Many people think that they need a reason to start traveling. Some people wait until they get enough vacation days, others like to save up for their dream trip, and some simply do not think it is possible with the amount of responsibilities that they have.
While I may not fit into some of these categories, I can say from personal experience that there have been times where I did not choose to travel due to financial circumstances and ended up regretting not going each time. I think many of us are caught up with distractions and some of us definitely have a lot more to think of before jetting off to another place, but we have to ask ourselves, if not now, then when?
Of course, everyone has limitations due to the world being the way it is and with capitalism being a prominent factor in several, if not all, of our societies, many of us are only afforded so many privileges. Whether it is not having the funds, or not having the “right” passport, or not having enough time, or being responsible for other beings, each of us is faced with the choice of what we do and when.
In terms of being able to travel, many of us are encouraged to get a job, work until we are at the age of retirement, and then focus on travel and other life passions after we have taken care of our career, love life and family; however, I cannot help but find that to be bleak. Not to mention, it does not apply to everyone because not everyone has the same ambitions regarding career, love, and family.
When we are young, we most likely have time and energy, but no money. Yet, I personally believe that this is the best time to travel. We may not all be able to go on our dream vacations or go on fancy cruises, but even experiencing life in a neighboring country, or even neighboring city can be enlightening. I think it is best to take the chance to explore and expand our minds while our brains are still in their final stages of development, as this will only bring us closer to being better versions of ourselves (if we travel with open minds and the intention of learning).
Besides, if we are lucky, most of us only have ourselves to look after in this stage of life, or perhaps only a pet in addition to ourselves. If nothing is tying you down to a place, make sure that it is not just you that is holding yourself back. Being reckless is not the solution either, but we need to live life without the expectation that we will be able to do everything we missed out on in our sixties and seventies.
In general, travel might be easier when we are younger due to lack of physical limitations and responsibilities towards others. This, however, does not mean we should throw in the towel and subject ourselves to mundane suburbia (unless that is what you enjoy) once we reach middle age. Making time for ourselves is key and travel is one of the best ways to force us to distance ourselves from our everyday problems.
When it comes to children, aging parents, or anyone else, finding a solution, such as bringing them along for the ride, letting someone else look after them, or asking friends and family for help, should be something we take into consideration before letting ourselves say that it is not possible to travel for the time being.
We need to be honest with ourselves and evaluate whether the things we want to do in life are truly impossible, or if we are creating self-fulfilling prophecies. As a young person, I can be guilty of this too sometimes, but we need to remind ourselves that we do not have forever, so we should not put things off because now is the time to travel, to grow, and to live.
Naná is a proud Brooklyn native and aspiring digital nomad. She enjoys travel, nature, and art. Her other hobbies include reading fantasy novels, binge-watching series on Netflix, and language-learning. Find her @blackbelletravels