6 Things That Travel Can Help You Accomplish Before You Turn 20

Traveling is a fantastic experience that can provide numerous, valuable life lessons, especially when you are young. If you have the chance, you should definitely take some time to explore the world and visit all the places you've heard of and always wanted to see. Here are a few examples of the great ways travel can help inspire you to greatness.

Have an Adventure

When you are young and just out of high school, life is full of endless possibilities and excitement. You are likely not yet tied down with the responsibilities of work, family, and the upkeep of a home. The freedom you have in this moment to answer mainly to yourself makes it the perfect time to go out and have an adventure. Never again in life will you be able to pick up and go without coordinating any number of duties and schedules. This is a spectacular motivator and response to a question many recent graduations ask themselves of, "why take a gap year?"

Create lasting memories that will fuel great stories to tell your family and friends. Be an inspiration to others to live life fully and experience all that the world has to offer. A gap year before you go off to college or start a job can provide valuable experience and insight on how to handle the next phase of your life. So, be brave and take the trip of a lifetime!

Find Yourself

Traveling is a highly recommended path to finding yourself and working on self improvement. When you are young, you haven't yet had the time to fully discover yourself and what your interests are and what you want from life. How could you when you most likely have had only a narrow view of the world so far?

A gap year will give you so many new opportunities and open your eyes to all the potential paths you have. You can find out what kinds of things excite and inspire you, what speaks to your soul, and self care practices that you didn't know about before.

Determine Your Path

An expanded worldview will have the benefit of helping you determine which career path is right for you. Maybe you grew up in a small town and opportunities seemed limited to only a handful of job fields. Discovering new cultures and ways of doing things could bring your attention to so many more options. You may just find the thing that inspires you to take a lifelong journey into a career that will fulfill and challenge you.

Experience the World

When you spend a significant amount of time in new parts of the world you are immersed in the local culture and a different way of life. This is a great opportunity to learn a new language, appreciate the local cuisine, and study area customs.

Seeing how other people live will help you become more open minded and realize that the way you have always known is not the only way, and maybe not the best way, to do things. You will learn to be more tolerant of others even when they have different opinions and views than the ones you hold. This teaches compassion and empathy which vastly improves your ability to work and communicate with others in a meaningful way.


If you are looking to explore a possible job, gain valuable skills, or make connections with new people and places, then volunteering could be a wonderful way to see new places and provide much needed services. There are all kinds of volunteer programs out there. You may want to focus on helping to improve living conditions by traveling to an area that needs help building housing or schools. Or perhaps you have always liked kids and want to offer daycare services or assist with teaching. Another avenue to pursue is working with animals. A lot of places need volunteers to care for injured and rescued animals and provide them with a safe place to rehabilitate.

These kinds of activities can give you a lot of insight into what you want to spend your life accomplishing, and where your strengths lie. You may find that you are a natural teacher or have a way with animals that puts them at ease and could be a great asset for a career.

Develop Life Skills

Getting out of your comfort zone can be scary, but builds good character and sets you up for success later in life. Travel can often bring unexpected and difficult challenges and teaches you life skills like money management, prioritizing time, and self sufficiency. These experiences will help you to mature and be better equipped to handle the next stage of your life with ease.

Taking the time to travel is a phenomenal way to grow as a person. It brings you a deeper sense of gratitude and wonder for the awesomeness of the planet. You meet great people and create a network of new friendships and valuable contacts. All of these things will make you more confident and ready for anything that comes next.