Traveling at this time in your life is one of the best things you can do.
The first time I traveled to another country, I had just turned 21 and my family had given me the plane tickets as my birthday present – it was also my first trip alone. I was very frightened because there were so many things I hadn’t done by myself, like checking in at a hotel, wandering around a new city alone, and even deciding where to eat. Overall, my experience was incredible and very memorable; to this day, when I close my eyes, I can still feel the smells of that city and the many conversations I heard in a language I didn’t understand. I learned a lot of things, and I could even say I became more mature. If you are in your 20s and you want to make the most out of this time in your life, there's really no better way to do it than to travel.
Photo by: @jacob
Here are 12 lessons I've learned from the trips I've done in the last few years.
You are never alone
One of the many lessons that travel teaches you is that there are more people out there just like you: adventurers, explorers, solo riders, and genuine people looking to make connections everywhere. Befriending someone in one of your trips is a great way to realizing you’ll always have company.
Traveling demands things like packing your own bags, managing your time wisely, being aware of your surroundings all the time, and even making it on time to your flight – I’ve sort of missed mine a couple of times. After traveling a couple of times, you’ll notice you’ve become more independent and start thinking about making the right decisions.
Photo by: Haley_
Appreciate everything you have
The only time when I decide to put my phone down and take a look at what I have around me is when I’m traveling. It teaches you to see the little things that make life enjoyable and fun. Finding new places that capture your mind is one of the many perks of traveling.
The world is so much bigger than you think.
You think your city is big? Wait until you see the others out there. Traveling shows you how big our planet is and all the places you never even knew existed and need to visit.
Photo by: Haley_
Every culture is special.
When you travel to a new country, you can’t help but notice that other cultures have different traditions, values, and behaviors. During your trips, you’ll compare and contrast the way people live here and there, and how they find the small things in life to be very significant.
The old adage is so true: less is more.
After your first couple of trips, you’ll start having fewer materialistic wishes as you plan your next adventure. The experiences we take away from a trip cannot be compared to a new phone, TV, or closet. If I had to choose between an expensive present and a trip to a country I've never been to, I'd always pick the trip. Always.
Photo by: @enchanted.forest
Everyone has their own definition of happiness.
Some folks think a life full of comfort and luxuries is a perfect life, but when you travel around in your 20s, you stop thinking like that because you notice how other communities in less fortunate circumstances manage to be happier than others.
Travelling is the best way to learn about history.
One of the best parts about traveling, for me, is hearing the stories and events that shaped the place where I’m standing. Whether you take a guided tour or learn about famous events from your taxi driver, visiting a new place offers you the opportunity to learn everywhere you go. And it's always fun!
It’s okay to get lost.
Metaphorically and literally. Getting lost is a journey that will demand all your mental skills and determination to find your way. So, don’t be afraid to feel lost in an unknown place: trust your instincts and believe in your abilities, but more importantly, learn more about yourself and your capabilities.
Two languages are better than one.
You probably already speak another language (or maybe not), but when you visit a country where most of the population speaks at least three, it makes you think about how important it is to learn more ways to communicate.
Photo by: @rayawashere
Get your nature fix as often as possible.
Mountains, deserts, beaches, forests, you name it: nature has a lot for us to appreciate and the best time to notice its stunning beauty is when your head is clear from all the problems left at home and you're taking the time to admire the artistic way in which nature is formed.
Dare to try new foods.
Trying out flavors you've never tasted before is one of the many wonders about traveling. The spices, herbs, and smells are very original everywhere, even among regions in the same country. Food teaches us about traditions, culture, and the essence of a place. The worst thing you can do when traveling is not eating the traditional dishes from that place.
It’s good to travel in your 20s because (usually) we don't have that many responsibilities, we have the ability to tolerate different sleeping schedules or sleeping in not-very-comfortable beds, and of course, many of us don't have kids. Overall, there are many life lessons to take away from a simple trip to another state or another country. Traveling helps us reflect about our priorities and it clears the mind. And you’ll also start planning your next adventure immediately.
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