The 16 Reasons You Need To Drop Everything And Travel Right Now

The 16 Reasons You Need To Drop Everything And Travel Right Now
Life
Like Us On Facebook
Like Us On Facebook

There’s a characteristic of our generation that can only be described as severe restlessness. I am not specifically referring to the number of friends you have who are prescribed Adderall; although that’s definitely another cultural trend I could discuss in length. What I’m talking about is a restlessness of the soul, the wandering spirit, a culture of nomads.

We’ve been bred on this notion that we are going to do it differently than our parents; we’ll be adventurous, experience life to the fullest. We’ve sat over lunch with our friends choosing our post-graduation plans, always teetering over the line of what we knew as the safe choice and what we knew as the adventurous, spirited one. We talked about living in Brazil in a house by the beach, spending days on the hammock and driving taxis at night.

We thought about moving to London, buying expensive rain gear and renting a studio on Piccadilly Circus. Of course every woman dreams of giving it all up and finding a cozy flat with a view of the Champs-Élysées, spending weekends sitting in corner cafes and eating macarons by Place de la Concorde. But reality always sets in and ruins the daydream.

Many of us have chosen the road more traveled, giving into the societal pressures of securing a job and a 401k. We’ve resigned ourselves to desks with a window seat, looking out on the cold streets of our increasingly disillusioned present. Sometimes, in between deadlines and Facebook stalkings, we find ourselves thinking about that corner bistro in Paris or the cozy hammock in Brazil. We let our minds wander to the wet streets of London and the architectural beauty of Prague. Then we begin to wonder, “What the hell am I still doing here?”

Whether you have this realization once a month, once a week or even once a day, it’s one too many. Your life is fleeting, and your youth will pass even quicker. You are too young to be settling for the nine-to-five, and there should be nothing holding you back from doing what your innermost urges tell you. So stop whining to all your friends and be the adult you claim to be; buy yourself the next ticket to anywhere.

You’re young

Life moves fast and there is no better time to pursue those inner urges than in your 20s. This is the freest you will ever be, unshackled by the chains of mortgages, insurance policies and general responsibility. You are responsible to no one but yourself and your own whims. Now is the time to stay up until 5 am as the waves of the Moroccan beach spray your tanned, toned body. Now is the time to eat whale testicle at a local dock in Seoul. Now is the time to fall in love with everything and anything.


You’re more willing to take risks

With less to lose, there’s more to gain. Life is about moving outside your comfort zones, about embracing the present moment, even if it scares the sh*t out of you. Right now is the time for you to meet Spanish strangers at a café and let them whisk you off to a party in the Latina quarter of Madrid. Only now will you rent a moped in Thailand for five dollars with absolutely no idea where to go. It’s these years that you’re supposed to make mistakes, get into trouble and learn to live life as openly as possible.


To be inspired

There’s a reason that some of the most influential and greatest artists of American literature spent their most creative years in Europe. There’s nothing more inspiring or life-changing than being engulfed in the beauty and culture of another world, another life. The colors, the smells, the people, the architecture, the squares of another city are enough to renew your soul and ignite your inhibitions. Besides, how else are you supposed to write your novels?


To humble yourself

It’s a valuable life lesson to live as the exile, the foreigner. In no other time or point in your life will you feel the cutting chill of being the outsider as you will living in a country that isn’t your own. You’re the new guy, the tourist no one takes seriously, and that will not only humble you, but give you a sense of empathy you never had before. It’s this grounding that will make you a better person, a more well-rounded person who will come home with a larger sense of what it means to be alive.


For the stories

A wise person once told me that life is a collection of experiences. Your life, and the legacy you leave, will be as full or as empty as you make it. Don’t you want to be one of those older people with countless stories of their youth spent traveling through the Arabian desert or hitchhiking from France to Spain? Don’t you want to tell your friends about the six months you spent living with a Spaniard, sipping sangria and learning to salsa dance?


For the friends who will play ambassadors

The people you meet abroad will play foreign ambassadors for the rest of your life. You will find yourself developing relationships in obscure corners of the world, conversing with people with different ideals, languages and cultures. You will find yourself with connections all over the world, coming back home only to know you now have friends all over the world. Next time you go to Sweden or Australia, you’ll not only have a place to stay, but a friend to show you the real parts of that country.


For the romance

If you’re in a sexual rut, there’s no better reason to pack up and head for somewhere new. Only in Europe can you play out your wildest fantasies of moonlit dinners at bistro cafés by candlelight. Only in South America can you go dancing with a man who whispers sweet nothings in your ear in a language you only understand through the longing of his words. Only somewhere else can you be whoever you want and let your inhibitions fall to the wayside. Shack up with an Italian for a few weeks and let yourself enjoy the idea that it doesn’t matter what, or who, you do while you’re “just visiting.”


For the food

Is there any better reason to travel than for the food? Seriously, how many days are you going to settle for Chipotle before you realize you could get four Spanish burritos that actually taste like “the original”? Don’t you want to try a real croissant? Who knows, maybe you’ll learn how to make paella or find some Italian cookies you’ll have imported to the US for the rest of your life. (Then you’ll be able to tell people you found the most delicious cookies in Sicily, and now you just have to get them shipped.)


To find yourself

There’s no better way to find yourself than to disappear from the daily grind and get lost somewhere along the Atlantic. Only once you remove yourself from the familiar can you find the truth. Only when you are abroad can you see your past life, your home, with a renewed sense of clarity. Going abroad gives you the time, space and moments of solitude you need for self evaluation and exploration.


Because once is never enough

Even if you went abroad in college, or spent two weeks in Europe after graduation, those memories will never be enough to satiate the longing in your soul. There is only so much you can take in, so many things you can do when you’re with your family on vacation or gaggle of friends. You need to see everything, do everything, again. It’s time to do it the right way, on your own. Because it could take a lifetime to be truly fulfilled by everything the world has to offer and those few times you went abroad should only make you thirsty for more.


For the perspective

A change of perspective is like taking a long deep breath after a long day. It’s important to change things up in life, to look at things from another angle, another way. Only going abroad will give you the distance you need to see your life from a renewed lens. Seeing another way of life is a great way to learn to appreciate your old one. Spending six months trying to communicate in another language will teach you to appreciate your own language and the capacity of those words. Because it’s not until you’ve begun missing home that you truly start appreciating it.


For your soul

Hemingway described Paris as a “moveable feast” and “wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you.” The notorious writer set the standard for embracing life abroad, letting it become part of you. Because even when you go home, part of you will forever be changed by the experiences and renewed sense of self that comes with leaving everything behind and starting anew.


To gain strength

Strength comes from overcoming fears, inhibitions and facing situations that aren’t always within your comfort zone. Only once you’ve left the familiar can you begin to challenge yourself. They say that the strongest people are the ones who faced adversity head on and came out the other end. Only once you’ve been in a situation where you had to dig deep down and find a strength you didn’t know you had can you call yourself a stronger person.


To be an explorer

Why can’t you be the one who sets the trends, the one with the unique style who always has those one-of-a-kind pieces? Why can’t you find that pair of lambskin boots in the mountains of Switzerland from a local farmer’s wife or that spice that’s only grown in the farms of south east Asia. Life is about tasting, trying and finding new things, new experiences and new lessons.


To fall in love

Life is about falling in love with everything. It’s about finding a sense of comfort in a local café or that overwhelming sense of comfort that comes with connecting with a painting at the Prado. It’s about seeing and loving everything as if it’s the first and last time. Only when you’ve left and sought the comforts of another place can you experience the overwhelming joy of falling in love with everything around you for the first time.


To appreciate the moments

Only when you’ve sat at a café in Paris for two hours, watching the people and reading your favorite book that you learn to appreciate the small moments in life. It’s the rolling mountains and the busy outdoor markets of Barcelona that should take your breath away. It’s the miles of rice patties beneath the soft glow of the setting sun that should assuage the aching in your restless soul and introduce you to the simple pleasures that life can bring. Only when you’ve learned to live in the moment, seeing and taking in every second of the now, can you truly say you’ve lived life to the fullest.

Photo via We Heart It

Share Tweet
React
Like Us On Facebook
Like Us On Facebook

Lauren Martin

Lauren “LMoney” Martin grew up with one goal: to be the first woman engineer. Upon finding out there already were women engineers, and unable to pass Calc 1, she chose to study the beautiful and honorable art of advertising. After advertising proved uninspiring, she attempted a career in acting which was over before she could get on stage. And when she failed at everything else she decided to become a writer.

More In Life

Life WildSpiceMag

How Self-Care Has Become An Act Of Rebellion For This Generation

At some point between work, chores, laundry and unreturned emails, it dawns on me that I no longer remember what it feels like to not be overwhelmed. The way the perpetual “next thing” nips at my heels and the steady rhythm of “to-dos” pound through my head, is part of the fabric of the day. […]

Motivation Joshua Eferighe

We All Have A Gift: How To Cultivate The Genius Inside You

When Mozart was 14, he transcribed a coral setting of Psalm 50 composed in the early 1600s. A feat worth mentioning not only for his youth, but because this piece in particular was previously never written down. It was forbidden to transcribe, and it was allowed to be performed only at particular services; meaning, after […]

Life Leonardo Faria

New You, New Life: 4 Steps To Reinventing The Person In The Mirror

You look at yourself in the mirror and don’t recognize the person in the reflection. You do not like the person you are today and shudder at the mere thought of your past self. Often feeling depressed, frustrated or angry, you feel like you’re wasting your life. It’s time for a reinvention! Grab three pieces […]

Motivation Derek Neumeier

The Key To Handling Negative Circumstances Lies Within Your Reaction

We’ve all had something negative happen in our lives. You’re feeling stressed, depressed, lonely or maybe even experiencing a revolving door of these and other debilitating emotions. You normally don’t have much of an affinity towards ice cream, but all of a sudden, you’re craving some Ben & Jerry’s. Maybe you’ll pick up a couple of […]

Also On Elite

Life

10 Realities And Struggles Only A Big-City Kid Can Understand

Growing up in a big city is surreal; you’re surrounded by millions of people, always busy, always hustling. The world is your oyster, and everything is within your reach. But, everything is also pricey as hell. Still, instead of moving away to somewhere more quiet and sane, you’d rather shell out every last penny you […]

Envision

Student Designs Jewelry That Turns Your Body Into A Phone Charger (Photos)

The inconvenience of the iPhone’s short battery life is a complaint shared by many of its users. For something seemingly so advanced, you’d think scientists would be able to develop a longer-lasting battery. An Israeli student named Naomi Kizhner developed the next best (albeit a little creepy) thing: jewelry that charges your devices by harnessing […]

World

Fracking Company Makes A Pink Drill To Support Breast Cancer In Worst Campaign Ever

In a blatant attempt to win the support of breast cancer advocates, oil service giant Baker Hughes is manufacturing 1,000 pink drill bits for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Baker Hughes claims that the bit will raise awareness for the breast cancer cause, even going so far as to donate $100,000 to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer foundation. […]

Humor

Guy Picks Up Girl On Tinder Using Nothing But Lyrics From ‘Hey Ma’ (Photo)

Back in May, Cam’ron teamed up with A-Trak and Juelz Santana to drop a track that temporarily transported the world back to the early 2000s when Dipset ran hip-hop and everything was right with the world. While I, personally, believe it’s sacrilegious to pick one song as the best of an era, most people would […]

Life

7 Social Issues That Are Unique To Millennials

There are so many things to be said about the Millennial generation. You could start off by calling us narcissistic; tell us we’re lazy, uninformed, uninspired, lackluster, lame. We are the generation “without a backbone,” “without any real sense of purpose”; “we are the youths who have grown up privileged”; “we can’t be expected to […]