While You're Young, TRAVEL!

Updated: May 6, 2020

Solo Backpacking in Italy in 2008.

By JEFF GOINS along with my own inserts

TRAVEL WHILE YOU'RE YOUNG. Most people I know who waited to travel the world because of random excuses (school, work, finances, relationships, marriage) never did. The habits you form early on will be with you for the rest of your life. So if you keep saying "Someday", chances are your plans will stay SOMEDAY.

As we get older, we often end up with more responsibilities and obligations. Youth is a time of empowerment. You get to do what you want. As you mature and gain new responsibilities, you have to be very intentional about making sure you don’t lose sight of what’s important for your well-being in your later years. While you’re young, TRAVEL. Take the time to see the world and taste the fullness of life. Sit in front of the Eiffel Tower and the Harbor Bridge. Walk the streets of Portugal and New York. See the temples in Thailand and Cambodia. Get immersed with the heavy culture of Italy and Spain. Get sentimental with the war remnants in Vietnam and Germany. Swim in the beaches of the Philippines and San Diego. Eat homemade meatballs in Sweden and drink crafted beer in Prague. These are the moments that define the rest of your life; they’re the experiences that stick with you forever. Traveling will change you like little else can. It will put you in places that will force you to care for issues that are bigger than you. You will begin to understand that the world is both very large and very small. You will have a newfound respect for pain and suffering, having seen a part of humanity struggle to get a meal each day. While you’re still young, GET CULTURED. Get to know the world and the variety of people that fill it. The world is a stunning place, full of outstanding works of art. See it! It will open your mind about human differences and accepting them. And most importantly, YOU GET TO KNOW YOURSELF, WHO YOU REALLY ARE and what you are and are not capable of. Do not squander this time. YOU WILL NEVER HAVE IT AGAIN. Money, school, career, relationship can be recovered. But youth and time can't. You have a crucial opportunity to invest in the next season of your life now. Whatever you sow, you will eventually reap. The habits you form in this season will stick with you for the rest of your life. So choose those habits wisely.

And if you’re not as young as you’d like, travel anyway! It may not be easy or practical, but it’s so worth it. Traveling allows you to feel more connected to your fellow human beings in a deep and lasting way, like little else can. In other words, it makes you humbled, more vulnerable and well-rounded.

I started in my early 20s by exploring my country, the Philippines first, then I eventually branched out to the rest of the world. I've travelled mostly solo to 20 countries, lived in 4 of them and I'll keep going once I've stabilized myself again.

So go ahead, book that flight, pack light and let go of that comfort zone! The adventure, experiences, lessons and memories will be something that can never ever be taken away from you that you'll remember for the rest of your life.

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