This article may seem superfluous at first. You’re mentally admonishing me as such: “Seriously, Colin, I know I should be traveling more and I enjoy traveling and I will when I get the chance so lay off, sucker.”
I get it, I do. You want to be worldly and have a wonderful time, James Bond style, exploring exotic locals (and even more exotic women/men), enjoying the best the world has to offer, seeing the underbelly of the underbelly of a city that doesn’t even really have an overbelly.
I understand because I’ve been there. I have. In fact, I’m STILL there. I’m making plans, sure, but at this moment my dreams of travel are still just dreams, right up there with the ones where all my teeth fall out, flying down the stairs and trampolining with President Taft while wearing knickerbockers (what, you haven’t had that one?).
“But Colin,” you whine, “I took that trip to Aruba during Spring Break. Remember? I totally got hammered with some locals.”
An excellent start, for sure, but let’s be honest here: you stayed at a tourist trap hotel with a bunch of other people your age, from your country, and learned nothing new except what drinking games the locals play and what the natives think Americans like (wet t-shirt contests and keg stands…to be fair, that’s actually pretty accurate).
You need to get out there and experience something new, my friend! Stop thinking about it and do it! Take some time to prepare and do it right…you don’t want to be worrying about the fact that you have nothing to come back to or are completely broke the entire time…but seriously, now is the time to travel! While you’re young! Even after the safety net of school is carted off when you graduate, being young and malleable will still provide a respectable amount of leeway, so even if you make mistakes/lose all your money to gypsies/accidentally get married to the King’s daughter, you’ll be able to bounce back. Not only that, but when you return to ‘real life,’ you’ll have some excellent stories to tell, and later on down the line, your kids won’t think you’re a loser (okay, they still probably will, but you’ll at least have the photos to prove you weren’t ALWAYS a loser).
So stop not traveling. I’ve made a resolution (and given myself firm deadlines) to finally end my destructive cycle of not doing the things I want to do with my life, and you should too.
What have you always dreamed of doing, but haven’t because life got in the way? Share below!
Update: April 22, 2016
Hmm, I don’t like the tone of this one.
I agree with the underlying sentiment (if not the unnecessary and trying-to-be-funny floridness) that the sooner you get out there and travel, the better, and that it’s typically preferable to see how real people live than to seek out the local wing of a familiar restaurant chain.
But man, the tone. Admonishing people for not doing something I hadn’t yet done? Criticizing people for having different priorities than me? Yeah, traveling the way I mentioned above is preferable for what I want to get out of the experience, but my priorities aren’t everyone’s priorities.
I’ve become a hell of a lot more relativistic since writing this post, I think.