When you’re young traveling may sound like the greatest idea ever created. Many young people use traveling as another way to stay away from the working world.
Sitting in an office all day looking at the same four walls doesn’t even come close to the excitement experienced in University or College.
It’s understandable why so many young people decide to take a gap year and want to delay the serious stuff a little longer. The freedom, the exploration, the opportunity to see new things.
But with all of that on the table, it’s still not a good idea to go traveling when you’re young and here’s why.
Going away for roughly 1 year and enjoying yourself is fun, but many young people forget about their futures.
While you’re away on a beach in Thailand, your future competitor is moving forward at an alarming rate, all of your friends are getting promoted/starting businesses and making strides in the world.
When you get back you’re behind everyone else, you feel lost and realize that the good times couldn’t last forever.
No matter how many good memories you made, how many people you met or how much you enjoyed the trip, bills still need to be paid, the typical problems of life still exist and a job of any kind is still a must.
It’s easy to not look any further than the next year or so when traveling. You only see the good times that will arrive in the short term and haven’t thought about the long term implications.
The whole free-spirited “I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it” attitude sounds great when you’re drunk at a beach bar having the time of your life, but when everything is over, you’re back home, sat in your parents’ house without a penny to your name, suddenly that bridge looks harder to cross than it did before.
We’re not telling people to swap the sandals and rucksack for a tie and pen the moment they leave school. We understand that some level of enjoyment has to occur in youth. But even the wildest teenager eventually turns into a 40 year old man with kids and responsibilities.
Is it not wiser to set yourself up when you’re young? The next point may convince you on this matter.
Most people who go traveling sell everything they have. Which actually adds to the dramatic realization of having nothing when they come home.
But it also has implications for the travelling itself. The average traveler will run out of money at some point. During these times they end up getting jobs at some fish market in Bangkok.
The pay is terrible, the work is even horrendous, but worst of all are the living conditions. When traveling you can expect to live in hostels most of the time, which aren’t known for their prestige.
Many travelers will say that this is part of the excitement and experience, but not knowing where you’re going to sleep for the night has never really excited the average human being.
During your time away your diet is probably going to consist of the cheapest thing you can get your hands on, and I doubt many travelers have come back in better shape and health than when they left.
All in all the living conditions are terrible. Living with no money sucks in every single part of the world, yet when people travel they call it exciting.
Meanwhile the person who decided to focus on getting their life together is in the best health of their life. They look great, they feel alive and people are starting to notice their progression.
All The Wrong Reasons
The average young person goes traveling for one reason. They may say it’s to see the world or find themselves, but it’s really because they have no idea what to do next, don’t want to work yet and aren’t ready for adult life.
I know a girl who went travelling for career purposes. She wanted to be a vet and went to South Africa for 6 months on a game reserve, this was smart traveling.
Going around the world to get hammered and high however, this isn’t smart traveling and gives you nothing in return.
What Should You Do?
Traveling really sets you back in life. Take two individuals. Both are 18 and both have different life paths. One wants to become successful, set themselves up in life and become a holistic man who’s doing well at a lot of things.
The other is lost, doesn’t know what they want to do and has decided to go traveling.
Fast forward a year and we wouldn’t be surprised by the results. Man one would be financially better-off, in better shape, have better health, more chance of attracting a partner, would have more freedom in life and could still go traveling if they wanted to.
Man two would have nothing, their life would be standing still and they’d probably be in the worst shape and health of their life. Not exactly an attractive prospect. The freedom they experienced ironically is at an all-time low now they’re home, without money and a job they’re reliant on everyone around them like a child.
They key here is that man one can still go traveling if he wants to, and not only that. Man one has more money and a life to come back to.
By going traveling while you’re young, you drag your life down and the traveling experience is pretty shabby.
If you focus on building a high quality life first and foremost, then you can go traveling later in life with more money behind you. This means no sleeping on floors, eating fast food and working at fish markets for minimum wage.
The short term rewards of traveling are great, but your entire life suffers because of it. People say that you’re only young once, this is one of the main reasons why they travel.
But it’s somewhat of a logical fallacy. In my opinion, you’re only young once means sort everything out while you still can, then go traveling afterwards with better foundations beneath you.
If you work on yourself relentlessly in youth, then you may be in a position to go around the world 100 times in the future and do so living like a king!