I spent the past two years wanting to see the world, but talking about it wasn't enough.
Finally, I stopped talking and thinking about it and started booking flights.
It took me awhile to realize that time is fleeting.
I have heard countless people say
"I will travel once I have money"
"I will travel once I retire."
"I will travel...someday."
Someday you say...but when is that?
Now, don't get me wrong. Not everyone wants to travel. Not everyone can leave their responsibilities, pack a backpack, and fly to the other side of the world. In fact, I don't recommend that you do that at all...
but, that's just it. You may feel as though you have a crippling amount of responsibilities on your shoulders. Whether it's work, college, or just paying the bills - everyday tasks can paralyze us from thinking that we have the time or ability to do anything outside of our routine.
In reality though, when you are in your twenties, your responsibilities are laughable. You probably don't have a mortgage, you probably don't have a family to take care of, you probably don't have a company to run or a career to manage. Yes, its possible you have one or two of these responsibilities, but having all of these at once...in your twenties? Probably not.
I know what you're thinking...but college and work are ENOUGH responsibility to handle. Yes, this is true. Again, I am not recommending to drop out of school or avoid getting an internship, what I am recommending, is to realize that your list of responsibilities will most likely grow as you get older and dive further into your career and family life. Starting a career or a family can be an extremely exciting time, but what you may not think about is that, once you focus your attention solely on this path, you will surely go down that path - as with anything in life, focus breeds attainment.
Once you go down that path - once you transition into that phase of your life - you may not be able to turn back, and you may be on that path of responsibility for the rest of your life.
The rest of your life? I know.. Crazy. But, it's true.
Think of someone older than you whom you admire in your life, whether that be a family member, a mentor, or a professor - this person may have a flourishing career, or incredible family life, or an admirable marriage- but they didn't wake up and become a professor or a parent. No, they spent the last decade or decades of their lives working toward the person who you look up to now. It is easy to look at these people and admire their lifestyles, but it is also easy to assume that while you are in your twenties, you should be focusing on getting to the same place where they are - and this is a risky misconception.
And to that I say, slowwwwww dowwwwwwwn!
If you are in your twenties, you are still figuring your life out. You are exploring your career options, your relationship options, and most importantly, yourself. During this time, why limit yourself to the town, city, or even country you grew up in? The world is large and diverse. The world is full of opportunities. By assuming that you need to tie yourself down to a career, relationship, or lifestyle right now, you close doors of opportunities that you have not yet explored.
Traveling is a life-changing experience that allows you to ask deeper questions and look further into life. Traveling enables the mind to see past limitations.
Yes, you can wait until you retire to go travel. But do you know exactly when that will be? Can you plan a trip today for 30 years in the future? Do you know what the economy will be like? Do you know what YOU will be like? No. None of us can see that far into the future. We can guess, we can imagine, but we cannot predict. What we can do though, is decide. We can decide to take action today, but only in the moment do we have this power. Only in the moment do we know the state of our own health, wealth, and wisdom. Only in the moment are we able to turn a vision or dream into action.
So, what's stopping you?
Traveling does not have to be impulsive. By no means should you leave your responsibilities and go travel the world without any resources. (well, unless you're really an adrenaline junkie, then go for it.)
Traveling doesn't have to be unrealistic. It may take planning, researching, and preparing - but, it is totally possible. But with preparation, motivation, and a little risk, your travelling dreams don't have to be dreams.
The most important thing to remember is that despite the responsibilities you may have or you may think you have, there is no better time to travel than in your twenties; there is no better time than now.
So take the risk, make the leap, book the flights.