April 16, 2018 | Opinion
Travel and the 20-something identity crisis
By Madeline M.
Ahh, your 20’s. A time to discover your independence, try new things, including bizarre fashion trends, and realize just how unrealistic Monica and Rachel’s giant apartment is in “Friends.” It’s also the time when you’re constantly bombarded with questions like “Are you happy with your job?” “Is this the right path for you?” “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”
So it only makes sense that you want to yell “I DON’T KNOW UNCLE MARK, JUST LEAVE ME ALONE!!”, pack up a bag, and get away from it all. And that’s okay.
Unlike getting a haircut on the day of an event or a poorly executed tattoo from spring break ’13, travel is one thing you won’t regret.
When it comes to figuring out what you want in life, or even who you are, the only way to go is forward. And forward can mean up, over, and to another country. Because you’ll not only have the ability to discover yourself, you can also figure out that German beer is actually better and gelato is totally not just a fancy word for ice cream.
Do it now, not later
Here’s the deal: life is short, and whether you feel ready or not, now is the best time to travel. You’re young, adventurous, and hungry for new experiences. Let yourself be a 20-something year old, and live a little. Because you can.
Now say “BRB” to the everyday—you’ve got a whole lot of world to see.
Why it’s freaking awesome
When you travel, your focus shifts entirely to the present; an adventure that unfolds with each new step. The sights, smells, and sounds you’re surrounded by will be totally different than the ones you left back home, in all the best ways.
You realize that this is you, left to your own devices and free from the outside influences that make you question who you are right now, or what comes next. Just you, in the now.
And in your effort to focus on nothing but finding the next great view or a place to rest your head, you find yourself, and what truly matters.
So what are you waiting for?
When life in your 20-somethings starts to feel like too much, don’t fold to the pressure. Fold up your clothes (or roll them, major packing hack), and travel.
Go somewhere far away and take it all in. You can eat things you can't pronounce, you can dance to music in a language you don’t understand, you can see places you’ve only dreamt about. And through all of it, you just might find out who you are.
And get some hella Instagram love while you’re at it.