Traveling across the world to check off must-see foreign destinations from your bucket list is a common theme that most of us desire. But that bucket-list itinerary also brings up a classic argument – the age-old debate: Should you travel now when you’re young or wait until you’re older?
Obviously both have a long list of pros and cons, with probably the most obvious con being financial constraints.
We get it, when you’re young, you don’t have the same funds you do when you’re retired. But, money aside, we’re here to give you some reasons why you should make traveling now versus later a priority. So let’s get this list on the road …
Your clock is ticking
It’s a no brainer but it’s worth stating. The older you get the less likely you are to want to (or physically be able to) travel. Studies have shown that most retirees get their traveling done within 10 years after retirement. That may seem like a long time, but if you think of those 10 years opposed to possibly 50 years (if you started in your 20s), it begins feeling like a bomb countdown.
The lines are getting longer
You may envision your travel like something from a movie, secluded and magical. Something like the serene island out of Leonardo DiCaprio’s The Beach. But the reality is that there are more people on the planet and more technology to get them where they want to go. And that trend doesn’t seem to show any signs of slowing down. So if you thought the line at the Louvre was long now … who knows what it will look like in a few decades.
Fun fact: That secluded and spectacular Thailand beach they used for location shots in the movie The Beach, became so overrun with tourists after the movie’s release that they finally closed the destination to tourists in 2018. Case in point.
Culture is in the blender
The main draw for tourists traveling to a foreign country is to indulge themselves in that place’s culture, right? Well as technology grows and gives us international access to foreign culture, a lot of what we see when we travel now is the offspring of a forced global village. Major Western food and retail chains are sweeping across the globe ridding some cultures of what made them so unique in the first place. The last thing you want to do is plan a visit to China in 20 years and see the same old McDonald’s, Subway and Starbucks stores on every block or that you see at your local U.S. mall … assuming those will even still exist in two decades.
Experiencing culture leads to personal growth
The best thing about traveling is something that we may not even realize is happening to us. Subconsciously when we travel, our brains are in a constant state of learning and absorbing of new information – languages, customs, traditions, manners, etc. If we deprive ourselves of this growth at an early age and simply save it for when we’re older, then that’s a lot of years of knowledge wasted. Wasted on not seeing things in a different light or from a different point of view. If you travel now, you will gain some worldly insight that can help you in your everyday life encounters and overall acceptance.
Your memories from travel should last a lifetime, so why shorten them by traveling when you’re older? Get the most out of your experiences by capturing your adventures at a young age. And if you’ve got some old family travel photos or videotapes lying around the house, send them in to get them digitized.
Don’t wait until it’s too late!
Start young. Travel often. Remember always.