One of the craziest things to think about, other than the fact that there are people seriously supporting Donald Trump for president, is how big the world is. It’s even crazier to think that most of us will never even see 2% of it in our lifetimes. If I would have realized this when I was younger, I would have been way more serious about my life as a paleontologist. Instead I am a blogger and the only traveling I do is through BuzzFeed lists, Netflix documentaries, and once in awhile trips that just recently started. Which is sad because I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to get to be 60 and finally have the time and money to see the world. Because by then my legs are going to be shot and I won’t look as good in my pictures. Hey, I don’t want to be all AARP looking when I finally get to taste the food of Italy…in Italy.
Other than not looking like the Crypt Keeper when you finally hit the road, air or sea – another reason to travel when you’re younger is that you likely don’t have kids yet. We’ve all seen parents in the airport and it’s possibly one of the most stressful things to watch as you sit there single with nothing but your backpack to look after. It’s glorious in a way. Also, it may sound like a hippy thing to say – but traveling really does give you a chance to find some personal growth. Reading Rachel Dratch’s Girl Walks into a Bar…, she wasn’t feeling too great about her life and her therapist constantly told her to go on a trip alone. She stayed away from the idea for a long time before finally saying, fuck it – and headed to South America. She was glad she did and was surprised to learn that that solo trip did her soul some much needed good.
Turning your hobbies into your career is one thing, but not all of them have to have a monetary goal in the end. Many young adults turn to travel for a number of reasons whether it be the love of adventure, the need for culture or just to escape their everyday norm. All three of those are beautiful reasons to leave your day to day. Adventure is something you will not find on your way to the same job everyday, culture can be found if you look around but you never really get to embrace a new way of living unless you leave your home for another and your typical routine must be shaken up every now and then so you don’t become a shell of a human. Wake, eat, work, binge, repeat is cool but toss something else in that machine of yours.
For those who already do, a lot of us who don’t have the opportunity to travel on a whim – we admire and more hate you all at the same time. You can afford to see the world while we sit and stress about a light bill and for that, screw you but at the same time – please don’t stop posting pictures on Instagram because it saves us time having to Google “wondrous places in the world.”
Wondrous yes, but there are some things to know about traveling that Kaye Dena pointed out in The Traveling Woman (which I am sure go for men as well). Dratch’s therapist said to go alone and that’s fine and well, and Dena even recommends that as well and says, “Traveling alone shouldn’t be regarded as a second choice, an inferior alternative or a decision made by default,” but she also notes that if you are going to get a travel buddy – make sure you are compatible. You and your best friend may be the greatest pair on earth, but look deep – could you survive a trip together; alone? Dana says, “Pick a companion for any kind of trip…as methodically as you would plan anything in your life.” She goes on to point out how important it is that you share commonalities, as well as quirks. You don’t want to finally get that dream vacation and then it be spoiled before you picked the wrong person to share a hotel with.
The world is a big place and waiting to see it when you’re old and gray will make it a slow one if you’re not built like a strapping old man. So that’s why we have to admire those whose main pastime is boarding any and all planes in sight for an adventure, a way of escape or a way to find a piece of themselves. Which they can do alone or with the perfect travel companion who won’t be a sour patch on their trip. So all this week we’re exploring the exploration of travel as adults’ favorite hobby. We’ll touch base with a girl who has taken to the road on her own, explain why it took almost three decades to get over my fear of the witchcraft that are planes and more.