This Is Why You Need To Travel

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)

62 thoughts on “This Is Why You Need To Travel”

  1. 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!

    1. 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.

  2. 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 😉

  3. 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

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

  7. Janel Berchielli

    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.

    1. 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

  8. Kristine Circenis

    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.

    1. 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!

  9. 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. 🙂

  10. 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!

  11. 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!

  12. 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?

    1. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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!

  15. 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!

  16. 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!

  17. 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!

  18. 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!

  19. Jessica Marshall

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

  20. 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!

    1. 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!

  21. 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!

Comments are closed.