Travel can be one of the great joys of life. When you travel, you get to experience new things, new people, and new places. While there are plenty of interesting local travel destinations, international travel brings with it a whole new world of experience and wisdom. Here are eight great reasons why you might consider an international trip this year, rather than a domestic one.
By traveling you get to learn about different cultures first-hand. While you can always read a book about Thailand, there is something special about breathing in the stench of Durian fruit in person. Once you experience cultural differences firsthand, you can begin to understand where other people are coming from.
How could it not be fun to drag multiple bags through train stations?! You’re young and independent right now. Other than a significant other, you don’t really have any other people depending on you. So, why not pack up right now? The adventuring possibilities are endless. You can travel to Guatemala and work on a coffee farm, climb the Austrian Alps, cycle across Nepal, or visit the ancient pyramids in Egypt.
Along with learning about a culture’s traditions and foods you can also immerse yourself in their language. Perhaps you studied French in school or maybe you’ve always wanted to learn Swahili. This is your time to go learn it and use it!
Studies have shown that people would rather spend their money on experiences that create lasting memories than on material things. Wouldn’t you rather spend $100 to go cliff diving in Costa Rica or on medical supplies for village children than of on a new pair of sneakers to add to your growing Air Jordan collection? By choosing to spend that money on an experience of adventure or serving others, you will undoubtedly create a unique memory that can’t be rivaled by material souvenirs.
5. Looks Good on a Resume
To add a more corporate twist to this list, remember that future employers love this kind of thing. Most employers view traveling as a great way to become more knowledgeable about world cultures. Traveling also shows them that you are a responsible and mature individual with an ability to quickly adapt to different situations.
6. Opportunities and Connections
If you move abroad, you won’t be stuck at the desk job you’ve been too afraid to quit for the last six months. Instead you can work anywhere you want. Maybe you get a job at a hip cafe or working on a cocoa farm or maybe you earn your keep being an au pair and traveling the world as a nanny. The point is, you now have the courage and opportunity to do whatever you want. You can choose to use your degree or not. Maybe you have always wanted to be a writer, a poet, a musician, a photographer – now is the time. Do it!
7. Find Yourself
Moving abroad allows you to make new friends and connections. You no longer have to be Water Polo William or Bad Test-Taker Bobby. You can now be who you want to be. You get to choose your passions and don’t have to fit in any niche of who people think you are or were. You might feel pressure from your family or friends to be someone you don’t want to be. But all of your new friends will only know you as William and Bobby, then you get to show them your true colors.
8. Gain perspective
Remember that fancy iPhone you are waiting for? Or maybe you want to buy some sweet new wheels with your graduation money? While moving abroad won’t solve all your problems, you’ll have a different perspective after trying to fit your life essentials into two suitcases. Let me break it to you, only the practical clothes and two pairs of shoes will end up fitting. No fancy, ankle-breaking Louboutin heels or three different kinds of formalwear. Trust me, you don’t want to be lugging five bags of luggage As our parents would say, “It builds character.” So will witnessing different standards of living outside of our American comfort zone, visiting international churches we can learn from and seeing what God is doing on a greater level throughout the world.
So what are you waiting for, take a chance and travel somewhere far off today. There will never be a perfect time and there will always be reasons not to go. Now is the time to take the plunge. Start your planning and get set on your adventure!