I have been traveling and living overseas since I graduated university in 2009. Here are my top 10 Life experiences:
1) Just do it. Yes, like the NIKE slogan. Just get out of your comfort zone. Plan and book your trip. Even if your going alone, you’re not really alone. There are many other solo travelers like you. I didn’t travel for many years, because none of my friends did. (I started traveling in my late 20’s) Once I traveled alone. I realized it’s not that hard!
2) Smile. Despite many language barriers, smiling and saying thank you will open yourself up to many strangers. Whether its a local or another traveler, its very easy to make friends.
3) Friends. I now have friends from all around the world due to my traveling experiences. I have met people from one country (as they were travelers as well) and visited them in their home country. (and vice-versa)
4) Relationships. You will have the opportunity to meet many attractive people while traveling. I have been dating someone in one of my first travel destinations for 3+ years. We are planning on touring the world together for a year.
5) Money. As I look back in my life. I tried very hard to remember what gave me the most happiness. It was never the new clothes, accessories or electronics. It was always the EXPERIENCE! Spend a few bucks if you can do something really COOL. Whether its sky diving in New Zealand or on a Safari in Africa. You can always reminisce. Memories last a life-time.
6) Locals. The people that live in the area are your best source of information. Tourist books or guides are usually catered towards tourists! (meaning overpriced and many times westernized) Just go to a local cafe or restaurant and talk to other patrons or if your too shy just ask the workers!
7) Languages. Locals are very grateful and appreciative if you learn even a few key words. This shows them that you are open-minded and curious about their culture. You will be surprised on how many opportunities this opens up for you such as an invitations for a family dinner, birthday party or even weddings!)
8) Personal Development. I have pushed and challenged myself these past 4 years more than all the previous years of my life. You WILL grow and develop when you travel. I have become wiser, more sociable, learned many new skills and above all more confident as a person.
9. Age. Although it’s never really too early or late to travel. There are certainly many more challenges if you have young children or in a huge amount of debt. If you don’t have any personal or financial commitments, there really is no excuse to go out there and experience the world. We all have regrets in life. Don’t let missing out on worldly experiences be one.
10) When you travel. You WILL become a more interesting person. You WILL have many stories to tell. You WILL meet many people. You WILL do things you thought you can never do. You WILL love it!
(When your old. What will you tell your kids? Will it be: When I was your age, I wish I did this…I wish I did that…OR Will it be: When I was your age, I did THIS and I did THAT…and THAT and THIS…)