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October 3, 2017 | Opinion

Young, cash-strapped, and obsessed with travel. Here’s why that’s okay.

By Justin S.

Between rent, bills, and other adulting expenses, travel can seem impractical or even impossible. News flash: it’s not.

I recently spent 4 months traveling throughout Europe to places like Italy, Germany, Switzerland, and Portugal. And I’d be lying if I didn’t say my savings took a hit. But I would do it again in a heartbeat. I made friends from different corners of the world, ate foods I’d never even heard of, saw postcard-worthy views, and gained an entirely new outlook on life.

Looking back on my travels, I don’t remember all the little sacrifices I made to get there. I remember the sights I saw, the people I met, the food I ate, and the cultures I fell in love with. And, I bet, you will too.

Still not convinced? My fellow EF Ultimate Break colleague puts it in a different way…

You’ll get a serious ROI.

Think of travel as an investment in your future. It looks impressive on your resume. Communication, negotiation, independence, creativity, and adaptability are required for any traveler to have a successful trip abroad.

Guess what? They’re also the exact skills a potential employer is looking for.

It’s good for you, says science.

Maybe you need to take a break from the everyday grind. Maybe you need some space to sort your own life out. Whatever the case, travel is scientifically proven to be good for your mental health, physical health, personality, and well-being.

📷 by @saradietschy, Belize

You can do it!

We’ve all heard the cliché about saving by cutting back on coffee. I would never advocate for such a drastic and barbaric ritual. Instead, think of it like this:

Did you know a 12-oz. black coffee (that’s a “Tall” at the ‘bucks) has more caffeine than three shots of espresso? Did you know that a 20-oz. (“Venti”) latte is made with only two shots?? That tidbit can save you over $2 a day (yup, that’s over $730 per year), cut down on daily fat intake, AND get you more wired in the morning. You’re welcome for the best advice of your life.

📷 by @rukittennmee, Berlin, Germany

With a little effort, you can get smarter about spending, cut useless costs, and get creative with your lifestyle.

But you don’t have to do it alone.

There’s nothing wrong with asking for a little help; your friends and family who have traveled before will see the potential for personal growth and be happy to contribute to the cause.

What’s more, some awesome companies who give themselves shameless plugs *cough* can make it even easier with interest-free payment plans, group discounts, and tons of inclusions so you don’t have to worry about planning.

After all, if travel is about rejuvenation, why should the process leading up to it cause more stress than fun?

📷 by Sara Dietschy, Tikal, Guatemala

Experiences > Things.

Our world is saturated in things: things that bend, things that break, and things that get lost in the void of time and memory.

But our world is also filled with beauty: beautiful places, beautiful people, and beautiful cultures.

This is a fantastic, fascinating, and massive earth, with food to make us drool, cities to bring us back to another time, people who teach us something new, and sights that take our breath away. These are things that last forever. No, travel is not something you can tangibly hold in your hand—but you can take it with you.

And it is ALWAYS worth it.

Oh, and it’s fun as hell.

Forward by Madeline M., Copywriting Intern at EF Ultimate Break

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