Hit The Road
Don’t feel guilty about giving in to wanderlust
The idea of a quarter-life crisis has always seemed a little ridiculous to me because the issue of not being able to decide what to do seems so privileged -- shouldn't we be too busy working to think about things like what job, exactly, will make us happiest?
Of course, I eventually fell into my own minor quarter-life crisis and had to re-examine my life up until that point.
Why did I decide to major in English? Why am I in graduate school? And what happened to all that money I made with my part-time jobs? Oh, right, all that traveling ...
To some of my friends, my addiction to traveling seems like a major downfall. While they have good, solid jobs with steady incomes, I write and edit on a freelance basis in order to have the flexibility to travel at a moment's notice.
As a result, I don't have a retirement fund yet or a lot of financial cushioning. But I live this way because my first priority has, and will always be, the people in my life.
For me the people who are most important just happen to be scattered around the globe.
Luckily, I have amazing parents who reassure me by saying things like, "You have your entire life to work full time. Enjoy this. The right thing will come along, and it will use all of your skills and be challenging and fun. Don't worry about it."
Not everyone has that kind of support, and if you don't, then those four sentences should become your mantra if you have the desire to travel while you're still exploring the person you want to become.
YOUNG TRAVELERS are not yet tied down to families of our own. We can fly across the world in 24 hours without enduring jet lag for long.
It's possible to meet other people our own age in any city and share the connection of being passionate about travel.
We have the benefit of knowing that we will be able to take these firsthand experiences and apply them to every situation, personal or professional, many years in the future.
Heck, it even looks good on a résumé.
So if you're going through a quarter-life crisis of your own, and if there's the tiniest voice in your head wanting to travel to or live in a different part of the word, I encourage you to take advantage of your youth and go for it.
You'll never have to look back and ask yourself what would have happened.
Instead, you'll be able to look back at great memories and experiences you wouldn't be able to have at home.
Joy Uyeno travels frequently throughout the year, and her column geared toward young and beginning travelers appears the second Sunday each month in the Star-Bulletin Travel section.
Joy Uyeno travels frequently throughout the year, and her column geared toward beginning travelers or youths experiencing their first extended stay abroad appears the second Sunday each month in the Star-Bulletin Travel section.