9 Incredible Reasons to Travel When You’re Young
Whether it’s due to financial availability, retirement, or better timing, a lot of people wait to travel the world when they’ve reached a mature or later stage in life.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, and it makes sense. They’ve worked hard and deserve every bit of adventure they want in their life.
But at the same time, there are many reasons why traveling at an early age is desirable and why you should do it, especially if that wanderlust can be an adventurous learning and life-defining experience.
Here are nine reasons that can get you started traveling now:
1. It will help you decide what you want in life
It is common in human nature to not know what you really like until you experiment it. Traveling when young can be a great platform to diversify your experience early in life and discover what your purpose is in life.
Each country, each city, even each restaurant you might visit is an opportunity to experiment something different. It is better to realize your true desires and potential early in life rather than realize them when you think it’s too late.
2. Fewer physical attachments equals more freedom
As you grow, you start to settle your life with physical attachments like a mortgage, a car, and kids.
Traveling before this stage of your life will be much easier, and the freedom will be priceless. You will be able to travel for longer terms, more often, and with fewer preoccupations.
3. You’ll get street smart
It’s always good to compliment your “school smart” with some “street smart,” and there’s no better way to do this than traveling.
Traveling teaches you a wide variety of things that can be applied to your daily life –from the banalest to the most indispensable. When traveling, you acquire unique wisdom that is useful for your entire life.
4. It will make you a more interesting person
There is nothing more compelling than having a conversation with someone who has something to say. You will not be a blank canvas anymore; your travels will be part of your story as a person.
Traveling creates an exciting story in your life that is worthy of telling to all your friends. Not only your travel conversations can be of great interest, but they can also be eye-openers to other people.
At that point, you become an inspiration to those who would also like to explore the world.
5. You’ll grow culturally
Be it a different way of living, a religion, or simply anything foreign to you; when you travel, you get exposed to different cultures that can have a direct impact on your life .
Your tolerance will grow as you experiment them, and in many cases, you’ll learn how to see things from a different perspective. Every culture is different, and so is every person in it.
6. You’ll learn to develop your independence and how to be responsible
Traveling is one of the best ways to learn how to be independent.
When you travel, everything relies on you. Even if you travel on an organized trip, there is a certain degree of organizational skills, responsibility, and independence that you have to exert.
When traveling independently, you are responsible for finding the best airfare possible, booking your accommodation, finding local transportation, getting visas, keeping your passport up to date, and managing your money –it’s like an adulting crash course.
7. You learn how to manage your money early in life
There is nothing worse than being out on the road and running out of money. You feel like you’re lost and that the world is about to end. There is no financial comfort zone when you’re traveling; everything depends on you.
For that reason, traveling serves as a great “teaching lesson” on how to manage your finances. How so? Well, if you spend recklessly, you’ll see its effect on subsequent parts of your trip.
8. You won’t resent it later in life
There is nothing worse than reaching a later stage in life and regretting not doing something when you were young. Well, traveling is one of those.
There are many things to experience in this world, so why wait till later in life to enjoy them? There is no reason to spend your active young years just working. As they say, don’t live to work… work to live.
9. Because you deserve it!
Hell yeah! We all deserve to have a good time traveling and seeing what’s out there. There is no need to wait until later in life to start experiencing the world.
Don’t let the opportunity pass you by, explore the world while you’re young!
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I believe that growing culturally and becoming more open to other cultures is something essential. Travelling to places I never wanted to go before has taught me beautiful things about those countries / cultures that I used to have a bad impression about.
I won’t resent that I didnt do what I wanted before graduating. It has been a long time but the lessons I have learned are for life and the opportunities I have discovered by travelling are better, in my opinion, than any job I could have gotten 2 years ago.
Nice post! I have started one related to it. Got some inspiration now to finish and publish it!
Hey, thanks… That’s cool that you found some inspiration! That’s what this is for!
Yeah, what you learn from your travels (in my opinion) is far better than what the daily grind of a job can teach you. It’s something practical… you don’t learned through a teaching method, you learn by true absorption.
If I had the chance I would have started traveling even sooner. But still, I’m glad I made the decision to finish my studies (something I highly encourage everyone) and then wander around in the world.
i beleive that there is nothing better then home sweet home
Well, nothing beats the warm feeling of home sweet home… still, I always crave hitting the road and living life through the randomness of different places and cultures. I love working out a mix of both…
Of course you don’t REALLY know that, until you don’t have “Home Sweet Home” for a little while. You can think all you want, but until you experience other things, you don’t know for sure. I was raised in New York. Wonderful Beaver Cleaver upbringing, but I live in Texas now. LOVE sunshine and didn’t have that in NY. Gotta see some different things to really know what is best for you.
Well, you always learn as you live and get out of your comfort zone, so not having that “home sweet home” for a while will definitely make you see things in a different way.
That’s why I am going back home. After working for a year in France, studying for a year in the UK, travelling across 5 continents during these past 2 years, it is time to do a few more modules, my dissertation and get my degree. There is not much left and I gotta finish what i have started to move on to next steps. But travelling will always be my addiction (I believe).
Great Advise. I wish I have read this article 25 years ago.
Hey… It’s never too late to travel!
@TravelholicA That’s good that you’re going back to get your degree. I’m sure that once you finish it you will want to go back on the road.
Ditto… wish I read this 10 years ago.
It would be interesting to know the age demographic of readers of this post.
Even I, being 26 yrs old, wished I knew all that years ago.
Hmmm… now you made me wonder about the demographics.
Great article, great reasons for traveling while you are young, but don’t forget a lot of those reasons work for any age. I (43 year old woman) am traveling around the world with my son (11 years old) and we’ve experienced all of those benefits and more over the last year of our travels.. The benefits of travel are really age non-dependent. Nevertheless, GREAT ARTICLE!
Thank you, Lainie. You’re totally correct. Those reasons work for any age, but some of them come great at an early age. I’m sure you and your son have experience lots of things on your travels. And I dare to guess that both of you have grown from those same experiences in your own unique ways. Like you said, you always learn when you travel – it is not age-dependent.
Right on! There is no need to travel only when you are young before having kids and a house and all that. The majority of people have the time but not the money to travel when young, and when you get older its vice versa. But over the years and a couple of years later you earn both the money and the time, so why not bring the kids. If one truly loves to travel they can make it a priority. Why not share that with your family? I know of a number of people that travel with kids and love it. I really enjoy travelling now and will continue to do so as often as I can.
At 60,we’re still travelling!
One other reason for travelling when young- particularly backpacking or independant travel- is that the sense of seeking adventure,facing a new challenge ,getting outside your comfort zone, stays with you.
Sure you’ll go through a stage of career,family, mortgage perhaps, and then you’ll be travelling again, because you’ve got the time and resources.
But in later years, many take off on travel again, but it’s aircon guided tours, or cruise travel.
And others once again take off adventure travelling again.
For example, of our core of close friends, none will travel to Africa with us.None will travel to Mongolia with us.
It happens so easily as we age that we pull our comfort zone closer around us and don’t realize it.
And the difference is, that when we were young we backpacked.None of the others did.
Point 6 merely touches on this point .
That travelling when young, forms your attitude to travel – keep pushing the limits. Keep challenging yourself.Keep learning.
Yes, It’s funny because I’m seeing those types of life transitions secondhand. My mom went through a travel phase many years ago, then to a “stable” phase, and is now again on a travel phase (at her 60’s). Sure, retirement helps a lot. But I’m glad she chose to wander again and explore more of what is outside the comfort zone. She might not be the ultimate adventurer at her age, but now she is traveling, exploring, and experimenting like never before. And one thing I can say for sure is that she is happier than ever by doing this.
As you get older, you can still travel as well! Things do become a little more difficult when you have kids. However, that’s when I think travel becomes that much more important – showing your kids the world and places you have already seen.
Traveling when you’re young is very important. These are very good reasons for traveling. However, I would also add that if you don’t travel young, you are less likely to do it when you are older. So traveling young is important to so that you are more likely to travel when you are older and things aren’t as easy.
Thanks Jeremy! You have two very good and valid points there. It’s good to travel later in life to share the experiences with your children and show them the world. But like you say, it is less likely you will travel when older if you don’t try it at a young age. It all comes to how important travel is and how does it plays on that person’s life.
I had to laugh when I saw this post because I immediately thought that I need to write a post with reasons to travel when you are (sorta) old!! Seriously, though, you have some good points. And now to write that response post…
Lol! Well, I guess these points also apply to “older” people! Ha! Look forward to that response post…
Loved this post, and the list too!
I agee with almost every single point and if you really make me choose, 1, 2.4, 5, 6, 7, 8…alright, I told you I can’t!
When we are young, we don’t have to worry about the physcial, financial, emotional attachments; it’s true…yeah, we may have loans, house and car, but most of us are without kids yet. They are not a burden, of course, but with kids, there would be a lot more to consider when travelling and if you were to leave them at home, there comes the emotional attachment, right?
Cultural differences always fascinate me when I travel, and seriously, you no longer depend on textbooks, travel books or even travel programmes to tell you how the world looks like; you see them for yourself!! Meeting new people and sharing stories about our own countries just make it all very satisfying, and it is an enriching experience, not to mention that it increased our knowledge beyond ’em books;)
I agree that we become more independent as we are out there, with no one familiar to turn to or even run home when it does not work out. We have to plan our itinerary, find our way and even decide what to have and what goes within the budget.
It definitely changed my perspectives in life and that the world is indeed a big place out there, and compared to all the issues faced by people all over the places, there is nothing to our worries and anxieties anymore. It helps to define our personalities and create more inspirations for our aspirations in the future, and yes, we are more mature when we start to look at the BIG picture…after all, we have caught a glimpse of the BIG world out there, didn’t we? (I haven’t travel around the whole world yet;)
Wow, thank you so much Christy… I agree with everything you said! It’s a balancing act between the responsibilities we have when we are young versus the ones we gain later in life. But, there are definitely many advantages to travel when young. Among those, like you mentioned, is the fact that you can grow through travel and become and independent person since everything depends on you. I agree it helps define our personality since it is being influenced by so many new cultures and perspectives that let us see a bigger picture of the world. We end up being more educated and more considerate in so many aspects.
I couldn’t agree more with your first point as I wandered through life, like I was a little lost and not really knowing what I wanted in life.
I had gone straight from high-school, to university, and into the 9 – 5 environment, without really feeling like I accomplished much.
After traveling it definitely balanced my “school smarts” with my “street smarts”, and although I still don’t know what I want from life, I think i’m on the right path.
Great post! Looking forward to reading more about your adventures
Jeff, I kind of did the same after school… jumped straight to the 9-5. But now, I broke with that cycle, and like you said, the street smart has improved exponentially! We’ll always go on in life looking for something, so don’t feel bad because you still “don’t know” what you want. In fact, I think that’s one of the most interesting things… to experiment life in different ways until we find what we want.
Its never too late even when you are in your Seniors and better yet retired with all your children are graduates and working. I can say Ive done my job and its time I think of enjoying my modest life. Travelling is definitely in my checklist or some call it the “Bucket List”. While I can walk briskly and mobile, I should be off to a good start soon. Your comments and items are so helpful in remindiing me of what travels teaches us. Thanks for the wonderful article.
Thanks! Francis, it is never too late to travel. No matter our age, we will always be able to learn something about life, culture, and other things through our experiences while traveling.
Hi~ I read your article by chance,and I loved it.I can’t agree with you more!Travelling when young is quite popular in West countries.That’s why I can look up the words “Gap Year”and “Backpacker”in English,but can’t find similar words in Chinese until recent years .
Though it is more difficult to travel for Chinese young people than westerners,I stiil think more and more my contemporaries in China are on their roads of travelling.
Thanks for your article ! It encouraged me to strengthen the things what I really want to do!Yes!Travel when we are young!
Wing, I’m glad you loved the article and that you’re eager to be on the road too. I’m aware how Chinese young people might find it a bit more difficult to travel than for Westerners, but I’m glad that you point out that in recent years the numbers have been growing. I think travel is a great tool to learn, so why not do it while you’re young!
Becoming an interesting person and building your core is a great reason to travel. It will help you in many aspects of your career and personal life.
Of course, if you look at travel at a close-ended thing, it will always be that. But if you are open to it being open-ended you will view it differently. Consider going to places off the beaten path. Observe the culture. Notice the trends. If you’re an entrepreneur, for instance, what business could you start there?
You just might find a place you’d rather live that gives you more freedom, more opportunity, more social opportunities, etc.
I agree with what you’ve said!
I think one of the most important things you learn while traveling is to accept different situations not normally experienced “at home”, and be open minded and flexible to what may come. This in turn, gives you a different perspective to life that in a way makes you an interesting person.
I’m glad you share my thoughts! Youth is such an amazing thing and should not be wasted!
Yes, let’s not waste our youth!! Let’s make the most we can with it!
Great article, some good points. Important to realize everyone is different and has different priorities. Many people do not have the financial capacity to travel when they are young, they may be busy paying of student debt, or starting a family, etc…the reasons can be endless. But I agree, it is way better to see the world when you are young
True, there are many reasons to not travel when you’re young, and I had many of them, including student loans… But, beyond that, if you really crave to see the world and have a passion for it, you can find ways to make it happen even with all the constrains life might throw at you.
Exactly! Well put.
I couldn’t agree more, travelling when you’re young is the best time to do it! It’s such a fantastic way to grow up and learn that the world is bigger than your hometown or country! I recommend every young person get out of their hometown and see what’s out there as it is a truly life changing and eye opening experience that completely alters the way you relate to the world and those around you. I agree that we all deserve to have a good time and that young people shouldn’t wait till later in life to start experiencing the world. It’s just a shame that travelling really is a luxury for many and not really an option for a lot of people.
I think another important thing to consider however is that when people talk about having commitments such as a car, mortgage etc. It also has become a lot easier to manage these things from a distance now with the internet. Before if something went wrong with a property a building manager would have had to wait for someone to get back from a vacation, not ideal if it’s a prolonged one. But now I know people that own properties in other countries halfway around the world. People like kids or caretakers as well are much easier to reach via smartphones than waiting to call from a pay phone. This benefits us all and keeps us travelling!
7 Reasons You Should Travel While You’re Young
I have been very fortunate to travel extensively throughout the world while still young. I have visited most of the continental United States, plus many cities in Alaska and Hawaii. I also traveled abroad to Africa, Switzerland, Ireland, Great Britain, Scotland, France, Mexico, and Bonaire. I then lived for several years in Grenada, West Indies. I wouldn’t trade my experiences for the world, and I still have so many countries yet to visit. Based on my experience, I recommend every young person get out of their hometown and see what’s out there. Here are seven ways traveling changed me forever.
1. Traveling changes the way you relate to the world.
I grew up in a tiny rural town. If I hadn’t had the opportunity to travel when I was younger, I would have a difficult time envisioning much else outside my comfortable country bubble. When you travel to other countries and see the amazing beauty of sunsets over seas, eagles riding mountain currents, monkeys swinging through rain forests, grizzlies catching salmon in the rapids, majestic waterfalls spilling off vertical drops, and volcanoes smoking under their fiery breath, you realize the world is full of more beauty that you are capable of seeing in a lifetime. But, you still have the intense passion to try.
If you don’t see this when you are younger, you have less desire to venture out when you are older and have job and family constraints in play. If I didn’t know what I was missing, I would have less of a desire to put the effort into taking the time to travel. You also develop a deeper sense of obligation to save our planet’s beauty for the coming generations. After all, you’ve seen it firsthand, and it’s worth saving!
2. Traveling changes the way you relate to others.
Unfortunately, the area I grew up in didn’t have much diversity. Everyone looked and acted basically the same. When I traveled, I learned about other cultures. I realized that my life could be enriched by developing friendships with people who didn’t look or act like me. Far from my hometown, I developed friendships with people who were nothing like me, but were exactly what I needed. This taught me to embrace, not fear, experiences and relationships that were outside my comfort zone. It also taught me the importance of communication skills. Let’s just say I paid a lot better attention during college Spanish class after visiting Mexico, and perked up in French class after my time in France and Africa.
3. Traveling humbles you enough to realize it’s not all about you.
The older I become, the more I realize I actually know very little about life. It seems the confidence of knowing it all is usually graced upon the young. However, the sooner that bubble bursts, the better; at least in my case. Traveling sometimes puts you in tough situations. You see that the world is so much bigger than your perspective on it. You soon realize the world doesn’t revolve around you. You learn that you really weren’t the big fish in the ocean, but just a tiny minnow in a pothole.
Now, that doesn’t mean you aren’t still important, but it does change your perspective to be more open to learning from other people and situations vs lecturing and bestowing your vast wisdom to those lucky enough to be in earshot. Traveling teaches you to let go of the perceived concept of control. You learn that it’s a big enough challenge to just control yourself, and learn to give up trying to do so for the rest of the planet.
4. Traveling empowers you to take on new challenges.
Just as traveling is humbling, it is also empowering. You realize you can do things you never thought possible. For example, I have lived for the past two years in Grenada, West Indies. I have always enjoyed driving on the right side of nicely paved and open roads of the U.S. Here, I was thrown into driving on the left side of the road on twisty mountain passes down broken roads that aren’t much bigger than a one-lane driveway, yet they expect two-way traffic to freely meet around the blind corners. Add to the lovely mix the fact that there are drop-offs with no guard rail along most of the drive, and far below the sheer free fall you see the rooftops of homes.
So, if I lose control, I not only kill myself, but I land on a house and kill a nice family having dinner. No pressure! Yet, after more than a few white-knuckled moments, I can now drive comfortably with the locals and don’t bat an eye at the drop offs, the livestock in the road, the pot holes, or the fact that there is no way I should have made it through that tight squeeze with that oncoming car without losing a mirror. Conquering this fear helped me learn that I could adapt to more than I felt I was capable of conquering. I think that’s a good thing to learn at any age, but you can apply it longer throughout your lifetime if you start early.
5. Traveling gives you empathy for global suffering.
When you travel, you learn how much you truly have that you take for granted. Many people live in poverty that is unfathomable to those who have never walked their streets and heard their stories. Watching the wars and famines on the news takes on a whole new meaning when you have a personal connection with the people there. You lose the callousness and egotistic attitude that can sometimes develop when you can’t relate to that region of the world. And, it compels you to help others and give back.
6. Traveling pushes your educational horizons.
Sadly, I never liked history in school. Just reading the stories in books seemed so boring to me. However, when I visited the palace of Versailles in France, marveled at the architecture of basilicas in Africa, climbed the ruins of castles in Ireland, visited the White House, and walked the halls of the Louvre, I couldn’t help but get a new appreciation for history. Traveling makes history come alive. The stories are no longer pictures in a book, but tangible memories you remember much longer than anything you could study in school.
7. We are never guaranteed old age, so enjoy life’s experiences now!
I think a lot of young people put off traveling because they want to be responsible, work hard, get married, have kids, and build up a life. However, I think it’s a mistake to put off traveling in exchange for the belief that you can do it when you retire and have more time. While I certainly plan to continue to travel after I retire, I also realize I am not guaranteed old age. If something happens and I don’t live to see my forties, fifties, or sixties, I will have no regrets. I have experienced the world to the best of my ability by taking every opportunity presented to me to see all of this gorgeous planet that I can. Traveling has made me the person that I am, and I’m so grateful that I have plenty of years left with this version of me to continue the adventure.
The Benefits Of Traveling Young
Everyone has a dream of traveling somewhere new and exotic. Once you do you either love or hate it, and I’ve been blessed with the opportunity of doing most of it at such a young age. Traveling has become one of my biggest passions, and here are some benefits you get from traveling at a young age.
You Become More Culturally Aware
One of the biggest things I have to be thankful for is the fact that I am more culturally aware as an individual. I’ve gotten to explore places with some of the fanciest bathrooms to just holes in the grounds. I’ve gotten to hear the smoothest of jazz to the loud beating of drums. There is a whole new appreciation for the culture that one has to leave their community to encounter.
You Learn to Pack a Suitcase in Less than 12 Hours
My family was very big on snagging last minute flight and vacation deals, so it could be the day before, and my parents would say pack a suitcase we’re leaving. After doing this quite a few times, you become an organizational champ.
You Get to Try a Variety of New Food
This is probably was my drive during every adventure: when am I going to eat next? Every country had different things, and even the most similar of things, were all cooked completely.
You Learn More Time Management than Ever
Some trips would be wake up 7 a.m. and not get to bed until midnight so that you could do just about anything and everything that there was to do. You learn how precious time really when and how to make the most of every day.
You Appreciate the Things You Have
Traveling the world is not just what is, but it makes you more aware of the things you have in life. I’ve never appreciated a freezer or electricity like I did when I watched my foreign family put all their meat in a plastic ice box when the electricity went out.
You Get to “Adventure” more
You’re young, wild, and free. It’s best used to climb a mountain, go swimming or dive in a cenote. Your body is built to do the craziest now. If you wait too long, you’ll be too weak to do it, and it’ll leave you with the question of what if.
You Experience More Real Conversations than Ever
While now there is wifi just about anywhere you go, just a couple of years ago it was difficult to secure the internet. It made you put your phone away, and gave you the opportunity to make real conversations. People of today society are like technological zombie depending on their devices for everything. It was only a short time ago when it was just paper maps and a sense of direction.
- Under30Experiences: Group Travel for Young Adults ›
- 3 Reasons to Travel While You’re Young – Goins, Writer ›
- The Ultimate Guide to Traveling Cheap (or Free) in 2018 | Nomadic . ›
- EF Ultimate Break: The Best Way to Travel Young | Fun, Affordable . ›
- 5 Ways to Travel the World While in College | WanderWisdom ›
- 8 Ways To Travel As A Broke College Student | HuffPost Life ›
- Travel + Leisure: Travel Reviews, News, Guides & Tips ›
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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A Silent Killer
What you should know about Lyme Disease
Many of you have been following my journey in child life, but most of you don’t know my story other than my grandparents battling cancer.
When I was 6 my dad was diagnosed with Lyme Disease. Lyme Disease is something that is becoming more common, but many people don’t know the effects that Lyme can play on a person’s life. Many people don’t know that it can be deadly. In my dad’s case, it almost was. For our sake, he is still here 15 years later. The tole that his journey has played in my life has not only shaped me into who I am, but the way that I see so many people.
Lyme Disease can be a silent killer if it goes untreated. My dad was always an active person (he still is), but when he was first infected, we didn’t know what was wrong with him. I don’t remember most of the beginning stages (mainly because my parents tried to keep our lives as normal as possible), but he began placing things milk in the pantry or bread in the fridge. Obviously, something cognitively wasn’t right. My mom took him to my uncle who is a doctor for blood testing and something came back wrong.
They moved him to an infectious disease doctor that diagnosed him with Lyme Disease and so our journey began. My dad started treatment with rosphen. This form of treatment isn’t what they use today and for good reason. The medication began to deteriorate his joints. So, his journey with surgeries began. During this time, my parents tried to make this as normal as possible for my sister and I. We obviously knew something was wrong because they were gone to the doctors visits and hospital a lot, but they always brought gifts back. I’ll never forget those gifts. They made things a little bit easier.
But it got worse, a whole lot worse before it got better.
My dad was moved home and had a pic-line put in so that he could do treatments outside of the hospital. There was one specific day that I will never forget and that was the day I thought he was going to die. We had a home healthcare nurse for him, but she wasn’t able to be there everyday so my mom was the one who had to administer his medication. This day, was a day that made her. If she administered the medication too quickly it could stop his heart and kill him. By the grade of God, somehow my mom did this everyday and never once slipped. Mommy, I love you and this is as much of your story as it is any of ours. Thank you for saving him. Thank you for being brave enough to do this. No one will ever know what this did to you, but i do.
My dad had a lot of cognitive and physical disabilities from this. He was put on anti-depressants which ultimately changed him, until one day he quit. Which as many of you know, could have killed him. This was when our story took a turn. My dad had fight again. He continued to fight this battle until he overcame. His pic-line was removed, he was off all medication and his surgeries were over. I had my dad back.
There will never be enough time to explain the effect this had on me, but I do know I view people differently. People can’t look at someone and tell they have a chronic illness or disability or even parents with these things, but I know it’s possible. We are ALL fighting battles and demons. The way I live my life has a lot to do with my dad. I struggled for years finding the peace I needed with this journey and I still am. I watched my dad suffer in some of the worst ways, but I also saw him overcome. He lives with this disease still and always will. He battles it everyday. His joints are weak, his immune system isn’t the best and his body isn’t always capable to do things he should, but he keeps fighting.
Daddy, I am so glad you made it. I am who I am today because of you.
Mama, I have no idea how you have lived the life you have and overcome the things you have, but you are one true angel. You have dedicated your life to saving everyone else’s that we love. You deserve everything this world has to give.
Jennifer, thank you for distracting me, raising me and helping me become my best self. I couldn’t have overcome this without you.
My family has so many stories, but this one has shaped me from the time I was 6 until now. I pray you all can take this and change the way you may look at certain things. Everyone is fighting a battle you can’t see.
Tests Of God And Acts Of Faith
The story of how a blown tire taught me a lesson.
My church participates annually with Habitat for Humanity in what has come to be known as “The Mission Trip.”
It started around 15 years ago with numbers of around 10-15 people and now it has grown to the point where we expect at least 40, and excess applicants are turned away on a first come first serve basis with a little bias swung in favor of those who are returning. Most people on the trip are high school age and the last time many of us are able to participate is the summer after our senior year. We are not allowed to come back until we graduate from college.
Perhaps, at its conception, the Mission Trip was simply business. That is, those who went on went with the sole purpose to build. I can imagine that bonds were formed between participants, but those may have been shuffled to the passenger seat with the main focus still on building.
Presently, however, that is not the case.
There is a candlelight service on the last day of the trip where a light is passed around the room and each person shares their thoughts about the trip. This is always a special time for the seniors (not old people) on the trip, since this is the culmination of not just the present trip but also all of their other trips combined. It is a culmination of previous culminations. It is as if all of one’s emotions surrounding these trips are put inside of a bottle for preserving and the individual which it belongs to is forced to put the cork on it.
At that point, sharing is pretty frickin’ hard.
This year however, the candlelight ceremony was different. It held a lot of grief and despair, rather than celebration of what we had accomplished, how we grew, how we learned and perhaps even how we had healed. That night there was a sense of doom that there was going to be a diaspora at the trip’s conclusion and that everybody’s bonds with each other were going to be severed by the inevitable barrier of time.
So to teach us all a lesson for completely ignoring all the good in our trip and only focusing on our own desires, God blew up a tire in my van while we were driving down the highway.
We skidded across the road. We nearly tipped. We may have been due for a truly tragic event.
This was an act of God. As a Christian, I am sure of it. There were too many conveniences for this to be a coincidence. The van was driven by an EMT who owned a van of a similar model. There was no surrounding traffic when the event occurred. The police showed up very quickly. There was an exit just up the road let alone, a hotel. We only lost $200 as a result of all of the sudden hotel cancellations and re-bookings. In fact, the van was fixed just a few hours after we left with a replacement van. It was amazingly smooth. A miracle.
I’m not sure if anybody else felt this way about what had happened but what I truly believe from the bottom of my heart is that God wanted us to wake up from our illusion. What we had gone through together was too special and carried too much weight for it to be carelessly thrown to the side. We romanticized it and pretended that we were about to be exiled to the corners of the earth, destined to never see each other again. We forgot to think about the great week that we had just gone through because we were being blinded by a miserable future.
The thing about the future, which makes humans human, is that we can control it to a degree with our actions. We have the strength and ability to dictate how we pass the time. This series of events was a wakeup call. This was the grand finale, and it made the trip unforgettable, but for me at least, it purged the ideas of separation. If we could make it through this obstacle together then we could definitely see each other again in the future. There’s no doubt about it.
And He Said ‘is Thanksgiving a Holiday?’
and I said “is it?”
I know that, well around the holidays, we all somehow seem to forget the history of most of our favorite holiday more, in particular, this time of the year, regarding Thanksgiving. Did we all forget about Christopher Columbus? I hope not, but just in case here is a small teaser/a good chunk of his whole story of Thanksgiving. Since 1937, when Thanksgiving was set a traditional holiday, which is over 80 years ago, we have all been gathering around the table, passing plates and covering left overs. The holiday to those who know this story, know it as it based on enslavement, theft and a genocide, Columbus literally claimed he “discovered America”, when in reality over a million North Americans were already living here? Not to mention how natives were forced into his personal slavery and had either their limbs cut off or were killed if they did not find enough gold. Oh and if the enslavement, theft or genocide weren’t enough to wrap our mind around this holiday season, in the midst of all the turmoil of an entire community, the natives were stricken were incredible diseases brought over by Columbus and his sailor team.
I think the main reason, we all seem to forget, is due to the utter lack of information provided in your “high school textbooks”, which in fact are told to NOT print that information. This seems kinda odd doesn’t it? Providing the youth, with no supporting evidence to this national tragedy, and for out “so called hero”. But what if this whole day, comes down to just absolutely loving Thanksgiving food. What do we do then? Do we make a special day, and I mean special day, dedicated to the infamous fall food? I’d be down for that, but what I, and others should as well, have to remind myself is not many people will be willing to give up a holiday they have been celebrating since before they can remember. But, what I think is half of the importance, is raising awareness to those who are unsure about this tragic history, and for textbooks to start publishing the truth behind these two famous holidays, Columbus Day and Thanksgiving. We need the truth of our country, and sadly without the literal publishing and teaching of this sort of history so young, we will never be able to grasp the next generation and we will just keep covering and covering the secrets our country, keeps private.
But don’t get me wrong, I love a good pumpkin pie, brussel sprouts, and stuffing. But as a grow older and more aware, the guilt and shame attached to this holiday makes it almost impossible to have the same excitement I did as a kid. The only thing wrong with this holiday, is that as Americans, we tolerate this sort of thing. and we seem to be okay with turning a blind eye.
But, hey! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!! Glaze that turkey, bake those pies and well, just try and remind Uncle Paul about the importance and of celebrating this “holiday”.
I am writing this a week or two before our six month mark.
i wasn’t supposed to like you and i most certainly wasn’t supposed to love you. i told myself when i agreed to go on this deployment that it was be me, myself, and i. nothing less, nothing more. man was i wrong.
in the beginning, i was skeptical. so many thoughts racing through my mind. deployment fling? another lesson? bored? all of these and more came to mind, but i liked you. we never stopped talking. only saw each other in passing for weeks, but i was so content. you were bringing light back into my life. it didn’t make sense. still doesn’t honestly.
every time i looked at you, i noticed something new that i liked. it began with the most obvious features. your nose and your eyes. your lovely skin and numerous freckles. these are things everyone could see. i would do this daily and you would always giggle and ask me what i was looking at. i never would respond. just smiled and continued watching supernatural with you. days turned into nights and those turned into weeks. week after week of nonstop laughs, hugs, kisses, and adventures. suddenly, something changed. i couldn’t exactly tell you when, but it was the most comforting feeling. almost like a wave of tranquility. such an intense feeling. when i looked at you, i saw more than to what meets the eye. i no longer liked you. i loved you. i love you. the way you squint your eyes when you laugh exposing my favorite feature of yours – the crows feet on either side of your eyes. the way the color of your eyes vary day by day either a sage green with a sweet mixture of honey in the middle or a dash of blue peaking through. i love the way your lips fit effortlessly with mine. the way you “mmm” when i climb into bed and you squeeze me tight. the way your fingers trace mine and leave a lasting imprint. i could go on and on, but you know. i hope you know.
september 5th. we rode scooters all over the city in the middle of the night. it felt endless. it’s been my favorite night. i know there’s many more to come, but i cherish this one. i hadn’t felt that much emotion in my life. i was overwhelmed with love and happiness. above all, peaceful and safe. we rode over to the most beautiful place and sat on that bench. not a single word. just holding each other and admiring the sight. it was time to go and you whipped me around and told me. you told me you loved me. you loved me back. genuinely. i didn’t know what to say. my heart burst. i love you. oh how i love you.
i am truly grateful for everything you’ve done and continue to do. you have reinvented the way i view love. you inspire me to become the best version of myself day in and day out. there aren’t words strong enough to describe how intensely i feel towards you. i just hope i can continue to make known how appreciative of you i am and how loved you are.
the future holds so much for the two of us. we’ll have it all, but i’ll let that unravel by itself. i can tell you one thing about it. this probably isn’t the most special way to say something like this, but i was thinking about us today. it hit me. i don’t just love you anymore dustin. i’m in love with you. i’m honestly not sure if there’s a distinction between the two, but there might be. i think it’s what i’m feeling towards you now. you’re almost home now, so i better wrap this up so you can pick at me to show you this little messy letter. i might let you read it after you ask 4 times, we’ll see.