“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain
The Internet is exploding with travel tips and recommendations. Any seasoned wanderluster could easily fork over a helpful list of the top 100 things to consider while on the road. Reiterating that knowledge certainly is an option. I could regurgitate a number of renowned resources and remind you to pack light, be smart and merrily gorge your way through the culinary experiences, but I’d much rather share a piece of wisdom: live like you were dying.
And there it is, the infamous two-by-four hitting me square in the jaw. I have only one significant regret in connection to world travel, one so large and time sensitive that it can never be undone. I never studied abroad. I let love and self-imposed responsibility affect a truly life-defining moment sure to be filled with fierce independence, cultural intelligence and personal development.
Two pieces of advice: If your loved one is even half the partner you make them out to be then you’ll be greeted with open arms upon your return, the joy bubbling deeply within to once again steal a kiss, breathe in your scent and embrace your soul. So stop making excuses and go make some memories. Second, it’s highly unlikely there is anything so serious and pressing in your late teens/early twenties that you literally can’t take advantage of such an opportunity. This decade of wild spirit and self-discovery is paramount to the future you, a better you, a more worldly you, experiences that will forever contribute to a higher level of interpersonal connection and influence, intelligent discourse about a variety of mature topics and immense appeal to future employers. So stop making excuses and go make some memories.
#2 Keep the “Punchiness” to a Minimum
Manners exist for a reason. Americans tend to place them on a shelf, myself included. I’d say our progressive culture is like a fine wine, but I’d be lying. We’re probably better compared to barrel-aged whiskey…requiring decades to develop a distinctly dignified flavor that, once opened, still delivers a bold, powerful finish strong enough to knock the most experienced of drinkers on his ass. As a collective culture, we’re loud, brash and crude.
Acquiring a sense or worldliness is part of any traveler’s journey so be cognoscente that our forwardness is not everyone’s afternoon tea. Educate yourself about the local culture, traditions, civilian expectations and laws. And for Christ’s sake, watch your goddamn mouth!
#1 You’ll Never Be the Same Again
Once you’ve committed to the trip and experienced the unbelievable high, I promise you’ll never be the same again. Knowledge is magnified and opinions become more well rounded. Your level of self-awareness matures beyond belief and those passions in life, while always bearing intensity, surge with a new sense of resilience to any obstacle in your way of achieving greatness.
As the name of this blog suggests, see.do.conquer.