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Katy Caringer Gives You Time to Travel

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Words: Katy Caringer, Photo: Carolyn Jaime

As I near the end of my twenties, I admit I have a fear of life’s adventures passing me by, and waking up one day late in life with the question, “What have I done?”

Most young twenty-somethings tend to get trapped in the vicious thought cycle of “once I have more money, more time, and when I’m done taking care of things, then I will go”. You then wake up one day to find you have lost your dreams in order to conserve your days. Without adventure and travel, you live your life in a routine that is both comfortable yet limiting because of your fear of taking risks. By making time for adventure, I have learned that it’s absolutely worth it to take the chances the traveler must take. I’ve never regretted this decision.

With an uncertain economic future facing young adults these days, it makes sense to travel now, instead of saving travel for a future that is in no way guaranteed. To get motivated to make time to travel, here are a few tips I have learned along the way that inspire me to make the time:

1. Don’t wait for others, go solo!

Solo trips can be the best thing you can do for yourself - by getting to indulge fully in yourself, you find out what you are truly capable of. The best part is being on your own schedule; you don’t have to feel obligated to please anyone else but yourself. Adventure always awaits because you never know who you will meet.

Want to go bungee jumping or learn how to snowboard? You can go and not feel guilty that someone is waiting at the bottom for you. Mistakes are truly yours and so are the rewards; it’s a constant learning process with unforgettable memories that you can take with you forever.

2. Check out a new music festival:

There’s always the option of visiting big festivals like Coachella or Bonnaroo that celebrities and big name bands frequent, however I believe finding smaller, more close-knit festivals can be a much better experience. Music festivals are a great way to break up the monotony of everyday life and commitments and see a side of a city or a forest you never knew existed. Less expensive and a great opportunity to meet new people, you can open your mind to new and upcoming music. Most of the biggest musical acts today, all started on those tiny stages tucked away in the corner. Music truly unites people from all walks of life, and dancing next to strangers and good friends can be a perfect way to escape from everyday life.

I just visited a smaller music festival in Austin, Texas this past month called Euphoria Music and Camping Fest, and it was truly a lifetime experience. With the option to camp just outside the grounds for three nights, you literally escape into a world filled with positive energy and no obligations, where you feel a sense of belonging with people you would never meet in your everyday life.

3. Remember to be a real traveler:

I hear from time to time of people taking trips where they get trapped in tourist attractions and never really experience the local culture or leave their own lives when they are there. They try to bring their own world with them wherever they go, moving from hotel to motel, protected by money and credit cards, and don’t truly immerse themselves in the world which they are traveling.

Taking the time to sit with locals and find out where to go and what to do is the best thing you can do, because it leaves you with a unique story to tell. By giving yourself over to the present moment, you experience an everyday life in a completely different place. Their world becomes part of yours.

Travel really is the only thing in life that makes you richer, and making time for it will give you a peace when you are older that is truly priceless. Especially if you haven’t quite found your passion in life just yet, traveling gives you time to reflect on your life questions and decide on your next career choice.

It’s common these days to think bumming around in our twenties for too long is a bit immature or irresponsible , but I also find it crazy to work unfulfilling jobs only to feel like you are doing what you are supposed to do. And if we have the ability to take a break, meander a bit, and reevaluate, then why not take advantage of that opportunity?


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