He Said/She Said: Traveling Young

He Said/She Said: Traveling Young

There are some things that are best done when you are young, before breaking a hip or having to check “yes” on medical waivers are legitimate concerns.  Here are our reasons for traveling now, when we’re younger, than waiting until later.


It’s easy to think that what’s available to us today will be tomorrow, but the fact of the matter is that it won’t be.  Lots of people my age say there are many things they want to do: travel, get in shape, eat better, etc.  The reality, however is that they have more time and money available to them now then they ever will.  How will you learn to eat better when you have children to feed, when you couldn’t on your own?  How will you afford to travel when you have to pay for four instead of two?  If you can’t find time now, when will you have more time?

We need to be optimistic about the future…that we’ll be richer, healthier, and better looking, but without putting in the effort today, why will tomorrow be any different?  For us it was important to travel, not to see things, but to understand the world and it’s people.  We knew the world could be a great teacher and when all was said and done we’ll spend more days on this trip than we did in university.  We’ve seen the problems faced by billions of people, disparate and similar all at once, and different cultures solutions to them.  We’ve had the time to sit back and think about the issues facing humanity and what we could do to solve them.  It’s helped us identify the things we’re good at, those we enjoy, and more importantly, the things we don’t want to do.

We could have done this later, “when we retire…”, but when would we apply the lessons we gained on this trip? While playing bridge in a retirement home?  Doing it now provides us a foundation to build our lives from.  We’ve developed a global mindset, learning that there are multiple motives, methods, and solutions to every problem.  By investing our time and money into learning how our future clients live, play, and what they value we are better suited to work with them.  This trip has opened our minds like nothing else in life, teaching us lessons that we will carry with us for the rest of our lives.


Ice climbing, surfing and high altitude trekking sound like an adventure when you’re in your 20’s and 30’s, but they become work as you age.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m the first to tell you that we don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.  However, I’ve said it many times, this trip wouldn’t be the same if we were even ten years older.  It becomes hard to travel, especially for prolonged periods as we age and developing world travel is particularly tough later in life. However, it is not only rewarding, but an incredible education at this junction in our lives before we start a family and career.

More than once I’ve been sitting at a hostel with people of all ages, I’ll hear one of the gray-hairs in the room say something to the effect that you should do it while you’re young, because you never know what will happen as you age.  One particular moment comes to mind when we were in New Zealand at the Franz Josef Glacier.  Everyone was preparing dinner and in walked an older woman whom announced, to no one in particular, “the guides told me I can’t ice climb, you should be glad you’re doing this now.”  She seemed disappointed, but she also knew that might have been the outcome before she even flew to NZ from the US.

While ice climbing might not be your thing, I encourage you to travel while you’re healthy, fit and fearless. To see the world the way the locals do takes a lot of energy, especially in the developing world.  It’s a lot easier to combat food poisoning in India to see how the locals really live, hike through the Himalayas in Nepal, ride rickety buses in the Philippines and be open minded enough to give each new country a fair shake.  Of course tomorrow is guaranteed to no one and if that isn’t the best reason to travel now, I don’t know what is!


What is your reason for traveling now or waiting?  If it’s not travel, what’s your big “if” that you know you should start doing?  Share in the comments below…

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» Donna :
Nov 6, 2012

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.” Isn’t that a great quote? I had it pasted in my calendar for years as I was working for other organizations. But even as a self employed person, it’s still a great mantra to live by. So while you’re seeing the world now as a young couple, there will still be more world to see throughout the years of your life. Keep traveling, keep playing, stay happy!


The Chuas @ LivingIF Reply:

Never stop playing! That’s our hope!

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About the Author

thinkCHUA: Photographing and documenting the world on a 3 year round-the-world trip to help future travelers discover new places, travel longer and enjoy the world's great experiences.

About the Author
thinkCHUA: Photographing and documenting the world on a 3 year round-the-world trip to help future travelers discover new places, travel longer and enjoy the world's great experiences.


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