There are different paradigms in life about ways to best live. One question that comes up for people who have an interest in travel is when is it best to do it – when you’re older or younger? Now when I talk about traveling I am talking about for extended periods not ten days in Hawaii. The answer for a lot of people as they enter young adult hood and strive to build themselves economically and into their career is that they’ll travel when they are older. Being a person who traveled when he was young and now in reverse order is battling to build a career I will step forward and speak on behalf of traveling while young.
1) When you are young, you can do young things –
What I mean by this is that the Pyramids will always be there. You can see them when you’re 22 or 57, but will you be able to live in a hostel with people and truly rough it when your 57? Will you be able to live with a little subsistence job to get by so you can have fun and party with the people when you’re 57? Are you going to be able to go out and hook up with someone from a foreign country when you’re 57?
2) Traveling when you’re young opens your mind from that point forward
When you are younger things are not as solidified inside of your mind in terms of your views on things, your openness to different ideas, and your values. Traveling young will make you both more open to the experience that you are having, with less black or white stances on what you see, and also more open in the future because of what you have experienced.
3) When you are younger you will have more energy
Traveling, especially in South America, Africa, and Asia take strong bastions of energy that you may not have when you get older. If you want to really enjoy the experience and do a lot of the physical aspects of the trip – say walking up to Mancha Picho – you need the stamina behind you to do it. An older person traveling will probably have more money to do things, but less energy to actually follow through with it.
4) Making a commitment to travel when you’re younger means you have done it.
The reality is that as people are connected more and more to the responsibilities of life they will have less and less of a chance to leave to travel. Really, it’s worth asking oneself if you couldn’t travel when you were 26 because of your job… won’t your job be more responsibility filled when you’re 36 or even 46?
The bottom line is the choice of when you travel, if you do at all, is yours, but I hope some of these factors will weight into your decision.