This is a topic I’ve always wanted to write about but felt it wasn’t important enough. I changed my mind, and realized, of course it’s important. Everyday I’m surrounded by people who are waiting. Waiting for the day when they too are different and lead a travel life they always wanted. Many will say “I wish I could travel now but isn’t the time.”
And that makes me sad to hear. As someone who takes every advantage I can to travel, hearing people say such statements, makes me cringe. But in a way I kind of understand. I mean it’s not like travel is easy to pull off these days. It’s expensive, if you don’t know how to save, or don’t know how to look for deals. It’s time-consuming and unfortunately, taking time off work for travel is not that encouraged in our society.
I just look at the system and think, “well I know exactly why people don’t travel!” In many ways it makes perfect sense and I can hardly pass judgment. This is from an American perspective, but we are hardly encouraged to explore outside of our own country. I hear, “well I will do some travel in college or when I retire,” because people don’t really have time to do much beyond college.
To me that concept should be taken out back and shot because that isn’t how I want to live my life. Who would really? I’m not going to accept it as the default way to live like others certainly will. And yeah I get some push-back because people are always amazed on how much traveling I do. I don’t even think I do that much compared to so people I know. But I think it takes someone like me to actually break the mold and do more; simply the average American traveler won’t do it for themselves. But you could.
I mean there is just so much against everybody. First off, the time issue. Second, it’s kind of expensive and the average citizen won’t take time to research how to get past that (although that’s why blogs like mine exist and others exist). Third, the average American thinks they can do it later. They think they have an infinite amount of time on this planet and that eventually they can do it in retirement.
And I think this is the wrong way to look at it. From my light understanding and talking with elders who have waited, it doesn’t always end how they thought it would. For many, the end up becoming, well, old. There bodies aren’t like they were when they were 20/30/40 something, at their prime, and when they should have done all the crazy travel in the first place.
People forget that they will get old and that they won’t be able to do a lot of the things they wanted to do. And it’s a shame. If it was a possibility we should all consider taking time to explore the world while we are young. And beyond physical, for the mental health. You can refer to this post and several others on how travel has helped me mentally.
And it seems most people think they will live forever. I’m pretty sure now that we should do what we want while we can. I came to this conclusion because I’ve known people in my life who have died way to young. Some were waiting for the perfect time to go and see the world. In reality there just isn’t a perfect time to do that, you really have to want it no matter if you’re getting married, having kids or going through a break up. You just have to do it.
Most people think they will always want to do it. I think another truth is that as we get older priorities change and desires change. Maybe not for somebody like me who has and probably always will have travel in my life, but who knows even. Sometimes we all just lose interest in it.
But that brings me back to the point that everybody should travel while they are young. If everybody could I honestly thing the world would be a more rational, fair place. People would respect other cultures more. Because something happens when you’re up close and personal to cultures that you have never experienced in your life. You have to experience them and get to know them a bit. You may hate the experience but at least you understand more.
Which brings me to the point of this entire piece. Life is just too damn short to not too. If you have the privilege (and yes I realize that it is a privilege), you should absolutely take advantage of it. There is just too many variables at play in life where the privilege could end so better to go out and do it when there is an opportunity.
And like I said there is never the perfect time. People always have little money, a family, a boyfriend, a girlfriend, problems at work, etc; but those are excuses. When we want something we usually find ways to do them, and travel is worth the effort. You may not have as much passion as me but I know that everybody can find something in travel that will change their life forever. It’s why I run this blog, to expand on that idea.
Go travel. Travel if you have the time. Travel because you have the passion. Travel because the world is too interesting to pass up. You’ll make memories that will last for a lifetime and it will be something you’ll carry forever. Travel because life is too damn short.
images by: shawnvoyage