Goins, Writer

On Writing, Ideas, and Making a Difference

3 Reasons to Travel While You’re Young

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The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.

—Augustine of Hippo

The other night, I had a conversation with a young lady who had a number of decisions ahead of her, which included whether she should go to grad school or travel the world.

I told her to travel. Hands down. No excuses. Just go. The results are worth the costs.

And she sighed.

Travel While You're Young

Photo credit: kokorowa (Creative Commons)

“Yeah, but…”

Never were more fatal words spoken:

  • Yeah, but… what about debt?
  • Yeah, but… what about my job?
  • Yeah, but… what about my boyfriend (or dog or car or whatever)?

“Yeah, but…” is pernicious. Because it makes it sound like we have the best of intentions when really we are just too scared to do what we should. It allows us to be cowards, while sounding noble.

Most people I know who waited to travel the world never did. Conversely, plenty of people who waited for grad school or a steady job and traveled still did those things — eventually.

Be careful of the yeah-but. The yeah-but will kill your dreams. [Tweet that]

I was so stirred by this conversation that I shared it with a group of 30 young adults last night, many who were asking these very same questions.

The life you’ve always wanted

When you get older, life seems to just sort of happen to you. Your youth is a time of total empowerment. You get to do what you want.

But as you mature and gain new responsibilities, you have to be very intentional about making sure you don’t lose sight of what’s important.

So if you still have a reasonable amount of control over your circumstances, you should do what really matters. Because life won’t always be just about you.

During early adulthood, your worldview is still being formed. It’s important to steward this time — to give yourself opportunities to grow. A good way to do that is to travel.

So, young person, travel. Travel wide and far. Travel boldly. Travel with full abandon.

You will regret few risks you take when it comes to this. I promise you that. There are three reasons to travel while you’re young:

1. Traveling teaches you to live an adventure

When you look back on your life, you will have moments of which you are proud and maybe a few you regret. It’s likely that the following won’t be on the latter list:

  • Bicycled across the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • Appeared on Italian TV.
  • Hiked a Mayan ruin.
  • Learned Spanish in three months.
  • Toured Europe by train.

They’re not on mine (fun fact: I’ve done all of the above). So what, then, will be? What choices will you regret making? Holding back. Being afraid. Making excuses. Not taking more risks. Waiting.

While you’re young, you should travel. 

You should take the time to see the world and taste the fullness of life. It’s worth whatever investment or money or sacrifice of time that may be required on your part.

This is not about being a tourist. It’s about experiencing true risk and adventure so you don’t have to live in fear for the rest of your life.

2. Traveling helps you encounter compassion

In your youth, you will make choices that will define you. The disciplines you begin now will be with you for the rest of your life.

Traveling will change you like little else can. It will put you in places that will force you to care for issues that are bigger than you.

If you go to southeast Asia, you may encounter the slave trade. If eastern Europe, you may see the effects of genocide and religious persecution. If Haiti, you’ll witness the the ugly side Western paternalism.

Your heart will break.

You will begin to understand that the world is both a big and small place. You will have a new-found respect for the pain and suffering that over half of the world takes for granted on a daily basis.

And you will feel more connected to your fellow human beings in a deep and lasting way. You will learn to care.

3. Traveling allows you to get some culture

While you’re still young, you should get cultured. Get to know the world and the magnificent people that fill it. There’s nothing quite like walking alongside the Colosseum or seeing Michelangelo’s David in person.

I can describe the city of San Juan and its amazing beaches and historic sites to you, but you really have to see it for yourself to experience it. You can read all the books in the world about the Great Wall of China or The Louvre, but being there is a different story.

The world is a stunning place, full of outstanding works of art. See it.

Do this while you’re still young. Do not squander the time. You may never have it again.

You have a crucial opportunity to invest in the next season of your life now. Whatever you sow, you will eventually reap. Please. For your sake, do this. Because you won’t always be young. And life won’t always be just about you.

So travel. Experience the world for all it’s worth. Become a person of culture, adventure, and compassion.

“What if I’m not young?”

Travel, anyway. It may not be easy to do, but find a way to get out of your comfort zone. It’s really never too late.

But if you haven’t gotten sucked into the routine of life yet, I implore you — travel. It will never be easier than it is right now for you to do that which really matters.

Have you seen what the world has to offer and how it can change you? Join the discussion in the comments.

If this post resonates with you, you might enjoy The In-Between, a book about learning to love the journey, not just the destination. It’s currently 40% off on Amazon. You can also join my email list for more free updates.

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About Jeff Goins

I help people tell better stories and make a difference in the world. My family and I live outside of Nashville, TN. Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or Google Plus. To get updates and free stuff, join my newsletter.

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  • doubtfull lady

    I don’t know am I in young or old category! :D OK, I’m not in old, definitely, but I didn’t just get out of high school.. 
    I should be working (I am, but part time), and I haven’t got so much money for travelling, and for getting my own place to live (still with my parents, a *bit* annoying). I must see what I really want, so I will read your article about the hardest part of realizing your dreams! :DD

    I remember that, when I was younger, I imagine myself travelling around, spending some time in some little flat in France for example. And now I’m searching for job, thinking why don’t I think about that little french flat anymore. Maybe I’m more realistic than before? I don’t know how woul I support myself there. 

    Sorry for this little part that has nothing to do with any of comments here! Great article, pretty simple and optimistic! I encourage young people, who have just graduted form high school to take a free year before college. That way they will see what they really want to do, what job/life suits them the best!

  • maria

    EXCELLENT comment! just in a middle of a great trip in France! 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=514955884 Azeem Banatwalla

    Yeah, but…to travel across the world, I need money. To earn money, I need a job. To keep a job, I need to be in town. So how travel?

    It’s easy for people in the US and Europe to write this kind of stuff. Try growing up in a middle-class family in a third world country, and you’ll see what a “Yeah, but…” really means.I don’t say this to sound bitter. I’m a travel journalist myself now (National Geographic Traveler), so it’s not a problem I face anymore (It’s not like I can just go wherever I want to, but it’s a start). But it’s not quite as simple as you make it seem, everywhere else in the world. Not everyone has the luxury of being able to drop everything and transform into a globetrotting hippie. For example those heart-breakers in Haiti.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=703835343 Phillippa Murphy-Haste

    My mum has always told me to travel while I’m young. She was married at 19 and didn’t have the same opportunities I do. Last year at the age of 22, I decided to take her advice. I quit my job, bought a one way ticket to Italy without speaking a word of the language and without much of a plan. I was lucky to have two friends living, studying and working in Milan who helped me find work teaching English privately. I did a CELTA course (Certificate of English Language Teaching to Adults) before leaving to prepare myself and started working straight away when I arrived in March this year. One family I was teaching invited me to au pair for one month at their home in the mountains in Italy so I did. While living in Italy I decided to enrol in Italian language classes for three weeks and I made so many friends from all around the world who I am still in contact with. Every weekend I went somewhere new and our language school organised trips and events which were great. I joined Greenpeace Milan despite hardly understanding a word of what anybody was saying at the meetings. After four months living in Italy I could speak Italian on the street and with my friends without having to think. I travelled with my boyfriend who joined me also. We are both musicians and he organised to tour with his friends so I joined them. We went to Romania where we lived with a Romanian family and I recorded a Romanian folk song, ‘Du-ma acasa, mai tramvai’. I met a Romanian pop star who showed me around Bucharest. I met a Transylvanian double bass player who drove me to his home in Rasnov near Brasov where he drove us up mountains and we walked up hillsides. I went to Budapest. I stayed with a lovely family in Vienna who were expecting a new baby immediately following our departure. I spent one day in Germany where an au pair I had met in Australia showed me around Munich. I accepted an invitation to stay with a lady in Finland I had never met before but who had been friends with my aunty in Australia when she lived there. I attended a woodwind festival and saw Charles Neidich perform. I woke up at 5 a.m. in the morning when the sun rose and fell asleep while an American guitarist jammed on our balcony. I ate deer and wild blueberries and I swam in the sea in water that was sweet to taste. I went to a karaoke bar and watched a new friend sing a love ballad in Finnish. I auditioned and performed in a masterclass with an ex-clarinetist from the Vienna Philharmonic. I was invited to participate in a summer school on the Amalfi coast, so I did. I met a German clarinetist who is now my friend. I made many Italian friends. I visited Pompeii. I flew to London. I joined four bands within a week through the gumtree website. Then my boyfriend was assaulted on his walk home from a gig and I stayed inside for most of the following three weeks I was there. When I did venture out I accompanied my boyfriend to rehearsals and was asked if I could sing. I said yes (even though I am quite shy about it normally) and ended up singing backing vocals for a hip hop band at a gig. It was wonderful. While I was afraid about going outside, I missed so much of that great city. Being fearful and staying at home was horrible. After a while I got used to it and didn’t ever want to leave. I eventually left London and visited my sister who is studying in Madrid. It is a wonderful city and I felt much happier because I was out and about again, experiencing life. I’m now back in Australia, preparing for my next trip. I would like to study overseas so I will study a language and get practising. I’ve learnt to get out more in my home country. I was more inclined to stay in and watch a movie. Now I take up opportunities to see what great things are happening in my own city. The world can be a scary place but there are so many wonderful people and things going on. I’m lucky, I was brought up in a wealthy country by a family who valued education so I was able to get a job quite easily and save up for my trip. I will remember these experiences for the rest of my life and use them positively so that they benefit a wider audience than myself. I am inspired to create a better world, starting at home in Australia. My mum has been inspired and now plans to travel to all the places she never could as a young woman. She will visit my sister in Spain this Christmas. One note to those travelling: leave your imprint as a memory of your wonderful personality, not as environmental mess. There is a great responsibility with those who venture into new territories, respect the people and the land. You are a guest.

  • Patrick Hearn

    Thank you for this article, truly. I have been enamored with the idea of a round-the-world trip after college, similar to what Alistair Humphreys or Tom Allen pulled off. I’m trying to break into the world of travel writing, working on a Creative Writing degree. However, living in America, in the society with all its expectations, puts a strain on the spirit. I wonder at times if it is possible, if maybe I shouldn’t just stay here and do the ‘normal’ thing. This article was the boost I needed. Thank you.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      you’re welcome, Patrick. my pleasure. thanks for reading.

  • Satu Makinen

    Travelling is definitely an attitude! I never had a lot of money, worked sometime and then left again. I feel I’ve travelled every little corner in Europe, but I know there’re still many more beautiful ones to go. Also travelled around the world, but I think what I’ve seen is just a very very small bite.

    Once you get something amazing, you start wanting more. Same with travelling. When you’re young, I guess leaving is easier, as you’re not too scared yet. Nothing else will ever be on your way!

  • http://www.pronomad.net Mark

    When your back is against the wall, you are in a foreign country, not speaking the language, and your bank balance is on a race to zero, what do you do? You do what every human being has the capacity to do, and that is adapt and survive. Trust yourself to find a way. It will inevitably happen. 

  • Cozy

    I couldn’t agree more with this. At 16 I traveled to Japan to stay with host-families for a month, and ever since I’ve been unable to stay in the same place for too long. At the moment, with college and two jobs, it’s hard to get away. But every now-and-then I’ll take a weekend off and go to california, new mexico, montana, alaska, or somewhere exciting where I know at least one person, and just…experience new things. I go alone, in my car, and encounter the most interesting people. I plan to leave when I graduate and travel more world-wide for about a year, and am saving for that eventuality. I want to have a doctorate in Anthropology, which will hopefully allow me to travel a great deal while still getting paid (by…someone…lol). I can’t wait!

  • http://www.facebook.com/mcteryo Vladislav Vizulainen

    No money ,  no travel. No Jobs no money.  

  • Traveller W/O Regret

    Jeff, clearly still a young person himself, must think that when we’re at our poorest in life, we are the most independently wealthy…is it Mom’s money we’re supposed to blow on this noble adventure?

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Travel doesn’t have to cost a lot.

  • http://twitter.com/Isabel_p_a Isabel Pérez

    Great Post!
    I really liked it. I did a trip of three months in Europe with my sister, kind of sponsored by my parents. And is true, i think I became more confident about myself, and if i regreat something, is have not risked enough. But is a begining. 
    Thaks to the trip, i lost one semester in school, but i dont regret have been traveling. 
    People use to look at you and think that you are going out, evading responsabilities, “just” traveling, but after all, I dont care. Thats one of the best things we can do in life, and one of the best ways to spend money.
    Thank you very much

  • Paige McDonald

    Ab-so-lutely! I’m moving abroad for a year to live and work in Thailand. http://www.thetravelpaige.blogspot.com
    I think travel should be mandatory after school. So much can be gained by it…well-what you said.

  • yeldaNLI

    Hi Jeff,

    Your words sound amazing and inspirational.But i wonder, how about you,did you travel around world or try it?did you travel with full abandon? i want to follow you but still have some doubt that i overcome,in order to believe sincerely your words.. i also want to believe it,but i have some hesitatings,if you answer me,i will be appreciated,
    Good luck

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      yes, I did. I traveled through Europe for a semester in college, and after graduating, I spent a year driving around the US, Canada, and spent a month in Taiwan. Everyone’s experiences will be unique; it’s not so much about where you end up as it is about leaving — the journey itself.

  • African Impact

    Great article!!

  • Scott Collins

    I loved reading this. I tell everyone who’ll listen exactly the same thing. I am 23, have been to 30 countries and counting in between an undergraduate degree and now medical school. Don’t use money as an excuse. Get a credit card, take out a loan, whatever it takes. Just do it. There can be no price on the enrichment of your life that will result. 

  • Scott Collins

    Of course, I realise we are vey lucky in Australia (and many other countries) to have the social support systems and economic circumstances that make it possible to do things like take out a loan for travel. Opportunities which undoubtedly don’t exist for a huge portion of the world’s people. Hopefully one day everyone will have this chance. 

  • Kresmerano

    Just to share, my mother used to complain a lot about my goal of two new countries per year. She said this is unwise and causing sending my savings down the drain. I am glad I did not listen. I have toured 18beaches for 12 days in Hawaii…hugged the tigers in a monastery in Thailand, hiked a mountain wearing a dress, looked for a hotel drunk on a winter’s night in Paris, braved the heavy snowy day towards Waterloo to reach napoleon’s battlefield and many more. Regrets? Never. I will never be this young again :)

  • Ino

    Great article and certainly a wealth of responses! Congratulations! As for me, I’m also from the Philippines, and even though I haven’t gone to so many countries, at 21, I have been out of Asia, been to London, Paris, all over the U.S. and also some Asian countries. Mind you we’re not rich, just probably average to able to afford plane tickets. We rarely stay in 5 star hotels, rather stay in with relatives of 3 stars rooms.

    I agree to someone’s post that traveling does make you different; well at least that’s what I feel. Traveling sort of makes your world bigger, and you just can’t settle at home anymore. It’s like you don’t want to do what everyone’s doing back at home anymore, like it feels boring, and you have to move on. 

    I live in a third world country, and if it weren’t for my travels, I would not have these great ideas, these bigger dreams that I have. I will not realize that our country has a lot to improve upon, and I would not aspire for greener pastures.  

    You tend to take travel as a habit, like someone mentioned that those who travel earlier in their lives do it more often later in life.

    I “forced” my parents for a vacation in Bangkok, Thailand next month (wow how spoiled do I sound) and want to go for Angkor Watt too. Reading all these comments make me want to just leave anything and take a risk at it, give it a shot. The thing is, my parents also have expectations for me, and I am AFRAID to deviate in some way. And then again it boils down to FEAR. To travel or not to travel?I would like to end this in a rather cliched saying but I think it sums up the whole point, “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page.” 

  • Rob Kay

    Jeff, I applaud you for living the life that was uniquely suited for you.  However, I have never seen a philosophy, teaching, point of view, perspective that was true for 6 billion people.  Some can do both, some travel young and some travel old, it’s what makes the world go round.  I agree the, “ya but” mentality is really the killer.  It’s different from, “That’s great for you, and what would make me so happy is to study more or study abroad.”  That’s a ‘yes’ statement, ‘ya, but’ is, as you said, a ‘fear statement.  So, please, continue to enjoy your life and decisions with confidence and security and let other people chose what’s right for them.

    Best,
    Robert

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=600017634 Aisa Ipac

    I kept on nodding while reading this article. Amazing! Love every point you made. I know a lot of people who refuses to travel because of your stated reasons above. I’m a nomadic at heart and traveling is the only thing that makes me genuinely happy. :) Discovering new cultures, food, people is the greatest joy 9aside from family of course). I think people who travel are the wisest of them all. :)

    Hope it’s okay if I repost this on my blog. Will credit you of course.:) Just wanna share this!:) Thank yoou.

    Aisa

  • Cat Gaa

    I move abroad four years ago and haven’t looked back. Your article was touching and personal. I just finished the Pigrammage by Coehlo today and it made me eager to get off my couch in Southern Spain and do something great.

  • Jowsefs

    Hey, what if you dob have money to spend to travel? How about that?

  • Mike

    I believe it’s entirely possible for someone to live a blissful and fulfilling life without subscribing to the middle-class meme that “you’re not living to the fullest until you travel the world”.

    Everything you do is an opportunity cost. When you spend lots of time and money traveling, you’re missing out on other things that a more rooted person would be enjoying, like more disposable income and more time with their close network of friends.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love traveling – but I think it’s a little ignorant to use it as a benchmark of how well somebody is living their life.

  • Mitthuman

    Just one issue remaining… Money.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Not necessarily. There are lots of cheap ways to travel! Just ask Chris Guillebeau.

  • So-Yassou

    19 years old girl, 5 weeks all alone in the US. I’m back in France since august and I can’t get used to it. The seed of travel is growing and growing inside me. The only thing I want now is to go back there, and find again what I’ve found the first time. That was a true adventure, and yeah, now my heart is broken for everything that I’ve left when I took the plane back to my country. I’ve changed, even if others don’t notice it. I’m young. I still have 11 years to travel. And I sure will.

  • Pedro_candrade

    I m from brazil and just spent six months in spain, studying and traveling around europe. I can only tell you guys, and that is what i am doing everyday to my friends, telling them that those were the best 6 months of my life. Just hope that I have somehow another oportunity like this one I had

  • http://yaplog.jp/yingying Ying2

    Even better, Live in different countries!

    I’m from Singapore as well & i’ve lived in China, Switzerland, Antigua during the past 3 years! By living in these countries I could travel regionally whenever I have time! I like doing things the local way especially learning local slangs!

  • CW

     this is also a good site to inspire some to travel, share your amazing stories!
    http://promisetowrite.com/

  • Stringout

    can you stop travelling?

  • m a a d

    oh well, i would want to, and it’s my second time applying for schengen visa coz they rejected first time. iv been waiting for 2 months now since the 2nd attempt. sucks to be in the 3rd world. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/tareh Encik Tareh

    If anybody needs an idea how to start – id always tell this to my all friend, take a flight to somewhere, then overland back. For example, if you’re a Singaporean – take a flight to Vietnam, then cross down to Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Malaysia. Its fun!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kitzi-Ancog/1257445132 Kitzi Ancog

    Indeed, your article is very true.  I have put law school on hold, exhausted all my vacation leave credits at work and set of to travel to Asia, Europe, and the United States even with very little money on hand, and all I can say is, it was the best thing that I have ever done in my life.  I have never actually lived until I saw the rest of the world.  To meet new people, experience different cultures, taste different cuisines, is an unexplainable adventure worth the risk.  But best of all, travelling is a very humbling experience.  You get to realize that you are just one tiny dot in this vast universe, and nobody is greater than the other in various terms.  The temporary “high” you get from material acquisition is none compared to the undefinable “explosion” you get from travelling which leaves a lasting memory.  

    So, like you Jeff, I encourage young people as well to save up and travel.  Forget about the new iphone, or shoes, or whatever new gadgets released out there… they will eventually perish or get upgraded.  See the world first, then you’ll realize what really matters in life.  

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Thanks for sharing, Kitzi. Powerful story.

  • http://twitter.com/fernandadino fernandadino

    Can I translate your text for portuguese and publish in my blog? (of course I’ll put the link for the original text)

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Sure

  • Bluespring Yu

    No money!!!! T.T

  • comespeaktome

    I say its never too late. I’m happier travelling now in my ‘maturity’.I look back at my achievements and now I can enjoy the fruits of travelling.I’m strong still and young at heart. So, each to his own.

  • berto

    yeah, but see, travelling is just so different and hard for people like me who live in a third world country. im not even talking about the money… what most first-world people don’t know is that unlike them, we third-world people have to line-up and wait for first world countries to give us visas before we even fly. some even require we already buy the tickets only to find out later that the visa application will be rejeted anyway… sigh… i wish i could just buy my tickets and have my passport and fly to anywhere i want…

  • AJ Adiviso

    i did travel a lot since i was young. call me one of the lucky ones to experience it — and it never stopped there… i keep finding new places, meeting new people, understanding different cultures, enjoyed exotic foods in hk, got lost in shanghai, gotten drunk inside louvre, smoked grass in acropolis, lost all my stuff in san francisco, lost my passport in singapore & bangkok, ventured in a motorcycle all over europe, drove a sportscar in autobahn, jump from a plane in cali, jump from a tower in macau, jump from a cliff in hawaii, done a lot of stupid things, fall in love with a foreign girl, getting lost in a safari, have swam with the sharks, partied with paris hilton, have climbed mountains.. what else is there to do but live your life and experience what it has to offer.  this article holds true. 

  • http://other-worldly.org Justine

    I’m 23 I can say I’ve traveled more than the average person (thanks to being a TCK) but unfortunately still not as much as many people. While I’ve gone to a lot of Asian countries/cities and Australia there are cities I’ve yet to explore especially Europe, Africa and the Americas.. even Middle East! I hope I get to do that in the near upcoming years. Saving up! There’s only really one place I’d love to go to right now.. and that is Greece. Wishing myself luck! Hahaha.

  • Abdul shajin

    Hi sir, I am an indian. And I would like to know how travellers make money in between travelling. What if once our money finished!! ?? pls help.

  • Alex

    Very inspiring … But the world is becoming less accessible and surrounded by four walls, full of people living in the illusory search of their dreams, those dreams keep them on the line of  “when?”.

    I belive in living in the present, and people live in an uncertain future.

    I support your idea and many should do the same. So I have to pack up and travel.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Heidi-Willis/1638378091 Heidi Willis

    Travel makes you a better person, a better human being. I was a closed-minded and naive young woman from Iowa before travel opened my eyes and mind. I’m a much different person because of travel and experiencing the culture and people that I have. And I want to emphasize you don’t need a lot of money to travel either. You don’t have to be wealthy. My husband and I took some of our greatest trips while making less than $30,000 combined. You just have to get creative and agree that going into debt for a life changing experience is worth it.  Life is too short not to travel.

  • http://www.raisingmytcks.wordpress.com MaDonna Maurer

    When in high school I had a sub that told us all to travel before we got married, travel after we got married, and travel some with kids, and then travel more when the kids are gone. I took her advise and traveled during college on mission trips, and then moved overseas after college graduation. It was the the second best decision I had made, first being to follow Christ wherever.  
    Being “on the field,” here is my one thought that I had while reading your post…
    Europeans do this all the time, they take 3-6 months after high school or college and travel before they start their job. Sometimes this “traveling” is mission related…I challenge those that are young to do that. Living somewhere longer than a few weeks opens up your worldview even more and you really “live” there.
    Great post, Jeff!

  • MissLiz

    Wow…this is amazing. I couldn’t of read this at any other better time then now. In the last month I’ve been contemplating whether I should pause halfway through my Tourism Degree to go travel the world since it’s always been my dream, and I’m at that point where I just can’t stop thinking about traveling. I’ve asked for opinions and advice from family, friends, colleagues and everyone else I know, yet I still was not satisfied and could not make a decision. Reading this really slams the hard truth in my face, that I actually am scared of debts, time, money etc. Reading this made me feel so motivated, as if it was a sign for me, I randomly so your link on my Facebook newsfeed and the title “reasons to travel while young” caught my attention in an instant. I just want to Thank You so much for writing this and being such an inspiration and motivating others out there, it truly makes a difference. I think this has really helped me make my final decision and just go for it, because I now know I won’t regret it because it is the one thing in life that can truly make me happy. I also love the book “Eat, Pray, Love” it is amazing =) Thank you again Jeff! 

  • Pocahntas7

    I have traveled quite bit for my age and it’s taught me so much about life. I always tell my friends to travel now while they are free from the responsibilities of large overwhelming debt and having a family of their own. I think maybe one or two have done so and they are now obsessed. Wish more people just got up and did it instead of comparing their lives and situations to mine or other travelers.

  • Vinni Issar

    Hi Jeff…I relate to your words so much. I have been meaning to travel to a far off place abroad for so long but haven’t been able to do so under the garb of  ‘Yeah, but..’ 
    I feel so motivated and free after reading this…as if a whiff of fresh air has hit my face… thank you so much. I shall definitely make that trip and will update you once I am back! I intend to begin charity from home…so will see the whole of India first and then move forward…
    Thanks heaps…. 

  • barro

    myspace.com/barropanama

  • Pmandra

    I could not agree more with the posting. My wife and I quit our jobs around ten years ago and traveled throughout Africa and Europe for several weeks. With a baby now on the way, very glad we did it when we were able to!

    You get a lot out of traveling. You learn a lot about yourself and it’s very inspiring. My trip inspired me so much that I even wrote a humerous novel, ‘Overland’, about the entire challenging experience!

    http://www.amazon.com/Overland-Peter-Mandra/dp/1456808974

  • Wilberry

    Sure, travel young by all means. But this is written with something of an assumption that everybody is going to settle down with a family, picket fence and live the nuclear dream afterwards. For many of us, in place of the nuclear dream, to continue exploring and discovering is every bit as important as travelling young, or more so as we age.

  • Puppycant

    Rubbish! Study hard, work, earn well, take a vacation every year. Travel as you grow older, it gives you perspective.

  • grrrrrrr

    amazing stuff.. motivates me to travel on my own a lot.. but how about people who are in control of their parents.. like me?? :(

  • Liz Liew

    SO TRUE! I had to make a decision – to take a year off work to volunteer and do a working holiday in NZ or pursue my career. I chose to travel and am experiencing most of what you’ve put out :)

  • Sameen

    I am so happy I kind of managed to do both. I’m from Pakistan, and studied for a Master’s degree in London. I went to Cornwall and then to Paris, Venice, Florence and Rome on my own and absolutely loved it. I’m back home now and have a job that only gives me time to dream, except over the summer. So now the plan is to go back to familiar places and faces in London next summer, followed by Montreal, and, who knows? Perhaps further afield too = )

    Where I come from, my travelling solo (I’m female), shocks many, horrifies others, scandalises quite a few. But I love it

  • http://twitter.com/KimNodurft Kim Nodurft

    Brilliant article!  I started traveling when I was 34.  Have never stopped and never plan to.  My only regret is I didn’t start earlier.  Reading about something vs. experiencing it… there’s no question which is better.

  • Christina

    This is exactly what my older brother told me at 19 years old when the opportunity to spend a summer in India came up. The best advice I ever got!

  • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

    Share the exact same thought. Hence why my GF & I are embarking on a RTW trip at the end of this year. 

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  • kylemooney781

    I’m seriously considering a trip to Argentina next month, and came across this article while making travel plans. It halfway convinced me to just do it. BUT I have to ask, as someone who has traveled to 20+ countries on 5 continents and currently owes more than 30k, when do I stop being ‘young’ and start being ‘old’? I LOVE traveling and am fantasizing about trips all the time, but the reality is traveling is NOT cheap. It’s not something that can just be ‘done’ simply because we have the passion to do it.

  • Camilo Silva

    i just came back from an around the world trip…if you need inspiration check out my photos…travel now while you can

    http://www.chameleonchronicle.com

  • http://etuvida.wordpress.com/ Isha

    So so true. I wrote something quite similar after I took a break pre-grad school for 3 months and traveled to Southeast Asia + India. Being of a South Asian Female – the idea did of backpacking did not go down easily with my family. But I did it. And they, on hearing my stories and seeing my memories, are now glad that just this once – I was rebellious!

    http://etuvida.wordpress.com/2011/08/03/my-anthem/

    • Isha

      Um – sorry for the horrible typos. I meant “Being a South Asian Female – the idea of backpacking did not go down easily with my family.”

      • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

        no worries, Isha. If you have a Disqus account, you can edit your comments.

  • Kapil Dawda

    I have been fortunate to have travelled (a lot) during the days of my youth. I see how it gets harder as age and other responsibilities catch up with you.  I hope to find a way around them and continue doing so, year after year. Thanks for having captured my mindset so well. 

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      You’re welcome, Kapil.

  • Denise Barkis Richter, Ph.D.

    Truer words were never written! I’m a huge believer in the long-term, life-enhancing value of travel. I’ve taken two sets of students to Spain, one set of students to Mexico, and I’m about to take another set of students to Washington, D.C., and New York City this spring…all because I traveled when I was a student, and it was my best education. Thanks for these inspiring words. Cheers, Denise http://sanantoniotourist.wordpress.com 

  • Smoore

    Everything you said was true. I studied abroad for a semester and while in the UK I made it to eleven other countries, and I managed to go to Jamaica while still in high school on a mission trip. I can’t even begin to tell you the incredible amount of art, culture, architecture, food, etc that I took in in a short four months. And while in Jamaica I was able to truly experience the other side of traveling –compassion. In college I studied English and history, and traveling ignited within me a desire for more…more of everything! The downside AND plus side to traveling is that it’s never enough. No matter where you go or how long you’re there, there’s always more to see and experience. The world is truly an amazing place!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      It really is.

  • Sean Ferguson

    Great write up.. I am from the USA but I am currently living in Korea. My family and friends back home all question my decisions in regards to profession, marriage, children, and money but, none of them have done what I have done. None of them have watched a small mountain go up in flames as part of a Korean spring planting festival, none of them have go on elephant jungle treks in Thailand or crawled through Vietcong tunnels in Vietnam  none of them celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin or Mardi Gras in Venice but, I have…

  • Kelsey

    I traveled to Peru for a church mission trip when I was sixteen years old. It was the best two weeks of my life. Not only did I interact with the natives and help them by building a school and dormitories for an orphanage, but I also got to do a lot of sight-seeing – Machu Picchu, etc.

    Next on my list is a trip across Europe by train. Not sure how or when I’ll manage it, but someday it’s going to happen.

  • http://dramosdesign.tumblr.com/ Ms.Nomad

    You speak the truth sir. I went on my first international adventure when I was 17 i’m now 26 and have traveled to 16 countries since. Travel is the biggest part of my life, not just a hobby but a real passion. I’ve traveled with friends and by myself and each time I learn something new about myself or the world that no book could have ever taught me. Fears of the real world reality do eventually sink in and you begin to think am I living life too carelessly traveling around like a nomad? No is the answer as long as you dedicate time to other aspects of you life. Since my first travel I have received an associates and bachelors degree and work a full time job. I work hard to save money for my next adventure.

    However, I pose a question when do you decide stop? I’ve had my fun and had numerous adventures for almost a decade. Now that everyone around me has begun to settle down and create sturdy foundations for their futures, I want nothing more than to hop on the next flight going anywhere. Am I wrong for wanting to do so? Am I being an irresponsible adult? Is it time to turn in my “worldly person” card? I dont have an answer to these questions but if anyone cares to give some insight please do. However, my words of advice to all those in doubt of traveling whom haven’t…just do it! It can be scary at first but I promise you, you will have the best times of your life and probably meet life changing people. So to all travel on. 

  • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

    Think I posted on this earlier. But seriously great post. Many of my friends have been passing this around FB lately. 2 books I read to get me to take the big jump of long-term travel were Rolf Pott’s Vagabonding and Chris G’s Art of Non-comformity. Great stuff

  • ying

    Hey Jeff, I have contemplating about this as well – having coming from an architecture background and actually would benefit from travel. I have decided to put off travelling till later and this is why:

    I have just graduated from 7 years of studies with a huge loan debt and expectations to financially help put my brother through school. I always wanted to be able to travel, but with my family’s financial background there is limited savings and luxury for travel – everything has been put into covering the remaining cost of university tuition. Even with offers from my (somewhat wealthy)aunt for another loan to travel to Europe; here I have, on one hand, this opportunity to travel and start my life in debt, or …. I go out, start working, and help out my family.. (in other words, be responsible). How do you even start to make that kind of decision? I don’t really think the “yeah.. but” thing applies much in these kind of scenarios, and while some are blessed to have travelled in their early part of their lives, and still afford to during unemployment, its not necessarily the case for everyone. You can’t exactly say money or no money, because you definitely need *some* money make it through. It’s not that travel isn’t beneficial, I really think that it is, and as you say, a real opportunity to go out and learn about the world. But also, for some people, life happens much earlier than some, and so, I just think there needs to be the right time and place to make that decision to travel, and not make it a case of  “because I want to”. 

  • IMO

    Well, like many reader, I do really agree to this post to a certain extend. But however, there is a significant difference between Asian and Western is: family, parents. I worked in a London company based in Asia, and I’ve spoken to some European and English colleagues about this topic before. And both sides came to the same conclusion that what hold most asian back is family, parents. Coz in Asia, most of them will have to support their family and parents financially. On contrary, my Europeans and English colleagues told me that in their country, there dun have such commitments. Their parents will take care of themselves. They dun even want their money. Their parents just want their children to take care of themselves, and parent will take care on their own. But in Asia, (though they are slowly changing) but there are still alot of Asian parents who expect their kids to support them back after they reach a certain age.

    Why is it so? Because, in western countries such as for example, The States, the government will support you after you reach a certain retiring age (but they pay 40% or so tax). However, in country like SG, government won’t really support you. You have to rely on your CPF, personal retirement savings, and your kids. In SG, they even have law to prosecute those children who don’t take care of their parents.

    So Jeff, you have place these cultural differences this into consideration as well. But ultimately, I still agree with you to travel, and do it while you are young! (provided your situation allow you to)
    If your situation allows you to do so, but you hesitate, you will regret somedays man.

    Cheers!

  • http://missusmac.wordpress.com Christine

    I don’t think I would have read this post a year and a half ago. I wouldn’t have read it because it would have made me feel bad about not having enough money or time to travel… it would have made me feel bad about my excuses.  I’d never left the country except for a honeymoon paid for by the inlaws, and I had no plans to leave it, only work and maybe start a family. A year and a half ago, I was 22 and already narrow-minded towards travel and moving outside of my comfort zone.

    That said, something happened that gave me an opportunity to travel, and since then I can say that my entire outlook on life has changed. In July of 2010, my husband won Yahoo’s Sports Pass, a prize that gives the winner (and one guest) 4 free trips to sporting events anywhere in the world.

    Since then, we’ve been to Brazil, Hawai’i, Australia, New Zealand, and New Caledonia. Next year we are going to the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, UK, and Thailand. Since then, my entire outlook has changed, and instead of looking forward to settling down and having a family, I’m planning day trips to Brussels and what to wear to the FC Barcelona game.

  • http://miniskirtninja.com miniskirtninja

    Hi Jeff!

    Well stated. Travel will push and pull you like a Stretch Armstrong, expanding and testing your boundaries so spaces open inside of your being that you never knew to exist. Places where compassion, awareness, and acceptance live.

    Plus, at the end of the day, because you have experienced the world and all its unpredictability, education and work will no longer seem like behemoth and frightening endeavors. In short, if you can travel, you can do anything.

    I write about the importance of incorporating adventure and travel into your everyday life over on miniskirtninja.com.

    Cheers!
    Ashley

  • Tien Pham

    I wholeheartedly agree. I am always encouraging my friends to study abroad in college because I had such an amazing time traveling during my semester abroad in Italy. Please please please, everyone travel, see, and learn. You won’t regret it. 

  • Rod

    I just quit my job and traveling around… No regrets so far… 2 months…

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  • Guest

    Im a senior graduation with honors from one of the best universities in the US, and I have been to 18 countries. That may not be an impressive figure, but at 18 countries around the globe before the age of 22, I’d say I’m doing well. 12 of them were through a program called SEMESTER AT SEA. 

    SAS is a 3 month- study abroad program for university students, where we take classes on the MV Explorer, studying global economics, poverty, disease, the environment, altruism, social justice, marginalization, globalization, etc. We port every few days in destinations all over the globe: Bahamas, Dominica, Brazil, Ghana, South Africa, Mauritius, India, Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore, China, Taiwan (Japan was avoided due to the recent tragedies), Hawaii, and ending in San Diego. While in port, you are not limited by anyone or anything. You can go anywhere with anyone, just as long as you are back on the ship before it leaves port! Check out the website! They have a “lifelong learner” program for adults who wish to travel with Semester at Sea. 

    I have hiked the the rainforest and star gazed on the Amazon river. I have surfed the waves of West Africa. I have worked at an AIDS clinic in Ghana and lived in the local village. I have hiked Table Mountain and been wine tasting in South Africa. I have scuba dived in Mauritius. I have been backpacking through 3 cities in India, having my 21st birthday on the steps of the Taj Mahal. I have braved the traffic of Ho Chi Minh City. I have ridden elephants through the ruins of Angkor Wat. I have slept on the Great Wall of China and watched the sun rise. I spent a (wild) weekend in Hong Kong, celebrating the Rugby Sevens (it put Mardi gras to shame). I have worked with Habitat for Humanity and Operation Hunger in various locations. And this doesn’t even scratch the surface.

    It was an academic experience that opened my eyes to the realities of our world. It was an emotionally touching journey that lead to my decision to continue my career in medicine and eventually volunteer for Doctors without Borders. It was a grand adventure, full of friends, tears, crazy nights, near death experiences, and lots of pepto bismol. SAS allowed me to “become a person of culture, adventure, and compassion.” I could fill books, attempting to describe this kind of experience, but I would never be able to express what it truly means. IM 21 YEARS OLD AND I HAVE SAILED AROUND THE WORLD. MY ADVICE, IS TO LISTEN TO JEFF AND JUST DO IT.

    WHEN YOU TRAVEL, YOU LEAVE AS THE PERSON YOU THOUGHT YOU WERE, AND YOU RETURN AS THE PERSON THAT YOU ARE.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      thanks so much for sharing

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  • Adelejenny

    You’ve summed up what I say to people all the time! I am a Canadian and I wanted to travel after high school for a while before going off to university – but I didn’t. I got a degree, got a meaningless job until I got the job that was related to my degree, got the job related to my degree, got promoted, became the manager and then quit. I wasn’t following my heart. I was just going through the motions – and my heart still was hanging on to the idea of travel. 

    I decided I want to go overseas (Europe) and I quit my job and about 2 months later was backpacking and working around the UK. After 2 years I decided it was time to see the rest of Europe. I spent 8 months living on next to nothing but having the time of my life exploring and moving from hostel to hostel and backpacking around on buses and trains. From there I went through the Middle East, then to Australia and New Zealand for almost 2 years, then over to South America with the intention of making my way back home to North America. Instead I ended up in India, then Southeast Asia, then back to Australia and then home after 5.5years. 

    Since I’ve been back I still try to look at North America from a “tourists” point of view. See the world through those eyes and experience and appreciate everything rather than fall back into the “automatic pilot” mode that I had been in. I’m now married with a beautiful baby girl. I love my life and I think I am truly blessed to have had so many amazing experiences. You just summed up everything I say to those who say “I wish I could…”. I used to get that all the time when people asked me about my travels. They’d say “Oh I ‘m so jealous, I wish I could do that.” You can do that if you want to. Nothing is stopping you but you! I didn;t have money either when I left, I had a student loan, and I had my supposed “dream job” but there’s more to life! Just do it! 

    PS – Also love your book choices!

  • MilaXX

    I always said that if the day came when I could no longer pick up and go, at least I could say I’d been somewhere. Life has changed for me both health wise and financially & I don’t travel like I used to, but I have found memories of seeing a tiny part of the world with good friends.

  • Alex barboza

    Wow, I just realized I’m not a “Yeah.. but” person! :) … People have told me many times that I’m crazy because all I do is work hard and save money to go and spend it all on a trip!

    My last trip took me to Europe this year (I’m from Costa Rica) Got to sit and enjoy The Parthenon (dream come true), visited the beautiful Greek Islands and learned the facts about the culture.  In Rome not only did I feel the cultural difference between Greeks and Italians, but also enjoyed the entire city which is a beautiful work of art!!! And so it goes, the urge to see the world increases as I go farther!!!  It’s one of my priorities in life! 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Meliena-Decuypere/692151630 Meliena Decuypere

    Just like my parents, I went abroad with AFS. For one whole year I lived in a host family in Paraguay, South America, and that is still my second home. I’m still in contact with my (host) sisters trough Facebook and call at least once a year to hear how everything’s going there. Being away for a year thought me who I really am and what is important in life. Not having the things I used to have in Belgium, I appreciated everything a whole lot more when I came back, and I still do. Of three daughters I was the only one who went abroad with AFS, and as strange as it may sound, that made me the most ‘homebound’ of the three. 

    Other than the three reasons mentioned above I think travelling is also important for the friendships. In my year in Paraguay I made many more true friends than I did in my six years of high school. And I still talk to them at least once a month on Skype or Facebook. When travelling, you also get to know the true friends you made in your own country. Because distance is not a factor for true friends. In the beginning it was a bit painful to see that I had much less friends than I thought, but I came back a stronger person. 
    So I would like to say to everyone: get out there! The world is waiting to be discovered.

  • evelyn

    I hate to be a downer, but I can’t agree with this philosophy. I’m all for traveling. I’ve done plenty of it myself, and am currently living abroad. However, I do find some faults with some of the arguments made.

    “It’s not about being a tourist. It’s about experiencing true risk and adventure so you don’t have to live in fear for the rest of your life.”

    Adventure seeking abroad is a type of tourism. And it’s easy for westerners to say, by all means, travel with full abandon, who cares about the negative impacts that might have on the world? While you’re at it, make sure to hit up all the beautiful beaches and islands that might be underwater due to rising sea levels so you can tell your grandchildren that you saw those places before they disappeared and the people that lived there had to leave, after living in fear of losing their homes, due to the effects of global warming.

    “It will put you in places that will force you to care for issues that are bigger than you.”

    Like the widespread famines that are happening or will be happening soon? Sure, some people are going hungry because of war, poverty traps, poor agricultural techniques and infrastructure, but another important reason is, again, nature and climate change, which is caused by… well, one cause is carbon emissions. Airplanes are one of the major producers of greenhouse gases, so traveling somewhere to witness some of the darker side of life in order to learn compassion is pretty selfish since you’re then essentially directly contributing to the suffering (of some people,  not all).

    So, no, you won’t always be young, and life won’t always be about you. But please, learn compassion before you go traveling recklessly. If you live in the United States, unfortunately it’s not so easy to go abroad to experience new cultures and everything that comes with that. However, the US is HUGE. Go hitchhiking across the country, couch surf, hop freight trains. Or bike through the country if you’ve got the time. We have more wilderness than you can imagine, and while we all speak the same language, there are cultural differences in different American regions. Why not venture up to Canada, or down to Mexico?

    If you’re lucky to live in Europe, you can do the same thing. Many Europeans do, and it’s so easy to visit different countries that speak different languages and have different cultures that it’s become boring to stay in Europe. Why not take a trans-Siberian train across Russia and then take buses or trains or bike down through China to Southeast Asia? Or take a ferry across the Mediterranean to visit Africa?

    There is nothing wrong with traveling and experiencing new and exciting cultures and landscapes, but I think there is a problem with doing that thoughtlessly. Just my two cents.

  • http://www.eastdragon.com.tw eastdragon

    Very well written, & I totally agree with what you’ve said. Stumbled upon your article cause a friend of mine (whom I’d met paddling dragon boat in Taipei, Taiwan, about 7 years ago) had posted a link to it on her wall on Facebook.  Was even happier when I got to the very end of the article to see that you were also  a Tennesseean (I’m originally from Chattanooga)!  So few of my friends from TN ever left the state, let alone the country… :-0  Anyway, keep on traveling & writing…! :)

  • http://tejisunflower.tumblr.com Teji

    This is an incredibly inspiring post. For more than a year, I’ve wanted to go teach English in South Korea and am in the process of planning for it. Suddenly, a few days ago, I was struck by a sudden fear that came with the realization that I’m planning on living in a foreign, unfamiliar country for a year. But considering how much I love travel and what a gigantic crush I have on South Korea, I know I would regret it terribly if I didn’t take advantage of this opportunity – especially now when I’m right out of college.

  • Jongartner87

    I am a 24 year old American, and since I was 19 I have spent at least 2 months abroad every year. Two trips to East Asia, two trips to South America, one trip to Central America, and leaving for India in a month(!)… I try and convince Americans that it is much easier and doable than they think… For anyone questioning whether they should travel… JUST DO IT. Kayak.com is an awesome way to find cheap flights (Florida to South America is almost always under 500 Round Trip, I paid 300 Orlando to Bogota RT), and a Lonely Planet or Frommers guide will be a nice addition for finding places to stay and eat. I work the other 8 to 10 months a year and cut just a little bit out of my spending to put away for traveling (even a beer or two less at the bar will add up), the months prior I educate myself about the customs and a lil of the language and the day before I pack up a few shirts a bathing suit and some jeans, and a few other necessities and just go. Pack light, laundry and new clothes are cheap, and be prepared for a little inconvenience from time to time… but I promise you wont regret it, you will rethink a lot of what you are ‘sure’ of, you will meet some total characters as well as cool people, and you will have stories for a lifetime!!!!!

  • Sofisof

    I’m 23 right now and when i was 20 y went 6 months to europe  just to backpack all over the place. Everybody told me before i went things like “but what about college, you’re gonna get behind” or  things like that, what i said always was “the things i’m gonna lern in the trip they will never teach them in a class” and i have to say that was the best trip so far!!! No regrets at all!! ;)

  • Maria Louise

    Being from Norway things are, or at least can be, pretty easy for you. The easy way is available to you – university is free and we have more than what we need. 

    But I decided to get a loan and move to London to study. There I encountered what allowed me to do a 2-month internship for Amnesty in Mauritius, working with the rights of migrant workers. I met a good friend, who I later lived with during Ramadan in Egypt, in between the protests on Tahrir square. 

    I went back to London to continue my studies, and when a french friend told me to go to Portugal, I did. And I met the people who made me realise that I need to go to Asia. So yesterday I send my application to do my third year of university in South Korea. And I met a lovely bunch of guys from Greece, who are now helping me get a job in their country for my summer vacation of 2012. I can tell you, my dad hates the uncertainty. But he appreciates it when he sees the person I’ve become. I could have chosen the easy way out, but I didn’t. And I want to tell everyone to put themselves out there and experience themselves through travel. I’m 20 years old now, I know who I am, and I can’t wait to see who I can become. My only regret is that I didn’t begin this adventure earlier. 

  • http://philippinetravelogue.com Brenna

    I’m young and I love to travel. But like every other young adult, I also have all those yeah, but questions. Everytime I have to question myself that, I check out this post to remind me why I SHOULD.

    Thank you for being my inspiration. :)

  • Ritarochabrito

    Hello Jeff! I’m a portuguese girl, i have an hostel in Lisbon, and somehow this article came to me yesterday! THANKS A LOT, you made my Christmas! I always dreamed about traveling and see how the world is incredible amazing! Now i meet travelers everyday and they reinforced my dream, and im planing a big trip to south america with two of my best friends! You´re three reasons just filled our heart! Thank you very much! Hope you have a wonderfull Christmas and a happy New Year!

  • http://AbsoluteTravelAddict.com April D. Thompson

    So crazy! I just recently wrote a post about a very last minute decision not to go to business school and fill my life with more and more travel.  I totally agree and sharing this article with everyone. http://absolutetraveladdict.com/2011/12/03/my-decision-to-decline-columbia-business-school-admission/

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Cool! Thanks, April.

  • http://twitter.com/ImaneMT Imane

    I love travelling so much!! it was a really enjoyable and inspiring read! 
    Thank you.
    Regards from Marrakech

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      thanks, Imane!

  • Greenie

    This is amazing! And completely true – everyone should travel the world, there’s so much to see out there way out of our comfort zones. Take risks!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      indeed!

  • Casey

    “Traveling allows you to get some culture”
     a bunch of BS if I ever heard it. Typical smug white North American, believing that for some reason Europe is far more cultured than NA, and that you must travel there to become a more “cultured”, “educated” person.  How worldly you must be Jeff Goins, from all your travel experiences..

  • Anonymous

    I started traveling when I was 12. Our parents would always send us kids somewhere during Christmas and summer break. Traveling just us cousins. Oldest one in the group is about 16 yrs young. And when I got to be senior I join a program to become an exchange student and boy… is an experience I will never forget— priceless!!! I end up staying with a family that loves to travel and I got to see a lot of places then. It was fun!! Now, I encourage my niece and nephew to do the same. 

    In my 20′s, I work 3 jobs and one day I felt sick and tired of working. I gave up my apartment put All my stuff in a storage including my car and took 6 months off and traveled! I felt like a kid again— loved it!! I don’t have a lot of money and I don’t worry about it either… I plan and get the most out of a buck!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      very cool story. thanks for sharing.

  • Vicki-lee

    I’d just like to say – great article, pity it is marred by the claim of learning a foreign language in 3 months ??? One may learn some basics over 3 months and that would have been a far better insight to adventure rather than as it grammatically stands in the article. This claim detracts credibility and weakens your argument which is a pity as your position has so much merit. 

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Hi Vicki. Thanks for the comment. Actually, I think it’s quite possible, actually. You won’t be a master, but you can become proficient — of Spanish, at least. It’s quite accessible for Westerners, at least.

  • Nibh Brendan

    I am 32 years old. One big stopping me from giving up my job and going travelling is the question of what I would do on my return from it. Any thoughts?

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      That’s a good question, Brendan. I think it’s THE question. My answer is this: You don’t know. That’s why you go — in hopes of returning someone different. Good luck.

  • Renee Jacobe

    Hi Jeff, what you said is true. I’m still in a stage in my life where I have no money, no means for income and I’m still studying but I do travel. I may not travel outside my country but I do a lot of road trips with my family.

    I guess I’m lucky that my mother is also a wanderlust and she lets me experience all sorts of things outside my comfort zone. We travel inside our country and experience the different indigenous cultures that is here in the Philippines and not to mention some extreme sports.

    I think being exposed to other cultures and travelling in general made me see the world more clearly and it made me grow as a person. I’m definitely going to travel overseas in the future and one of the things in my “Must Go” list would be Europe. I dream of backpacking around Europe, visiting historical places and eating their delicacies. It’s something worth looking forward to when you’re young, penniless and starry-eyed. :D

    xoxo
    Renee J.
    http://reneejacobe.blogspot.com

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Europe is amazing, Renee. Hope you get to go.

  • http://www.davemadethat.com Dave Delaney

    Here’s my story and why I’m a big advocate for travel too: http://www.davemadethat.com/2011/08/04/move/

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      love it, Dave.

      • http://www.davemadethat.com Dave Delaney

        Thanks Jeff.

      • http://www.davemadethat.com Dave Delaney

        Thanks Jeff. 

  • marissa dube

    This was an amazing article. I just wanted to know what age bracket do you think should travel? You mentioned a girl debating going to graduated school. I graduated from high school in June and I want to go travel so much. Do you think I’m to young? Should I go to school first? Whenever I read articles about this people are usually talking about kids that just graduated from college. So I was just curious. Thanks :)

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Up to you. If you’re an adult, you’re old enough to travel. Just be wise; try going with someone else.

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