Travelling is something you’re told to do when you’re young – before you settle down and get married and have kids. Aside from the gross concept that once you meet someone you can’t travel anymore and your life is over because of the snotty gremlins running around your feet, travelling costs money most of us youths just don’t have. So unless you’re Chuck Bass and have that trust fund money behind you, you can’t just head to Barcelona whenever you get mildly sad.
I’ve travelled a pretty substantial amount for someone my age considering I currently have $28.36 in my account despite being paid yesterday. Travelling is a great way to jump in the deep end of life and experience new things. This doesn’t just have to be the generic European ~ drinking beer in Germany, eating pasta in Italy~ kind of things. Some of the best travel experiences I’ve had has been the days I’ve tried to live like a local, ignore touristy spots and hit the backroads, hire a car and drive to the middle of nowhere and see what you find. Breaking from the routine or bubble you find yourself at home can bring you home with a whole new burst of inspiration.
Doing a Contiki in Europe won’t change your life, I’ll tell you that right now. Chances are you also won’t meet eyes the love of your life across the room in Spain. If you do, congrats! But it’s probably not going to happen. Sorry, but someone had to tell you.
A lot of people – younger people and students especially – will rule out travel as a possibility due to not being able to afford it. I’m constantly broke and it sucks. But travel is something that I think I’ll prioritise forever, so I throw some money in a savings account whenever I have the chance, and even if I have to withdraw it the next day to pay for lunch, it usually creeps up slowly.
Honestly though, I am tragic when it comes to saving money, and if I actually travelled as much as I want to, I’d need to work 90 hours a week and live with my mum and eat her food. But alas, while studying this isn’t a desirable option. The most recent trip I went on, I paid for by taking out a loan. Seems intimidating I know – but getting a loan is really not as bad as your dad makes it sound. Being comfortable with the idea of a loan/credit card can really make travelling suck less. A credit card can be a safety net if you find yourself in an emergency halfway through a trip. Of course I say all this precautionarily. Don’t take out a loan or get a credit card if you can’t afford repayments or if paying the repayments will send you broke.
Not trying to be preachy or cliche, but I do think travelling while you’re young and pushing to make it happen is worth it. So scarf down that avocado toast and get online, look at flights and start making a playlist to listen to on the plane.
My number one suggestion: An Evening in Roma – Dean Martin – exclusively so you can live your Lizzie Mcguire Movie fantasy.