living it the past few decades. I don't blame them, it's how they were raised...it's just a different mindset.
Constantly hearing both arguments of why you should travel young versus why you need to forego travel to hit the workforce can be frustrating.
There's nothing wrong with having a job and wanting to excel at it, but delayed satisfaction is depressing.
This article includes advice from older Americans about the importance of traveling while you're young. One man's heartbreaking account of visiting the Canadian Rockies after his wife passed away is convincing enough! Seriously, that article is entirely worth reading.
The world has become much more accessible due to advances in transportation and technology; why not embrace it?
Stop telling yourself you need to justify why you should let yourself take that dream trip. Instead, ask why not?
(Working 9-5? Learn more about finding ways to travel outside of a full-time job).
This doesn't have to just be about travel, it can be in regards to any passion or hobby you want to pursue. People of all ages say they wish they traveled more or did the things they wanted to do, with many ending this statement like, "One day I'll do this, when I win the lottery and my kids are in college. *sigh* " (Good luck trying to win the lottery...)
Don't wait for "one day," because that day may never come.
This video shows millennials facing their quarter-life crisis by lying in a coffin and sharing what they wish they would've done by now. It's spooky to think about, but the more you live life for the present - instead of chugging along and going through the motions to live it later - the less regrets you'll have. The more exciting experiences you'll have to remember and share with your future grandchildren. The more moments when you're so happy and full of joy that you want to scream at the top of your lungs with excitement!
Waiting until you're 60+ to allow yourself to explore your passions is not the way to live life, because you should be living it now - whether that's in between your day job, or on breaks from school, working it in piece by piece daily, or - best of all - pursuing it full-time.
I know I'm a millennial, and we have the infamous reputation of being "lazy, self-absorbed, and careless." But there's nothing lazy about going after your dreams. In fact, I'd say it's lazier to not do the things you want to do.
Self-absorbed? Sure, we'll take a selfie on the Great Wall of China while you sit at home, grumbling about the-kids-these-days. Or, worse, automatically dismissing anyone that travels to have unlimited money (most of us don't).
Careless? Nah. We care too much about taking control of our lives and living them to the fullest. Traveling, following our passions...there is nothing careless about that.
We're making smart decisions by not blowing all our money on such experiences. Or, if we have blown all our money on something, we've learned from it firsthand and know how to improve ourselves next time.
We're not afraid to make mistakes, because making mistakes is how you learn and grow.
The more you travel, the more you realize that life doesn't need to be set up in the same box - the same formula - as what society expects or tells you to do.
There are billions of people living on this planet, and the way of life where you live is going to be vastly different than someone on a different continent. As members of the human race, we all have plenty of things in common: our basic needs, love, caring for others, eating food, being social, learning. How we go about it from country to country can be completely different - and that is okay.
How we approach life can be entirely different from how someone else approaches it. Again, that is okay.
Asking yourself what you truly want - how you envision your happiest self, not including material possessions - can help you find your road to happiness. Consider your passions, if you want to travel, where you want to live, and what relationships you want to thrive regarding your friends, family, and significant other.
What do you want?