Why we should travel while we’re still young

The other night, I had a conversation with this woman at the bar who had a number of decisions ahead of her, which included whether she should further her education or travel the world.

I told her to travel. Hands down. No excuses. Just go. The results are worth the costs. And she sighed.

“Yeah, but…”

Never were more fatal words spoken:

  • Yeah, but… what about money?
  • Yeah, but… what about my job?
  • Yeah, but… what about my boyfriend or dog or car or whatever?

“Yeah, but…” is pernicious. Because it makes it sound like we have the best of intentions when really we are just too scared to do what we should. It allows us to be cowards, while sounding noble.

Most people I know who waited to travel the world never did. Conversely, plenty of people who waited for grad school or a steady job and traveled still did those things — eventually.

Be careful of the yeah-but. The yeah-but will kill your dreams.

The life you’ve always wanted

When you get older, life seems to just sort of happen to you. Your youth is a time of total empowerment. You get to do what you want.

But as you mature and gain new responsibilities, you have to be very intentional about making sure you don’t lose sight of what’s important.

So if you still have a reasonable amount of control over your circumstances, you should do what really matters. Because life won’t always be just about you.

During early adulthood, your worldview is still being formed. It’s important to steward this time — to give yourself opportunities to grow. A good way to do that is to travel.

So, young person, travel. Travel wide and far. Travel boldly. Travel with full abandon!

You will regret few risks you take when it comes to this. I promise you that. There are three reasons to travel while you’re young:

1. Traveling teaches you to live an adventure

When you look back on your life, you will have moments of which you are proud and maybe a few you regret. It’s likely that the following won’t be on the latter list:

  • Skydive over the Palm in Dubai.
  • Backpacked Vietnam on one leg.
  • Shotgun a beer with a monkey.
  • Learned to surf in Portugal.
  • Toured Sri Lanka by public transportation.

They’re not on mine (fun fact: I’ve done all of the above). So what, then, will be? What choices will you regret making? Holding back. Being afraid. Making excuses. Not taking more risks. Waiting.

While you’re young, you should travel. You should take the time to see the world and taste the fullness of life. It’s worth whatever investment or money or sacrifice of time that may be required on your part.

This is not about being a tourist. It’s about experiencing true risk and adventure so you don’t have to live in fear for the rest of your life. And it’s about remembering and sharing your adventure, and inspiring others to step out of that fear, too.

2. Traveling helps you encounter compassion

In our youth, we will make choices that will define you. The disciplines you begin now will be with you for the rest of your life.

Traveling will change you. It will put you in places that will force you to care for issues that are bigger than you.

If you go to southeast Asia, you may encounter the slave trade. If Africa, you may see how far someone needs to travel just for a bucket of water a day. If Haiti, you’ll witness the the ugly side Western paternalism.

Your heart will break.

You will begin to understand that the world is both a big and small place. You will have a new-found respect for the pain and suffering that over half of the world takes for granted on a daily basis. And you will feel more connected to your fellow human beings in a deep and lasting way. You will learn to care, and you might even find a way to speak up for the people you encounter who need a voice. You will start to see pass race, sex, age, religion, etc.. It will strive you to be better and to go out and make a difference!

3. Traveling allows you to get some culture

While you’re still young, you should get cultured. Get to know the world and the magnificent people that fill it. There’s nothing quite like wondering the streets of Marrakech or seeing Gaudí’s la Sagrada Familia in person.

The world is a stunning place, full of outstanding works of art. See it.

Do this while you’re still young. Do not waste the time. You may never have it again.

You have a crucial opportunity to invest in the next season of your life now. Whatever you sow, you will eventually reap. Please. For your sake, do this. Because you won’t always be young. And life won’t always be just about you.

So travel. Experience the world for all it’s worth. Become a person of culture, adventure, and compassion. I’ve learned more in the past year traveling than I have in highschool and college.

“What if I’m not young?”

Travel, anyway. It may not be easy to do, but find a way to get out of your comfort zone. It’s really never too late. I met a 37 yr old female solo backpacker in Sri Lanka who was just out exploring the world and seeking to find herself again. I traveled from Portugal to Spain with a couple that was 42 and 45. You are only as old as you make yourself to be. Just remember to be open-minded!

But if you haven’t gotten sucked into the routine of life yet, I implore you — travel. It will never be easier than it is right now for you to do that which really matters.

So what are you waiting for? Stop making excuses and Take that leap! The world is yours.. get out there and live it!

Is solo traveling for me? 

There are a number of reasons why people chose to travel solo. It could be as simple as none of your friends want to go, or you just want to travel. It could be something more meaningful, like you want to go on a self discovery journey and find yourself, or prove to yourself you can do it. You might even be running away from something, or just want a change, something new or want the freedom. The reason you want to travel solo is yours. However you will undoubtedly grow as a person, learn so much about yourself and what your truly capable of. Traveling will open your eyes and can be one of the best life lessons you will ever receive.

My favorite part of solo traveling is the ultimate feeling of freedom, there is nobody to answer to but yourself. (that can be hard enough at times.) Every decision you make is yours, right or wrong everything is your choice. You chose when to move onto the next destination, when to go on an excursion, you decide if you want to lounge around on a beach or trek up a mountain. You chose when you want to be sociable or not. If you travel in a group, sometimes you need to compromise and even sacrifice what you want to do in favor of what the group wants. In groups trips are organised to accommodate you all, when your solo traveling you pick and chose when and what you want to do. Everybody in a group has an opinion and wants to do different things but when you’re a solo traveler it’s all on you.

A common misconception is traveling solo means being on your own all the time; it doesn’t. Even though you are solo and will be alone sometimes, you will come across people every single day. From the airport flying out to your destination, to the hostel or accommodation you’ve chose, to activities you do. You will meet a mixture of travelers and locals it’s just up to you who you want to make friends with; there is no obligation. Ask any solo traveler and they will tell you how easy it is to make friends traveling.

When going solo try staying at hostels instead of hotels and AirBnBs. Hostels are an unknown entity if you’v never stayed in one, you just don’t know what to expect or what goes on in them. You might think of a hostel as just a cheap place to sleep but they can become much more. Hostels are not hotels, so don’t expect hotel quality. Hostels are more communal, good to meet new people which is great for solo travelers, the best of friendships have been formed in hostels. What you can expect is shared spaces, social hubs, shared enmities and like minded people, there will undoubtedly be other solo travelers there too.

Hostels can become the cornerstone of your traveling experience; I know people who had a better time in a hostel and the people they shared it with rather than the place they were in (myself included). Sometimes the hostel can become the closest thing you have to a home and give you some much needed comfort. When arriving in a hostel be open minded, be receptive to what’ going on; anything and everything can go on in a hostel.

Solo traveling can be one of the best experiences of your life. It all depends on your attitude though.  It’s what you make of it. People will feed off your positive energy and vibe. Just be yourself because deep down who cares what people there think of you cause most likely you’ll never see them again. So get out there and make a fool out of yourself! Dance like there’s nobody watching! Most importantly be yourself, and remember that normal is boring! 

Here’s a couple tips for solo traveling:

  • Travel smart, act like you know what you’re doing even if you don’t.
  • Enjoy your travels, take your time and don’t get stressed over little things.
  • Pack light but practical (You’re carrying that backpack everywhere you go.)
  • Be open minded, adaptable, receptive to change and be willing to grow.
  • If things go wrong, look at it as part of an adventure not the end of the world.
  • Be prepared for anything to happen.
  • Put yourself out there to make friends. You don’t need to spill your life story just be open enough to make friends.
  • Don’t be a travel snob.
  • Keep important items like passports on you when traveling from one place to another.
  • When you’re feeling lonely, try to not let it take over you.
  • It’s your trip, you do what you want with it and how you want.
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The beauty behind Solo Traveling

I don’t know what I was waiting for. My heart ran the ends of the earth but my feet were still.. I was waiting, but the world wasn’t waiting for me. So, I went alone! And I learned that friends come easy on the road. Hearts are open, smiles are wide. Love grows quickly in strange cities and strangers become family when home is far away.

There are festivals raging, mountains to conquer, and markets to explore. This feeling of fear and surprise, is our heroine. Its what we live for! I realized that travel breeds compassion, dispels ignorance, and makes the world a smaller place..

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I don’t know what I was waiting for, but I’m no longer waiting alone.. At first I was scared. I still get nervous before every trip until I arrive at the airport and I feel this sudden change in my mind, body, and attitude. There is something about it that just sets me free and allows me to be my true self. My first solo trip was just such a relieve meeting so many like-minded people of all different age ranges and cultures just looking to have fun, and go on adventures in a different place.

Stepping out of your comfort zone not only forces you to meet all these wonderful people from all over, it allows you to find out who you truly are deep down. I learned more about myself in the past year solo traveling then I could ever imagine!

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Some journeys can only be traveled alone and sometimes you might never go if you end up waiting for someone to go with you. You never know what could be waiting for you on the other side of the world. So what are you waiting for.. What is stopping you? Don’t be afraid to walk alone, you’d be surprised just how capable you are!

“All you’ve got to do is decide to go and the hardest part is over.”-Tony Wheeler

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Belgium waffles, chocolate, and blackouts.. 

There are many things Belgium is known for like their mouthwatering waffles, delicious chocolate, and you can’t forget about the Belgium beers.  If theirs one thing they do right, it’s beer.  I’ve tried over 60+ different beers when I was there for 8 days and not a single one was bad! But you have to be careful because not only are they ridiculously delicious, they’re extremely strong which may lead blacking out, making bad decisions, and a massive hangover…

I was in Belgium on business for 8 days a couple months ago.  Which if you ever get the chance to go, do it!  Brussels, a city bursting with energy and is full of life! Bruges, a fairy-tale medieval town with jaw-dropping beautiful architecture and filled with so many canals that it’s referred to as the Venice of the north.  And then there is Ghent, a university town and cultural hub that is just filled with bars everywhere you look! What more could you ask for!? Right?! 

So as mentioned I was there on business and one of the locals I was working with recommended going to this street in Ghent that is just a mile long of bars.. A dream come true in my world.  I decided to check it out with a couple of co-workers while we were in Brussels.  After a 30 minute train ride and 15 minutes of walking we finally made it. It was everything I expected to be.. People just walking around drinking, bar after bar after bar, beautiful women, and half-priced drinks.  I was so overwhelmed I didn’t know where to start.. 

Untill I noticed a sign that said 1€ you call it till midnight. We walked in and immediately started double fisting with shots of tequila between.  Before you know it my one friend was on the DJ booth taking shots with a bunch of randoms, the other was on a barstool just Dabbing like no other, and I’m doing flaming shots and taking advantage of every minute of the happy hour. So once it hit midnight we proceeded to the next bar and the next and the next.  Next thing you know I’m at my sixth bar by myself dancing on bars and chanting whatever they were chanting, the other one was lost wondering around in the street, and the other got kicked out for face planting trying to open a door that wasn’t there… 

Eventually we all found eachother. All of trashed out of our minds wanting to just go home and sleep but the trains didn’t start running again till 4am and it was only 2am.  So we were in a pickle.  Pay 100+ euros for a taxi or stay and keep partying and catch the train.  So we did what we thought made sense.. Drink more and catch the train!  After that I couldn’t tell you much.  I don’t even know how I got on the train but we made it! 

Were on the train being drunk idiots, having a good time and before you know it all 3 of us were passed out cold.. Only a 30 minute train ride.. Not one of us woke up for 2 hours.  So it’s Friday morning people are trying to get to work and then there’s me.. Passed out taking up 3 seats, snoring, and drooling on some guy thats just to get to work.  Finally one of them wakes up and realizes it’s daylight and were passing stops that don’t seem familiar…

Were now in fucking Germany!!🇩🇪 15 stops pass where we were supposed to go. We all woke up confused as hell, still drunk, and we have everyone starring at us like were assholes..  Now there’s been times where I blacked out and woke up in a different city or state.. But never another country. Not sure if I should be proud or ashamed but it was one hell of a night! Just a little side note if you go to Belgium or Germany don’t try to keep up with the locals.. They’re fucking crazy and can drink like there’s no tomorrow! Oh and if you’re taking a train have a designated soberish drunk friend to stay up so you make it home! Just remember drink responsible and by responsible I mean don’t spill it! Cheers! 

Embrace your weirdness, be yourself!

Throughout life we all do some outrageous things just to fit in. Like wearing tight jeans to fit in with your skater friends or baggy clothes so the people who thought they were “gangsters” liked you or even acted a certain way around specific people. We change ourselves to be cool, popular, and known. You pretend to be something that isn’t really you. And for what? To have others accept you for who you truly aren’t…

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Don’t be scared to be yourself. Never change who you are so that other people will like you. In the end the only thing that matters is your happiness and inner peace. Who cares what people think about you. If they don’t accept you for who you are, then they truly aren’t your friend and don’t deserve you. You are unique! You were made the way you are for a reason.

Majority of my life I pretended to be something I’m not. Until one day I took a long hard look in the mirror and realized I’m not happy, this isn’t the real me. From that day on I started living my life how I wanted to. I didn’t give a damn what people had to say about me or who liked me or who didn’t… and honestly this is the happiest I’ve been my entire life. I love that I’m weird because being normal is just boring. Embracing it is what made me into the fun, wild, friendly, caring, and passionate human I am today.

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Be yourself and the right people will love you. The world is full of friends just dying to meet you. Embrace your weirdness, for it is what defines us. Its your life. Make the most of it. Dress however you want. Be as weird as possible. Do what makes you happy. Be crazy, be weird, don’t be afraid of what anybody thinks!

Why you should solo travel at least once in your life

Planning a trip is never easy… Especially with friends! It can get a little hectic. You have to worry about what days everyone can take off from work.  People backing out, people who cant commit fully, and you have to plan around what everyone want to do.

Don’t wait for anyone! Take that trip that you always wanted by yourself.  You don’t have to rely on anyone but yourself.  You can go whenever its convenient for you, to wherever you want to go, and see what you want to see at your own pace.

Don’t be afraid of traveling by yourself because truthfully you never really travel alone. The world is full of friends waiting to get to know you. People just like you, who want to see the world and make memories and have fun.  You’d be surprised how easy it is to make friends traveling by yourself. Some of my closest friends I met while traveling solo.  From all over the world and different ages. I’ve met this amazing couple (Mike&Diane) in Portugal who are both 63 years old and they call me at least once a week just to talk and catch up. Its incredible the opportunities solo traveling gives you! You will find out how many good, kind people are out there.

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Traveling alone is the single best gift you can give yourself.  It will be the scariest, most liberating, life changing experience of your life. Not only does it push you out of your comfort zone, it pushes you out of the zone of others expectations. You honestly find yourself and you realize who your true friends are. It changes you for the best! You’ll start to notice how lost you truly were before you went on this trip.

Solo traveling brings you closer to yourself.  You get to reflect more and it shows you a whole new meaning to life.  You learn something new about yourself and you find your own happiness.  And finding what makes you happy is the best feeling ever.  I learned my strengths and weaknesses. I experienced the exhilaration of the ups despairs of the lows and most of the feelings in between. I learned courage and I learned it myself.

If you sit around waiting for others you may never go and experience that place.  This is your life.. your book.. only you can write it. So say yes to new adventures, make new chapters. Be brave, take risk, nothing can substitute experience.

“Life your life by a compass, not a clock” – Stephen Covey

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5 reasons why being single should be the best time of your life

In life majority of us go through that tough break up. The one that just completely destroys us. The one where you thought you two were going to spend eternity with and then it just all ends.
At that moment you think you will never get over it. It feels like the world is ending. Eating, sleeping, and smiling just seems impossible. You feel completely lost as a person and at that moment you realize you don’t know who you are anymore.

You don’t really know pain untill you’re staring at yourself in the mirror with tears streaming down your face and you’re begging yourself to just hold and be strong.
You may not realize at that time but its truly a blessing in disguise. You are finally free! This is the best but hardest time in your life. And here is why..

1. Getting rid of toxic people in your life. Use this time to cut ties with anyone that does not benefit you, even the ex. All they will do is put you down and make it hard to move on in life. Don’t be scared to lose friends. Cause if they were truly your friends they will always be there for you no matter what.

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2. You can finally focus on your dreams! Focus on you. Use your free time to workout, study more, pursue your dreams! Don’t worry about anyone. Be selfish! Now that there is no one in your way of doing what you want besides YOURSELF! Go out and get it. If its traveling, that dream job, or that body you always wanted. Know your worth!

3. Living on your own. Some may think its depression but its not! You have more free time to be and/or find yourself. Everyone says waking up next to the person you love is the best feeling ever.. Wrong! Sleeping like a starfish across my queen size and waking up and blasting music at anytime I want is. Also if you love food as much as I do, you notice how everything is proportioned for at least two people. Now you get to enjoy double the servings!

4. Travel! You finally don’t gotta wait around for that certain someone to also have free to go on a vacation. You can plan a trip around yourself and do what YOU want to do. Also solo traveling is the best way to find yourself, make new friends, and see the world. So go dance in the streets of Barcelona, get lost in the markets of Marrakech, and go sky diving over Palm island in Dubai!

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5. Find yourself. Most of us tend to forget who we are during relationships. We get distracted. We adapt to that person or we push our goals off to the side. Find your happiness! Don’t rush into another relationship because you think you being with someone else makes you happy. Find out what you wanna do in life and focus on what makes you smile on your own! Once you find your own happiness through yourself you will find that special one. The one you’re meant to spend forever with.

So go out and live your life! Regret nothing! Who cares what other people think it is your life and your happiness.

“Nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.” -Sylvester Stallone