There's no better time than your 20's to put yourself first and embrace a lifestyle full of travel and adventure. When you're still learning who you are and what you want to be, these influential years should be shaped by travelling and the people you'll meet along your journey.
So why is it deemed as inherently selfish to want to travel while we're young?
I know the conversation with close friends and family all too well, when you bring up plans of your upcoming holiday and receive a judgmental remark along the lines of “life’s not all a holiday you know”, followed by a wavering sense of selfishness for putting your home-life on hold. The ‘travel guilt’ syndrome is real, and it makes you feel less adult for lacking the responsibilities of others by prioritising travelling.
We feel bad for taking time off work and missing milestones and birthdays, but we shouldn’t feel guilty for putting ourselves first and wanting to heighten our world understanding. We only have ourselves in this lifetime, so it’s up to you to prioritise your happiness and make the most of your time by exploring our curious desire of the world and filling it with adventure.
Relationships and jobs will come and go throughout your life, but your true friends and family will always be waiting at home; so it's important to step out of your bubble of comfort to grow, be challenged and learn the valuable life lessons only travelling can provide.
Believe it or not, your world at home will go on without you, so it’s okay to leave and prioritise yourself for a few weeks or months. By making travel your priority, you’ll show those who disapprove that it’s equally as important as other realities. If you spoke to many adults later in their careers, they’d tell you they wish they had the freedom of their 20’s again to pack a suitcase and book a plane ticket at the drop of a hat.
These are the years to travel relentlessly and travel often – explore new territories and explore yourself before the pressures of a full-time career and serious relationships. There’s truly no better time to invest in yourself. Your decision to travel will pay off in the long run when you’ve discovered your true calling and what you want to make of your life rather than being stuck in a job you despise because you were forced to pick a career path in high school before you had any life experience.
Your travels shouldn’t be ridden with guilt, travel because you earned it and deserve it. Whether it’s a reward for a long year of hard work or your feet are just itching to set foot in a new territory. Having the opportunity to travel is a great privilege and one you should take advantage of if you have the means to do so. Maybe it is a little selfish, but selfish shouldn’t be attached to a negative stigma, especially when you’re enriching your life and others through the friendships you’ll make.
So let’s wave goodbye to the feeling of travel guilt for good. Life’s not meant to be spent in one place.
Do you live, dream and love travel? Share your stories with us here and you could see your work published on six-two…