(On a Round-The-World trip)
1. You are only going to get older.
1. You are only going to get older.
Whether you’re 17 and sitting in class right now, or whether you’re already retired sitting at home sipping your morning coffee, or you’re at any age in between, one thing is for sure: you are only going to get older. So now is the time. No matter your age, as time goes on, it’s common you will want more comfort and less adventure in your life. It’s a lot easier to endure 24 hour bus rides, stinky, grimy, loud hostels, and multi-day treks through the
Andes when you’re young. These are many of the things you may have to do when on an extended trip around the world, and the older you get, the less likely you are to enjoy these types of activities. One thing is certain, though, the longer you wait, the harder it will be to pull the trigger.
2. You can be free from all your crap.
Don’t misunderstand me here. I like stuff. I grew up and live in
, a culture built upon collecting as much stuff as you can. And while I do still enjoy having nice stuff, after having lived both ways, I can firmly say that happiness does not only come from how many possessions one has. Happiness, at least for me, comes more from experiences, from living life, from seeing amazing sites and meeting new and interesting people. You can have your 5 pairs of $100 jeans. I’ll take my dirty backpack, ridiculous-looking zip-off pants, and Chang Beer tank top (which could be reason #12 why RTW travel is awesome-men get to wear sleeveless shirts). America
3. You can be free to finally pursue what it is you truly love.
When you’re working 50-60 hours a week and have family, friends, and obligations, it’s difficult to pursue what it is that truly makes you happy. Sure, there are some who are lucky enough to love their job and have that as their passion. But the majority of us don’t do what we really want to do for our careers. We do what it is we have to do to get by. This is your chance to do something different.
Have you always dreamt about getting certified to teach yoga? Have you always wanted to learn how to scuba dive? Do you love photography but never had the time to really work on it? Have you thought about volunteering with young children in need? Do you want to learn how to cook a new cuisine? Or maybe, like me, you’ve thought about what it would be like to pursue that one dream you had growing up – to be a writer? Whatever your dream or passion is, a RTW trip will allow you the time and freedom to finally pursue those dreams. The excuses for not following what it is you truly love are now gone, replaced by all the time and freedom in the world. If I was ranking these reasons, this would probably be #1. There is no price tag for getting a second chance to do what it is you love. And extended travel releases you from your obligations and gives you that chance.
4. You get to do what you want, when you want, every single day.
Want to go sit and lounge on the beach all day for a week with your favorite pile of books? Do it! Want to go hike to the top of a mountain or volcano? Go for it! Want to eat yourself into a coma? Nothing wrong with that! Want to sleep all day and sit in the common area of your hostel watching movies? Who’s going to tell you not to? Want to go to the pub and drink yourself silly? Hey, you don’t have to work tomorrow!
One of our favorite mantras of the trip was, “What, you gotta work tomorrow or something? Didn’t think so.” Whenever someone made an excuse for not wanting to do something, this was our response, both to each other and friends we met along the way. Once you get out of college and start working, there aren’t many times in life when you can say, for an extended period of time, “No, I don’t have to work tomorrow, or the next day, or the day after, or for several more months, so you’re right. I can do whatever the hell I want!”
5. Putting your career/relationship/purchases on hold is just temporary.
For those of us who grew up in cultures where you go to school, graduate, start a career, get married, buy a house, and have kids, straying from that path can be daunting. Believe me, I know. We were on that exact path before deciding to go on our RTW. But what if you don’t really want that path? What if you constantly think of doing something different? What if you just want to quit it all and go explore for a while?
You can do that. I assure you. While you may be met with negative words from some people, most of the time it’s because they wish they had the guts to do the same. All that stuff you’d be leaving behind? It will still be there when you return. You may not be able to get the same job, be on the same career path, have the same boyfriend or girlfriend, or buy that same house. But after a trip like this, chances are you won’t want all those same things.
6. It WILL change your view on life.
It was probably a combination of everything, but suddenly, I wanted more out of life. Whatever I was going to do when we returned, I wanted to love it. I was no longer satisfied with a job that I enjoyed, a life I really liked. I wasn’t unhappy before we left. Quite the contrary, I was very happy with my life. But after the trip, I wanted more. Call me greedy, but I wanted to not only enjoy my job, but feel passionate about it. I wanted to not only be happy with my daily life, but love where I lived and what I did. The trip really hit home for me and made me re-evaluate what I wanted out of life. As corny as it sounds, our RTW trip made me realize just how short this life is, and it gave me the confidence and motivation to seek out the life I truly want.
Credit to this article goes to BootsnAll Travel Network.(Where you can book RTW trips!)