Some studies have recently begun to take a look at the positive impacts that breaks and vacations have on our brains. If you’re lucky to still be in your twenties, you’re in luck as we are at time in our lives when we’re the most “free”. We’re freshly graduated and facing the world with a clean slate (student loans aside). But we’re also facing pressure from family and society to work hard and climb the ladder.
Instead of falling in line to join the rat race, however, I recommend taking a year off to travel and discover yourself. Exposing ourselves to different cultures is an important part of maturing, and we don’t even have to leave the country. Take an extended road trip through different cultures; Just pack up your car and hit the road.
The American Melting Pot
If you’ve never set foot outside of your home state before, it can be easy to assume that everyone’s experience is just like yours. But when we take the time to experience travel beyond hotel swimming pools in another city, however, we begin to appreciate how different we all truly are. Someone growing up in Moab, Utah probably has a very different experience than someone growing up in Compton, Calif.
Have you ever even seen Idaho or New York? Have you seen the wide array of landscapes within our borders? A year of traveling America offers a valuable insight into socioeconomics, culture, tolerance and diversity.
If you’ve never left the town or state you grew up in for more than a weekend, then you’ve never had time to discover who you truly are. Part of discovering ourselves is facing the world completely alone. When we remain stagnant, we begin to rest on the laurels of our reputations. Traveling to a new place resets our reputation. We begin to be judged by our present actions alone.
Seize the Day
As a young person, we are essentially at the healthiest point in our lives. It’s the time when we’re at our prime physical conditions. There’s no denying, everything gets physically harder as your body and mind deteriorate. Life is a gift, and time rolls on, despite what you do with it. At the end of our lives, do we think we’ll most regret not keeping up with certain TV shows or that we only ever saw our beautiful planet earth on Netflix?
The economy is tough, and pressure is building on the younger generations to get a job and help hold everything up. Every job market is competitive, though, and we’ll make ourselves more marketable by spending that year traveling instead of in a cubicle. We’ll have time for responsibility later.