I just grabbed this from one of my favorite quotes online: “Travel while you’re young and able. Don’t worry about the money, just make it work. Experience is far more valuable than money will ever be”. So here’s my own version of 10 reasons why Filipinos in their 20s should travel now. That’s right: NOW!
Enjoying the scenery in Armenia
10 Reasons Why Filipinos Should Travel in Their 20’s
10. You’re still adventurous.
Think about yourself in 30 years. Can you imagine your retired self hiking the steps of Machu Picchu? At the age of 50, do you think you’ll still enjoy the adrenaline rush of sandboarding? When you already have a mortgage and a car loan, do you think you’ll be able to do a 6 month-straight backpacking trip without worrying about the monthly bills? Do you think you’ll still be able to carry a 20 kilo backpack when you have backache problems or arthritis? Age affects us all, so make the most of your youth while you still have it!
9. Your career can wait.
Don’t worry about that Filipino mentality that if you don’t start your career now, you will be forever left behind by your batchmates or cousins. You shouldn’t compare yourself to others in the first place. Secondly, your career can wait. If travelling can develop and hone your skills to succeed on the road, then they can help you succeed on the corporate ladder, too! If you decide to turn travel into a lifestyle, then you can even build a career while travelling. Need proof? Read this article – Career or Travel? Why Not Both?
8. You’re young, healthy and carefree!
Some things are just too obvious to justify with more explanations!
Never be afraid – Urban Abseiling in La Paz, Bolivia
7. You’ll learn a lot about yourself!
No one can truthfully say that they fully know themselves in their twenties. I told myself that, too. Until I embarked on my 3-month solo backpacking adventure in South East Asia, though, where I really started to test myself and my limits, I had no idea! The only time you’ll fully know yourself is when you step outside of your comfort zone, jump into the unknown and learn from experience. It’s definitely worth it!
Chilling at the Kuang Xi Waterfalls in Luang Prabang, Laos with fellow German and British Backpackers
6. It’s easy for you to find volunteering opportunities…WORLDWIDE.
This is a fact. I’ve tried different volunteering gigs in South East Asia, India and South America – in hostels, restaurants and on farms. Most of the owners or managers of these places prefer young backpackers in their 20s because younger travelers are full of energy! Being a Filipino has been a great advantage for me, too, because we already have a great reputation worldwide for being responsible, clean and hospitable!
Party with Canadian Backpackers in Hanoi, Vietnam
5. You’ll have the best time meeting different Citizens of the World in your age group.
If you decide to travel around South East Asia, you will definitely meet a lot of backpackers between the ages of 18 to 30. They are mostly Europeans or Americans on a gap year. What is a gap year? It is when you finish high school at the age of 18 and decide to take a year off from studying to travel or work before college. A lot of these people pay for their own tuition fees in college! Oh, look, they haven’t finished their degrees, but they are already travelling! You can do it, too!
Crossing the Vietnam-Laos Border
4. You’re the best person to represent our country!
The younger generation of Filipinos (80’s kids) are exposed to both the modern and traditional and we are smart enough to know how to balance things out! We are still cool at parties, but we always know our limits – Lola will be upset if you don’t, after all! Just make sure that you try to elude the negative, competitive traits of being a Filipino, as you’ll be the first impression of other people out there. There’s no need to impress others, so just focus on expressing the true you. Bring your Filipino values with you wherever you go and you’ll be just fine!
Playing around in Salt flats, Uyuni, Bolivia, South America
3. You’ll learn how to be humble!
Alright, so you graduated from the best university in the Philippines, you have your Latin Honors or maybe you won the best thesis award! In the real world, though, you will be surprised by how little that stuff really matters. You might even get depressed in your first few months in the corporate world when no one is giving you the special treatment that you were getting in college. Well, that’s the real world. What sucks the most is that you’re living life in a freaking cubicle! Why not leave that depressing job, take a risk and get out of the country? You’ll meet a lot of people, experience many new things and see a lot of situations that will humble you. Then, if you want, you can go back to work and appreciate work and life a lot more!
2. You will learn how to BUDGET.
While studying, you probably already had some experience with budgeting your allowance from Mama and Papa, but when you start travelling, you will experience budgeting on the next level. You’ll learn how to track even the small centavos, how to haggle like a rock star, and eventually, how to be frugal! You want to thrive, not just survive, right?!
Party boat in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
1. Last but not least – YOU DESERVE TO BE TRULY HAPPY.
If your Starbucks coffee and cake makes you happy every day, then that’s great. If your Chanel bag is giving you enthusiasm for life, then that’s amazing. But as my favorite quote above says – ‘Travelling EXPERIENCE is more satisfying than what material things can give you.’ I bet you’ll enjoy telling your grandchildren about your first visit to India far more than what brand of Starbucks coffee you used to drink every day when you were 25!
So what are you waiting for? Travel now, it will change your life!
NOTE: This article is inspired by Aaron Palabyab’s Why Young Filipinos Should Travel Now (Longer, Wider)