It’s often said there is no greater gift in life than the ability to travel. Traveling not only gives us new insights on foreign cultures and traditions, but forces us to utilize our highest senses to see the big picture. There is truly no better time to travel than in your 20’s, while your mind is still (somewhat) free of adult responsibilities such as mortgages and 401K’s. Not to sound cliche, but leaving behind the stresses of everyday life and taking on new adventures can benefit you in ways unparalleled.
1. To be inspired
There is nothing more exciting and life-changing than being immersed in a foreign culture or overlooking the picturesque view of a new city. There is something amazing about staring into a masterpiece such as the Mona Lisa or Aphrodite. It is equally as imperative to take in the ancient architecture, the cobble-stone streets, and the smell of french bread coming from the pâtisserie down the street. It will ignite your senses and open your mind to new opportunities and experiences.
2. You’re more willing to take risks
Being young and having fewer responsibilities means you’re able to take more chances and step outside your comfort zone. Only in your twenties can you bike aimlessly around Paris for an entire afternoon or guiltlessly eat crepes for every other meal. Life is about moving forward and taking on new experiences that might scare the sh*t out of you. Making mistakes, getting lost, and jumbling up your french pronouns teaches you to live carefree and with an open mind.
3. To be humbled
Traveling changes your perspective. Being an outsider, the “new guy”, the foreigner, forces you to adapt in ways that cannot be done otherwise. It is a valuable lesson to live as an outsider and it gives you an unforeseen sense of empathy. Being the tourist who can’t figure out the Metro system or how to properly pronounce “croquette”, will humble you in both your time abroad and at home. Teaching yourself to take the uneasy feeling of discomfort and make it comfortable is a lesson that will stick with you forever.
4. The endless stories
Doesn’t everybody want to be that grandma that harasses her grandchildren with stories of “when I was young”? Traveling means being able to tell stories about singing along with the street band who played your favorite Beatles song or when you drank a flaming hot chupito in Barcelona. Once in a lifetime experiences and memories are what make us incredibly unique.
5. To appreciate moments
The change in scenery does more than seize our desire for adventure, it changes our perspective and makes us appreciate our life in a new way. Adjusting to new customs, traditions and the ever-present language barrier, makes us appreciate our simple life at home and the little things in our lives that we usually take for granted.