I recently had the chance to visit a friend in another state, but most importantly, I had the chance to travel alone. For those that have a parent living in another state, traveling alone seems like nothing, but the reality is that most teens never have the chance to travel by themselves. Learning the art of traveling and doing it without your parents or friends is one of the greatest chances to learn about yourself and about others. Traveling alone increases problem-solving skills, expands your understanding of other cultures, expands your resume, and teaches you to manage life on your own. Here are 20 reasons you should travel before turning 20.
1. Valuing travel sets the stage for the rest of your life.
Learning where travel fits into your life now sets the stage for years to come. Make travel a passion why you still can, that habit will manifest itself again and again for years to come.
2. Independent networking is vital.
People matter. The more people you meet, the more opportunities you will have. Open doors for yourself all over the world why you have the chance. It'll pay off for sure.
3. We all need to learn to save.
Setting aside part of your paycheck is extremely challenging at any age. Saving for a plane ticket or a big trip is a great way to teach yourself to save your money.
4. History exists and we need to care.
The United States is certainly filled with history but you have no idea what the world holds until you see it yourself. There's no better way to learn about the past than experiencing the locations yourself.
5. We need to grow our problem-solving skills.
Traveling, hiking, and experiencing new people and places is prime problem-solving practice. Forcing yourself to navigate a new place makes all the difference in your everyday life.
6. It's time for us to get out of our comfort zones.
You won't truly grow until you are a little uncomfortable. Traveling alone will pull you from that comfort zone and return you a much stronger person.
7. Many of us have not developed independent personalities.
It's hard to develop your own personality when you're living in the shadow of friends and family. Being on your own and around new people that do not know you in another setting helps you uncover your true personality.
8. Traveling puts life in perspective.
When you're finally around others that are different from you, you have the chance to value what you do have and what others may not. Traveling will really help you break down your barriers and put your own life into perspective.
9. There's no better time than now to make new friends.
There are few things cooler than having friends from all over the world. Get out there. Meet new people. Come home with friends of all ages.
10. Traveling builds our resume.
Employers love a well-rounded candidate. Being able to bring in experience from time spent abroad or in various states sets you apart from many others.
11. The ability to speak from experience about other places is vital.
A strong resume is one thing but being able to hold an intelligent conversation is another. There are few things better than being able to take your own pictures and have your own stories, you'll become more impressive than ever before.
12. Diversity is learned through experience.
There are countless cultures different from our own. Seeing diversity with our own two eyes is a great way to learn something new.
13. Being away from home makes us appreciate it more.
Distance makes the heart grow fonder, right? Being away from your "home base" makes you realize the things about home you love the most.
14. Traveling helps you distinguish what you want out of a job.
Being able to decide whether or not you want to travel through work is vital to your happiness. There's no way to know until you try it.
15. We'll learn the art of spontaneity.
Sometimes not planning is the best plan of all. Knowing how to be spontaneous is a great life skill, traveling will break down every boundary you have.
16. Traveling teaches us how to de-stress.
Learning to manage stress is something not many people have mastered. We all need to take time off and appreciate ourselves.
17. Traveling invites the opportunity to get lost.
Getting lost is a beautiful thing. Giving yourself the chance to get lost and discover new paths is the best part of travel.
18. We'll learn a tremendous amount about ourselves.
Testing your limits, hiking a mountain, flying to a new place and traveling alone in general will allow you to learn about yourself in an all-new way.
19. We'll learn to appreciate our time alone.
Solitude is a beautiful thing. The art of being alone is a practice that takes time. Being able to travel on your own is a great opportunity to learn how to live without your parents.
20. You finally FEEL independent.
Independence should be exciting and new. Before you turn 20, travel alone. You'll thank yourself for years to come.
The move towards independence is a weird transition. It seems like a lot of us move from high school to college with almost no prompting. Learning to be independent often times feels more stressful than it should be. Being independent and learning about yourself for the first time in your life should be exciting and full of new experiences. Take a leap of faith, book a plane ticket, plan a road trip, schedule a train trip. You'll return happier and substantially more independent than you were before you left.