It’s that age-old question, no pun intended.
At least, it is amongst my group of friends. We’re constantly asking ourselves – Should we travel now, while we’re still young? Or should we settle down, buy a house, pop out a couple of kids, and save the travelling for our 50’s?
Of course, if you’re lucky enough to have a decent chunk of time and money behind you, there’s nothing stopping you from doing both. In fact, we’d actively encourage that! What the heck are you waiting for, you lucky ducks?! But unfortunately, the reality is that not everyone can afford to live both dreams at once.
Here at Where in the World Adventures, we’re advocates for ‘Travel now, Adult later’.
Here’s just a few reasons why…
1) Our universe is vast, endless, and too beautiful for words, and yet we’re just one tiny speck in the blip of time as we know it. Now, doesn’t that make you feel just a little bit insignificant? Your answer should unequivocally be, yes.
By travelling to lands other than your own, tasting new foods, hearing new languages, watching the sunset and sunrise over unfamiliar oceans, and immersing yourself in cultures that are older than you can possibly imagine, you start to become shamefully aware that the world is much, much bigger than just you and whatever problems you may have left behind.
Travel humbles you, grounds you, broadens your mind, and changes you to the very core of your being – something everyone should experience when they’re young!
For me, the real eye-opener was visiting a local village on the Coral Coast of Fiji when I was 18 years old, just a few minutes down the road from our 5-star luxury resort. People here were living in relative poverty and relied heavily on donations from tourists to get by, whilst meanwhile, we were laying on a beach and consuming more food than should have been humanly possible like the happy little (oblivious) piggies that we were. It was an experience that has stuck with me for the rest of my life, and it completely changed the way I view the world.
2) What if you know that you eventually want to travel, but you’re afraid that your bucket list item won’t still exist in another 30 years? Well, with the state of the world we currently live in, with it’s unsteady political climate and the looming threat of both nuclear fallout and global warming (thanks a bunch, Donny!), it’s all too possible that those fears may soon become reality.
Take the Great Barrier Reef on the coast of Queensland, Australia, for example.
Have you always envisioned yourself snorkelling amongst the vibrant corals?
You better hurry then, buddy!
In recent years, up to 93% of the Great Barrier Reef has experienced coral bleaching brought on by rising sea temperatures, and up to 22% of said coral has even died because of it. How depressing is that?
Or how about the historic City of Pompeii (which we will actually be visiting in August 2018, but that’s a story for another time)?
Due to increased tourism, erosion, pollution, and a lack of proper restoration, Pompeii has started to vanish before our very eyes. Buildings and walls have collapsed, mould and decay have run rife, and what is still left open to the public has started to deteriorate beyond repair.
The moral of the story is – the housing market will always be there, but will your favourite landmarks?
Do you really want to risk waiting for the inevitable to happen?
3) Okay, okay, I can practically hear your inner monologue screaming at me, “But it’s not that easy!”.
There’s no need to shout. We all know that a couple of girls with a little, unknown blog aren’t going to convince you to alter your life plans and spend thousands of dollars on travel.
How about some science to change your mind instead?
Travelling has been scientifically proven to have both psychological and physiological benefits, including increasing cognitive flexibility and creativity, and significantly reducing signs and symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress – which has a multitude of health benefits in and of itself!
I don’t know about you, but I personally don’t want to wait until I’m in my 50 for all of that.
Studies have even shown that women who travel every six years have a significantly higher risk of heart attack compared to women who travel every two years, and that men who do not travel annually have a 20% higher risk of death and 30% greater chance of contracting heart disease.
That basically just means that by refusing to take time off to travel, you essentially have a death wish, right?
Of course, we’re not naive. We know that there’s always going to be obstacles, or something holding you back from making those dreamy travel plans. Whether it’s work, studies, debts, mortgages, or family, it’s rare that you will ever find the -perfect- time to travel.
So, make your own time. Stop making making excuses. Work as hard as you possibly can towards that goal. And just bloody do it already, before it’s too late!
Travel now, adult later. You won’t regret it!