2016 was the year that I vowed to spend more money on travel, less on all of the stuff, and to not feel guilty about taking time away from work to see the world.
Fresh from Europe, I'm here to tell you when you
If you're waiting for a sign, psst this is it! These are the ten reasons why you need to go ahead and book that vacation that you've had on your mind for far too long.
1. Quit flooding your head with excuses. That muttering that you do to yourself rattles around in your brain and sticks. I can't take off of work for that long. I don't have enough money for that. I can't because of the dog/kid/solid wifi connection. Enough.
2. The perspective you get, the knowledge you inquire, and the fuel for your inner curiosity monster should be enough. Visiting a new place has an astonishing way of making the food taste better, your appreciation for beauty stronger, and bonding the relationships around you.
3. Traveling is no doubt a ton of fun. I'd be lying if I said that travel is just miserable and you mope around the world without a smile on your face. You're more daring, adventures become part of your norm, and you can't help but to smile and have those whoa, I'm really here moments.
4. The history lessons never seize. Stumbling across a new building, sculpture, river, etc., meant that I could capture it and then Google all about it when I had my wifi connection back. Do you think I would've known that the Escaliers du Marche date back to the thirteenth century, or that the Traboules in Lyon were created for silk merchants, had I not researched? No way José!
5. The food. Sometimes the greatest thing about a language barrier is ordering whatever is recommended, and then falling madly in love with your meal. (I'm looking at you Saucisson Pistaché à la Mâconnaise)
6. It'll grow your self confidence. You'll take on challenges that you never imagined that you could face. Whether that be trying transatlantic alone, climbing to the top of a mountain, or indulging in food so exotic that you can't even pronounce it. Every obstacle seems like less of a big deal when you wake up with a no sweat, I've got this attitude.
7. Having zero control can be intimidating, alright it can be downright scary, but sometimes that is what you need to fully appreciate the moment. You get a better grasp on being present when you decide to go with the flow, and just enjoy the ride.
8. Gap years are so fascinating to me. A year or so to travel, explore, get all of your crazies out, find out who you are, and just live! In the states it is far from acceptable to say no, thanks to college right now and instead work an entry level job, save, and then spend. Travelling gives you a view of the world from different perspectives, and I believe that this translates to being a fully functioning adult in society.
9. You'll meet some pretty amazing people. Maybe you'll have your very own P.s. I Love You moment, or not, but the point is you'll meet some pretty rad people that you wouldn't have before. Connections like this can grow; suddenly you're crashing in each others spare room, and planning trips around the world together.
10. You deserve it, and you owe it to yourself.
If not now, when? Don't lie to yourself. When will you go? Next year? The following? 2025? Find whatever it is that is holding you back, and quite literally, put that thought on hold. Free yourself of the guilt and do it now.