This Is Why You Need To Travel

How To Affordably Make Your Bathroom Feel Like A Luxurious Hotels with Lik Squared millennial blogger the confused millenial

Don’t start your job.

Don’t sign on for an apartment.

Don’t do anything besides buy a plane ticket out of your city.

If you can, make traveling your biggest priority right now.

When I checked in to my very first hostel in New Orleans, I was surrounded by mostly millennial folks from different countries. There was a guy from London, who I would later help transport all the way to Phoenix; a group from Australia, who just graduated and got back from Vegas (how?); and even a couple girls from New Zealand who wanted to hear the famed jazz bands of The Big Easy while strolling down Bourbon Street.

New Orleans was my first stop on what would become a four-month road trip across the country. The lights excited me, the music tingled my fingers, and the narrow streets beckoned me forward.

In New Orleans I realized there were people like me. Millennials who travel to foreign countries and sleep in cheap hostels and stay out until six in the morning.

I was hundreds of miles from home, but I felt oddly comfortable with, who I can only call, my kind of people. In the coming weeks as I traveled to cities like Austin, Tucson, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, my perspective on life swung dramatically. I talked about Brexit, a topic I would’ve never paid attention to otherwise, with my new friend from London. I began gaining many more liberal perspectives during my stay in San Francisco, and I saw the most beautiful mountains I’d ever seen at Glacier National Park in Montana.

millennials, this is why you need to travel #millennialblog

After this, the goals I held for so long lost meaning–the goals to settle down in one place, get a job, and get married.

Some people call this wanderlust, but I think of it as a lust for more purpose, too.

My life has taken on considerable meaning in the past few months. I’ve visited old friends, gained more love for the beauty of my country and its citizens, and decided to travel the world while writing about it to inspire and spread the word regarding subjects close to my heart. Through travel, I feel like I’ve found the path I am meant to be on right now.

This broadening of the mind, so to speak, is why us millennials need to travel in my opinion. Plenty of research and studies have been done on millennials in the workplace, finding over and over again that as a generation, we are seeking purpose. We want our work to have a cause, to mean something. It only makes sense that our search for meaning should transcends the workplace.

Traveling in your twenties can help shape you into the person you were meant to be. Often times, it’s the first opportunity to truly be free. Free from parents, teachers, and what others are telling you to do. I’ve realized that my existence on this planet is just a drop in the ocean, and that everyone in America does not always think like those from my hometown.

millennials, this is why you need to travel #millenialblog

I’ve seen humanity do incredible things together. The foreign people you meet, and the strangers you brush shoulders with on the sidewalk who are wearing something you’ve never seen before, along with the street performers attracting crowds–they’re all perfectly themselves. And after you do punch your ticket, and wander around on foreign soil, and meet people who are every bit as amazing as they are wacky, you’re going to come back a new person with a new love for this world, and for yourself.

That’s why your first priority should be to travel. Travel as soon as you can and as much as you can. Push your comfort zone. Test yourself. You are stronger than you think and it’s one of the rare times in life you can truly get to know your soul without all of the noise of pre-judgments and expectations on you.


[RELATED] Millennials, Use Your Vacation Days & Don’t Be Vacation Shamed (Rachel’s Forbes Article)

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  • Kristin C
    March 15, 2017 at 7:45 am

    I really would love to travel more, and I plan to. There are quite a few places on my “list”. I love the way your guest-poster makes just brushing shoulders with someone sound magical!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 5, 2017 at 12:13 pm

      Haha right! The passion is truly contagious! Where do you want to visit?

      • Kristin C
        April 6, 2017 at 7:10 am

        I love all-things-tropical, so and sort of tropic vaca would be awesome, but I would also like to go to Italy, Ireland, and Switzerland.

  • Chelsea
    March 15, 2017 at 10:38 am

    Totally agree. We’ve traveled all 48 lower states and it has been a life changing experience! Now I’d like to travel to Europe but I think the next things on our to-do list is marriage and babies 😉

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 5, 2017 at 12:13 pm

      haha yay! where in europe do you want to go ?

  • Erica
    March 15, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    Could not agree more. The traveling I’ve gotten to do thus far has really opened my eyes and changed my life – especially living in a foreign country for a bit. It’s a life changer fosho!

    Coming Up Roses

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 5, 2017 at 12:13 pm

      Yup! what country did you live in?

      • Erica
        April 5, 2017 at 12:25 pm


  • Wendy Tomlinson
    March 15, 2017 at 2:35 pm

    I like a base so rather than travelling from place to place, I opted for a complete move of countries for a few years. It was a great experience.

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 5, 2017 at 12:14 pm

      I love that!! It sounds so awesome! Which countries have you lived in?

      • Wendy Tomlinson
        April 5, 2017 at 4:34 pm

        I worked briefly in Germany, then lived (twice) in Menorca, Spain.

        • Rachel Ritlop
          April 6, 2017 at 9:00 am

          Awesome! I’ve heard the best things about Spain

  • Brittany @ Grace, Love, Life
    March 15, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    I love traveling! I did quite a bit of travel before getting married. I wouldn’t change those experiences for anything, but I’m happy to be settled with my family now.

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 5, 2017 at 12:14 pm

      Where was your favorite place you’ve traveled?

  • Beth_Daily_Dog_Tag
    March 15, 2017 at 8:37 pm

    Traveling is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the world and yourself. I wish I could have convinced my husband to do more of it when we were in our 20’s!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 5, 2017 at 12:15 pm

      I hear that! My husband and I are in the boat, and I keep asking him to travel more now before we have responsibilities

  • Jessica Lam
    March 16, 2017 at 10:15 am

    I love this so much! I’m graduating next month and I have no idea what the heck I want to do – I have no clue whether I should jump into finding a job or take some time to travel first!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 5, 2017 at 12:15 pm

      Travel! You can do it pretty low cost (hostels, bartering, etc.) and it’s the rare chance you will actually get to do it freely!

  • Marie Morgan
    March 16, 2017 at 11:14 am

    This is just as liberating as travel is itself!!! I wish I had done more traveling before I had kids but I know as they get older it will be easier to start it up again. I consider myself a nomad because I have moved around so much in my short life but I actually enjoy that lifestyle. I get to meet new types of people, see different cultures, and expand my knowledge on the world with first hand experience. Everyone should just go on an impromptu road trip at least once in their lives. I tell my friends who don’t have kids yet and are groaning about being bored with the scene to just get out there and go somewhere new even if it’s by themselves. Exploring will never go out of style.

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 5, 2017 at 12:16 pm

      Haha right!! I read his submission and felt intoxicated! I couldn’t agree more with impromptu road trips when you don’t have kids!

  • Mary La Fornara
    March 16, 2017 at 11:23 am

    Traveling is one of the most important things people can do with their lives. After school, I took off for a year in Europe. I’m sure when I’m older I will look back on those day with a big smile!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 5, 2017 at 12:16 pm

      That’s amazing! What countries did you visit?

  • Janel Berchielli
    March 16, 2017 at 11:59 am

    I wish in my younger years this was something I did. I encourage my children to go and see the world when they are old enough.

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 5, 2017 at 12:17 pm

      That’s awesome! It’s really important, especially today, in coming together and working through a lot of the fear that’s been instilled in us about foreign places

  • Miss ALK
    March 16, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    Oh yes!! As I read this- I’m on vacation in Italy right now 😉

    xoxo A

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 5, 2017 at 12:17 pm

      Haha yay! Hope you had fun!

  • Kristine Circenis
    March 16, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    I really enjoyed reading Thomas’ perspective. I definitely plan to travel before and after my fiancee and I get married. I think where his perspective and mine differ is that I don’t see getting married as “settling down” in the traditional sense. I see it as more of a commitment, that of course comes with increased responsibilities, but it also solidifies the commitment we have to be each other’s travel buddies, cheerleaders and taste testers.

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 5, 2017 at 12:18 pm

      I think that for so many, getting married (historically) has meant jumping into having kids – or that some couples aren’t lucky enough to have shared travel passions so it could limit someones ability to explore!

  • Jenny
    March 16, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    I totally agree with traveling being super important. I’ll be traveling a lot this year and I couldn’t be more excited about it. Although I am not traveling solo since I’m married. 🙂

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 5, 2017 at 12:19 pm

      Haha jealous of all your travels this year! Why all of the trips? fun or work?

  • Elly Leavitt
    March 16, 2017 at 4:48 pm

    yessss so agree with this! travelling is so important, especially if you’ve never done it before. you could literally change your life path after one good trip so everyone needs to take time off to travel early on!

  • Krysta Lynn
    March 16, 2017 at 6:19 pm

    I really hope I get the opportunity to travel more in the next few years before I really start to settle down. I regret not traveling more when I was younger!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 5, 2017 at 12:20 pm

      I regret not studying abroad in college! I always feel so envious when I see people’s photos!

  • The Haunted Housewife
    March 16, 2017 at 7:26 pm

    I completely agree! I was late on traveling (way late… as in, last year) and now I can’t get enough!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 5, 2017 at 12:20 pm

      haha where have you been visiting lately?

  • Robin
    March 16, 2017 at 8:39 pm

    I love this. I do think that so many Millennials would travel more if they had the means to do so, but it’s so hard to find a job that pays well and doesn’t take over your life when you’re fresh out of college that finding that job has to take priority. But if you have a stable job and a livable income? ABSOLUTELY make travel a priority. If not now, when?

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 5, 2017 at 12:21 pm

      I think everyone is different. One of my friends from college posted an ad on craiglist and hitched a ride to mexico where he lived in a hammock on a beach, bartering food and the occasional sheltered for videos, which turned into a full time videography business for him! Sometimes going when you don’t have those things is really exact the time to go

  • Dia
    March 16, 2017 at 9:53 pm

    Beautiful post Thomas. I sometimes wished I traveled before going to school but I’ve been lucky enough to do a lot of traveling in my 20s. There are still many places I want to see but I’m working my way to it.

  • Crystal @ Dreams, etc.
    March 16, 2017 at 10:34 pm

    I love this! One of the beautiful things about traveling is the different people you meet and the different things you learn about yourself, others and the world. It really is an incredible thing to do!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 5, 2017 at 12:22 pm

      Couldn’t agree more! It’s unbelievable how one trip can shape you!

  • Greta Hollar
    March 17, 2017 at 12:14 am

    Perfect post. My husband and I have decided to travel somewhere big for 2-3 weeks. Our goal is to work for ourselves and travel most of the year!

    Greta |

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 5, 2017 at 12:22 pm

      That’s awesome! We are trying to do 2 weeks in Hawaii this year!

  • thesofieyahdiaries
    March 17, 2017 at 8:18 am

    I liked this idea of traveling in the 20’s! But then it brings out a whole host of problems I don’t want to think about… xD

  • Nicole Booz
    March 17, 2017 at 8:47 am

    Traveling has given me a broader perspective. I’m really grateful I’ve had the opportunity to travel in my twenties.

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 5, 2017 at 12:23 pm

      You’ve gone to such awesome places too!

  • Rachel @ My Urban Oven
    March 17, 2017 at 10:28 am

    I traveled a ton in my twenties, but now have settled into the married and job life. I would say, I still do travel a ton! You can travel and have a home base! I love traveling with my hubby, he is the best travel partner!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 5, 2017 at 12:27 pm

      Awe that’s awesome! what’s your favorite place you’ve been?

  • fairyprincessjord
    March 17, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    I believe traveling is really important for gaining new perspectives. I am always looking to travel more!

  • Cameron
    March 17, 2017 at 2:42 pm

    So much yes! Traveling is so much fun and an absolute must! Nice to see you were in my neck of the woods (New Orleans) haha, and I also LOVED Glacier National Park!

  • Jennifer L. | Modern Chic Mag
    March 17, 2017 at 10:45 pm

    I couldn’t agree more. Anytime I’m on the road or board a plane and see a new place I just love the perspective I get.

  • Aarika Chilson
    March 18, 2017 at 5:57 pm

    This is a fantastic post! I totally agree. I traveled extensively in my 20s and into my 30s, and in my later 30s, I am still feeling the travel bug. =) Travel changes people. I love that you talk about breaking out of our comfort zone because I think that the element of trying new things and being “uncomfortable” encouraged me to become the best version of myself. And Glacier National Park? Stunning! I can’t wait to visit. Cheers to more travel adventures!

  • Ashley Mason
    March 19, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    I love this post, Rach! I’ve been dying to travel, but I’m having difficulty convincing myself that i should because I would feel “guilty” if I spent money on travel instead of student loans, car insurance, etc. – but I totally deserve a vacation so it’s a struggle!

  • Jessica Marshall
    March 19, 2017 at 8:56 pm

    YES! This spoke right to me – I could not agree more! Thank you for sharing!!

  • Jessica Marshall
    March 19, 2017 at 8:58 pm

    YES! This spoke right to me- travel is absolutely life-changing! Thank you for sharing!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 5, 2017 at 12:29 pm

      Happy you enjoyed it! I saw your GP submission BTW, hopefully getting to all the submissions by next week

  • Marie Ernst
    March 20, 2017 at 8:07 pm

    Your photos tho! And I love to travel, but we have enough of cold weather here in Canada so as long as I can be warmer than I am 99% of the time, I am good to go!

  • Summer @ Coffee With Summer
    March 22, 2017 at 4:18 pm

    Traveling cost money = work now, play later! My husband and I wish we could travel, but we’re fine with putting in effort for work now so we can have fun later!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 5, 2017 at 12:30 pm

      I think it’s different for every person! But travel really doesn’t have to cost a ton! Many of my friends have bartered to travel for free over the years! One of my friends has a blog actually, mrandmrsadventure where they live out of their van and travel Europe for a good number of months out of the year!

  • Kristen @ TheSophisticatedGal
    June 8, 2017 at 9:09 pm

    Wow, this is such an amazing post for so many reasons! I couldn’t agree more that as millennials we are often trying to find our purpose and through travel, we can find clarity in what we want to do. I love traveling for all of these reasons. You get to see new places, try new things and meet other people!

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