Best Reasons to Travel in Your 20's
Traveling is undoubtedly something I would recommend to anyone at any point in their life-- but especially in your twenties, you should get out and just explore. I'll tell you why!
It will only take you an hour-- maybe a minute-- to be humbled
Let's be honest-- most of us are not fluent in the language of the locals when we are young and traveling. The moment you arrive, you will realize that there is something you need or desire that you don't know how to ask for-- whether it's a taxi, a restroom, or paper towels at the grocery store. You'll realize that, even if you know a lot, you don't know everything. The cashier will ramble a total at you, and you may feel you have no option but to hold out a fist-full of money and let them take what they will. You may feel slightly ashamed, and definitely humbled.
The connections you'll make will blow your mind
Something about laughing with someone who you can just barely understand is just absolutely mind-blowing. While you may take your time in making friends in your usual environment, be prepared to make some of the most intense connections you've ever experienced in an extremely short amount of time. Someone you stay one night in a hostel with could be your next travel companion-- or your host when you decide to explore their native land. This is also especially important in your twenties if you have some desire to find a job abroad at some point, because you will rapidly develop networking connections all over the world. There is just something about the connections you make abroad that is different than any others you've ever known. They will stand the test of time, and although you may have very little contact with these people once you return home, each email or Facebook comment will invoke incredible memories, making you feel as though nothing is any different than that first time you laughed, played, or missed the last train of the night after running a mile at top speed together.
You will fall in love in some way or another
It might be food. It might be a boy, a girl, a street, or a club. It might be a stretch of highway, a nightcap, the Great Wall of China, or a small oddities shop. It might be a specific day you recall on replay, or a lovely little restaurant-- the one where you spent your last day because it has proved to you time and time again to be one of the things you'll dream about once you return home. It might be the sound of a specific word, the language itself, the trees (or lack thereof). No matter what it is or how insignificant it may seem, you will fall in love, and you'll forever look back with the most sickening, brilliant sense of nostolgia you've ever endured.
Life will become suddenly invigorating
Especially in our twenties, it is easy to feel that we are lost, confused, or stuck. However, traveling will remind you the importance of the little things in life, and you'll bring that sense of revitalization home with you. You'll be inspired to tackle challenges and projects that you had written off before. Nothing will seem impossible-- it really won't, and your friends and family might think you crazy for your slightly distorted sense of reality just after you return. You will just feel amped on life. An unshakable feeling of invincibility and excitement for life will pepper your life.
You will likely face challenges differently from there on out
More than ever before, you'll be skilled at looking at things from multiple perspectives, which will lead to an enhanced set of problem-solving skills. Global conflicts will suddenly make more sense, but will seem that much more complex, as well. The history of the place you are in will justify all of the conflicts the people there have ever had. You might even feel that your own culture has been extremely unjust in some ways.
You will get butterflies when you return and meet someone from this culture
Once you return home, anyone that you meet from the culture which you've just fallen deeply in love with will give you the most wonderful butterflies upon running into them. You'll evesdrop on their conversation when you hear them across the room. Then, you'll struggle to think of a way to smoothly enter into a conversation with them. Finally, you'll decide that you don't care about being smooth, and you'll just walk right up and tell them about your travels and how much you loved XY and Z in their country. You will want to be their best friend simply because you have learned to love their culture, and you'll be deprived of it once you're home.
You'll catch a dream
Whether this dream is new or old, you will be inspired to do something. If it's an old dream, the invigoration discussed in #4 will reignite your mind's wanderings. Any challenges that you used to see as impossibilities will now just seem insignificant. For this reason, it's especially good to travel while you are young. You and your dream will have time to develop, come to fruition, grow, and eventually, change into another dream.
You'll really find you
Traveling abroad is also, inevitably, traveling deep inside ourselves. We find out who we are without the pressures of the world that usually surrounds us-- the world that we have sort of come to depend on. When all of that is removed, we are left only with ourselves, which is a fascinating journey. You'll have no one to answer to but yourself-- maybe for the first time ever, which can be both terrifying and fascinating at the same time.
If nothing else, travel to become a storyteller
Our stories are often the most valuable thing we have to share with others once we return home (besides our suitcase full of odd, delicious, or famous souvenirs). Interviews will be so much easier, because you'll have so many examples of everything you can possibly imagine-- miscommunication, successes, misfortunes. This is yet another reason to travel early on. You will gain experiences that are memorable and unique at a rapid pace, which could eventually help you land your dream job. Your stories will draw people to you in your personal and professional life.
You can be anyone!
When you are traveling, you can pretty much be anyone you want to be. No one will really know anything about you or your past. And who knows-- you might just discover that you are actually someone different than you thought you were.