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Why You Need To Travel The World While You’re Young

Recently, I was looking back and thinking about change, wondering why I suddenly have a broader outlook on life. What might have happened to me, which helped me to understand a broader range of people and harvest the desire to enjoy the fruits of life as much as I possibly can? Well, I traveled.

Traveling is so important for the soul. It opens your eyes to new environments, your mind to new cultures and your heart to new experiences. And what's more? It's best to do it while you are young, while you are still learning, and while the things you learn have a chance to impact your flourishing life. While we are in our twenties, everything we learn and immerse ourselves in has a direct effect on our futures.

We are constantly blooming as individuals. For Generation-Y, most of our lives are still ahead of us, and the best things are yet to come. But right now, it's time to learn as much as we can about life, to help make our futures the best they can be. What better way to do that than by traveling?

When you travel, you are forced to meet people who have mentalities, lives, and lifestyles that are different from those you are used to. This opens up your soul, broadens your horizons and viewpoints. Your childhood and teen years may have created a bubble for you, in which your mindset has been molded to only see the world in a specific, limited way.  It's important for every individual to see outside of that bubble, to see the world for what it truly is, or what it truly can be.

The way you were brought up to see the world may be applicable to the environment you grew up in, in terms of geography, people and culture. But that view is not the only view of the world, and it is not necessarily the best one. It's healthy to explore the world, learning that there is more to life than what you grew up surrounded by. There is an endless amount of knowledge to be enlightened on, valuable lessons to be learned and people to meet. You might realize that you have been extremely lucky for having the family and home that you do, and that people in other areas of the world are much less fortunate.

In this case, you will gain a newfound appreciation for what possessions you do have and the people you are surrounded by. You may even realize that you are meant to completely alter your lifestyle and start over somewhere new. You might realize there are better ways to approach life. In this case, you will appreciate the chance you were given to learn and grow. Either way, you will become a happier person, with a more enriching life. It's a win-win situation.

My own travels began with my move to Paris, where I've been living for the past two years. I originally moved to Paris to study and ended up staying to work. Was I ready for it? Not really. But are you ever 100 percent ready for anything? No. Even though there were good and bad days, I'm happy everything happened the way it did because otherwise, I wouldn't have learned everything that I have, or accomplished all that I have over the past two years. It's hard to believe now, but when I first came to Paris, I hated it.

The dirt and pollution, the arrogant people, and the hobos everywhere made me quite uncomfortable. The longer I stayed, however, the more I started focusing on the good and not noticing the bad. Now I'm in love with the city. The energy, the contagious ambition of the people there, their desire to live life to the fullest – all those things influence you. Those are the reasons I fell in love with Paris. But even beyond this city, I have traveled to many places.

Every place has a unique energy and that energy, mixed with the culture, influences you in specific ways. It's good to explore different cities and see what each of them can teach you about life and about yourself. It's better to not settle and end up staying in one place for too long – not while we are young! I’ve noticed the more time you spend in cities that motivate you to become the best version of yourself, the more you learn and the more empowered you become.

Even though the time has come for me to leave Paris (for now), I can say it feels like home. Although I have a home where I spent most of my life and grew up, I found a home away from home. Feeling comfortable and welcome in another part of the world is an incredible feeling.

Traveling doesn't have to be expensive, unless you make it so. I would rather travel humbly than not at all. If you can, travel. If you can't, try to. Did I mention it would be the time of your life?

Maybe I forgot to say that because it's the most obvious part…

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Jessica Fritz

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