I came across this article shared by one of my Facebook friends, and while I agree with the writer's three reasons why you should travel when you're young, I can think of loads more. [FYI - gajabillion is a made-up word - cos' there's so many reasons to travel, you can't put a number to it!]
1. You are never going to be 17/ 22/ 25/ 28... ever again.
Believe it or not - you will never be the person you are today tomorrow, or next year, or in five years time. People grow, people change, and people evolve - it's natural. If you let time slip by your fingers, you've got a lot to lose because you can never get it back. Besides, chances are, you are in the best state of health today before the eventual process of aging hits you like a ton of bricks. So go ahead and train to climb the Himalayas now while you can, trek through the jungles of Thailand next month, and start signing up for surf lessons Downunder. The best moment is now - seize it.
2. You have a higher tolerance for a lot of shit when you're younger.
Unless you're the Rich Daddy's Little Girl who has been cranking up air miles on Father Dearest's credit cards, you haven't exactly travelled luxuriously when you're young. When you don't have a lot of money, and you're hungry for experience, you'll tolerate just about anything for it.
I lived on kebabs the whole time I was in Germany [and Vietnamese food - I had the best Viet food in Berlin], I've lived to tell tales of disgusting hostels that I was sure I'd get syphilis just by being barefoot in the bathroom, I've slept in futons, carpets, blown-up mattresses, floors - hell, I've even slept on a park bench [although admittedly, it was only because I was so bloody jetlagged - not cos' I didn't have anywhere to stay. heh.] all in the name of travel.
3. When you emerge alive, you can go, "When I was in..."
Bragger rights basically. Your friends started slogging it out right after college? Who the fuck cares. Take six months off and travel. You will never be able to afford that luxury of taking six months, or a year off your life like you can now. With age comes responsibilities - whether it's taking responsibility of your aging parents, or the stress that comes with mortgage, amongst many other bills that come your way. Go, travel, and then tell the tale of the hot Italian boy who swept you off your feet in the South of France.
4. You have a lot less to leave behind.
Yes, you're leaving behind your parents, but your umbilical cord has been cut off a long time ago, so you should be fine. If you've managed to get a friend to travel with you, then good for you - but I always think people should experience travelling alone. If you're leaving behind your partner, grow a backbone will ya? Absence will make your hearts grow fonder, as cliched as it sounds. And that time apart can only build trust and respect for each other.
5. Why travel? Why the hell not?!
Travelling is different from a holiday, by the way. And for every reason you tell me why you can't travel [lack of funds? stop buying clothes and shoes and bags and shoes!], I can tell you a hundred reasons why you should - to meet people, to fall in love, to appreciate what you have, to treasure your loved ones, to believe in yourself, to learn how to read maps, to discover that even though you may not speak the same languages, humans have an incredible way of communicating without saying anything.
To seek your Utopia, to discover talents you've never thought you had, to perve on cute boys and girls, to eat and party at places you couldn't have imagined in your wildest of dreams. To step into a village that looks right out of a Disney cartoon, to sink your teeth in foods you've never tried before, to feel snow falling on your face, or to watch your toes wriggle in the clearest of sea waters.
Travelling? It's pretty fuckin' awesome. You wouldn't have lived if you didn't travel, trust me.