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Written by Vishal on July 28, 2014 Share on

9 reasons to travel when you are young

Young people in our country are not usually encouraged to travel – there’s always so much to do! There’s that exam to be cleared, or that admission to get through, or the cousin’s wedding to attend, or the good old reason – she’s just too young to travel. Read to find out why you should travel when you are young!

Stop with the excuses and start travelling!

However, it is my firm belief that young people should definitely travel and get exposure to different parts of the country and the world. Indeed, it should form part of their education. Here’s bringing you ten good reasons why youngsters should travel and why it is especially pertinent to them.

#1 Overcome your Fear

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The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.”
– Saint Augustine

The truth of the matter is, that most of the time we are afraid. Afraid to travel on our own, afraid to strike out on an unknown path, afraid to explore unfamiliar territories! It is natural to be afraid, but the trick lies in overcoming the fear. 50 years from now, while rocking your grandchild on your knee, you’ll have a really tough time explaining why fear kept you from having the time of your life!

“Travel far enough and you’ll meet yourself.”

– David Mitchell

Being young is the best feeling in the world. There are no responsibilities, no obligations and no worries. You are on the cusp of actually starting a “grown-up” life, with all the freedom of choice. Remember that in a few years you will have a serious career, or a family that depends on you, or a cause that is too precious to abandon. There will never again be so much “you” time and life will take over. Travel to wherever you want while this golden period lasts!

#2 Shape your World-Views

city-airplane-take-off-the-river-drive-windows “Like all great travelers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen.”
– Benjamin Disraeli

Travelling is the perfect way to learn about other regions and countries, and understand the issues and problems faced by people there. For young people, this is truly an extension of education, as many of these things can’t really be taught, but only experienced. You may see poverty in Asia, and discrimination across some parts of Africa, but how you react to it and what you take away from there is up to you.

#3 Get exposure to Culture

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“The best education I have ever received was through travel.”

– Lisa Ling

 People across the world celebrate and share happiness and sorrows, pain and grief. But the expressions that they use can be very different. Travelling around the world is a great way to learn about that, and develop awareness about different sensibilities across different peoples and cultures. And the earlier you learn about these, the better your chances are of understanding and accepting them.

For instance, the Greek spit at babies three times to ward off evil spirits! Or the fact that the Thai are fine with putting food in their mouth with a spoon but not with a fork! The Japanese love to slurp their noodles, while the British would frown at you if you tried the same!

#4 More Approachable in your Youth

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“There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign.”

– Robert Louis Stevenson 

The fact of the matter is, that you are far more open to trying out new experiences when you are young! You are less afraid of breaking the mould and of taking chances, or of simply appearing silly. Life hasn’t yet ground into you weird notions about yourself, and as a person you are still a work in progress!

This is evident to your fellow travelers and locals as well, who are far more likely to open up to you and share a camaraderie that is hard to force. So enjoy this time to the fullest and make friends all over the world!

#5 Get empowered to take up challenges

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“It is better to travel well than to arrive.”

– Buddha

Travelling comes with its own set of hassles and difficulties. You will not always be able to predict a storm, or a change in flight timings, or a local festival that interferes with your plans. But each of these tiny hurdles will make you into a more poised, more determined and more confident version of yourself.

They will teach you to look at the big picture and not sweat the small stuff. This is simply training ground for later challenges in life and some of the equanimity acquired here can help tide you over difficult times later in life.

#6 Your mistakes will make for funny stories later!

6“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail”  

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Refer to my previous point. In some cases if your experience takes a bizarre turn, you might end up with a hilarious story about how you managed to snag the last room in a desolate town, or hitched a ride across a desert on a camel!

Well, maybe the stories won’t be quite as outrageous, but trust me, travel will always provide you with a list of funny stories that you can draw from, later on in life. 

#7 Don’t have mid-life regrets

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“You know more of a road by having traveled it than by all the conjectures and descriptions in the world.”
– William Hazlitt

There are so many people who don’t manage to travel as youngsters, and who never quite get down to it later in life. Our lives are very short, and not travelling while you can, and exploring this wonderful world can just be another one of the regrets that you may end up with, fifteen years from now! Don’t ever let that happen.

Like I said, treat travel as a part of your required education, so that it helps to broaden your perspective and turn you into a well-rounded individual.

#8 It’s not only about the money, honey!

8“Wherever you go, go with all your heart.”

– Confucius

 While it is true that travelling requires money, what you need is actually far less than what is generally anticipated. It is not really necessary to stay at fancy hotels when cheap hostels can offer an exciting experience of meeting like-minded young people from around the world. Similarly, it is not necessary to eat at a star rated restaurant when the local street food is to die for! It is not necessary to go on the fancy cruise, when you can just as easily walk barefoot on the sandy shore and gaze upon an amazing sunset.

How much you can spend is finally a function of how much you have. But how much you have should not necessarily restrict you from tasting the exhilaration of travel.

#9 Old age isn’t guaranteed!

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“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” – Ernest Hemingway 

And coming to the most compelling reason of all – what makes you think that you’ll still be around after 30 years? Granted, that chances are high that all of us will live to a healthy old age, but supposing it doesn’t happen? Isn’t it better to explore this beautiful world while you can? Isn’t it better to do it when you are healthy and fit and can eat and drink what you want, and have as many adventures as you like?

Many people would consider travel to be very low down their list of priorities, but once you are bitten by the bug, it is hard to get over it. Don’t take my word for it – check it out for yourself. Talk to friends who have travelled, listen to their views and opinions and then decide. Make a list of 5 places that you’d like to visit over the next two years and try to make it happen, and see how it feels. Reach out to Pickyourtrail to quench your wanderlust!

Finally, to wrap up, here’s leaving you with my favourite quote from JRR Tolkien:

 “Not all those who wander are lost.”

– J. R. R. Tolkien  

 

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