“You should settle down, meet someone and plant some roots,” they say. “Focus on your career, that’s your future”, another one says. As we transition into adulthood, people constantly share their opinions on how we should be focussing our energy. I bet very few of us have ever been told to “see the world and have a blast” whilst we’re young? Okay, okay so some parents might encourage a limited amount of global gallivanting, but in the end, career, financial stability, housing, education, and relationships are generally pushed as more important foci.
It is, however, completely acceptable to make travel a priority. Travel teaches you lessons that you simply do not learn in your home environment. By throwing you outside of your culture zone and challenging you on a daily basis, it teaches you about yourself, your capabilities and your goals, and helps you to align your life priorities for yourself. This level of clarity can’t be achieved when you are immersed in 9 to 5 life and surrounded by so many openly expressed opinions on your own existence.
When you travel, you meet people from all kinds of different backgrounds and cultures, make friendships that last a single day and others that last a lifetime. The networking opportunities are greater than ever before and this can benefit both your career and your personal life. You’re guaranteed to meet more people and experience a wider range of relationships in a year of travel than you will in several at home. The boundaries are limitless.
Not to mention making the most of your time. No one wants to hit retirement only to realize that they wasted the healthiest and most opportune years of their life sitting in an office. If you don’t do it now, when will you? Don’t be the person living a life of what ifs because someone told you that was for the best.
I moved abroad for a year and stayed away for five. My career grew much faster overseas than it ever would have back home, and my opportunities were so much greater as I wasn’t ever limited by location. I met myself on that journey along with a network of friends around the world. I missed out on nothing at all back home.
So don’t apologize for making travel a priority. Don’t hold back on your dreams just because someone told you that practical should be the priority. Explore, adventure, and come back when your heart is full and your mind is happy.
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