The call of the road is a difficult one to ignore. While some people love to keep themselves in the confines of home, others have a lifelong wanderlust.
If you’re interested in traveling the world but have hesitated, it’s time to conquer your reservations and make some reservations. In other words, your college years are the best time to travel. You’re clear of a rigid high school schedule and some time shy of a demanding work routine.
Whether it’s a semester abroad, a spring break jaunt, or a self-imposed hiatus for a semester or two to see the world, take the opportunity. There are several reasons that travel abroad during your college years can be better than ever.
Accessibility Is Better Than Ever
Sometime in your life, you may have gotten a chance to read postcards or notes from a relative who was traveling overseas. Maybe it was a military deployment or Peace Corps mission, or maybe just a vacation. Whatever the reason, those weathered pieces of correspondence were the only link the traveler had with the family at home.
Nothing could be more dated than that notion today. With cell phones, video conferencing, and social media, your communication distance now is next to zero. Financial transactions can be conducted quickly from almost anywhere in the world. Running low on cash and need dad to send money to India? He can do it quickly and accurately. Waiting to hear about grad school admission? Mom can Skype you when the letter hits the mailbox. You won’t ever be out of the loop–or out of money–as you travel the world.
Security Is Better Than Ever
Despite whatever fears you may harbor after September 11, 2001, the fact is that air travel is safer than ever. Not only are fewer planes crashing due to accidents, the rigorous security at airports around the world makes it nearly impossible for any type of weapons to be brought aboard. And the presence of air marshals with increased cockpit security means the likelihood of a strong-arm hijacking is nearly zero.
Want some perspective? There are about 87,000 flights conducted daily just in U.S. airspace, and we’ve gone years and years without a hijacking; months pass without even a minor crash. The rates are minuscule, which means the odds of any such incident taking place on your trip are nearly zero. You have a much better chance of having a wreck on the way to the airport!
Preparation Is Better Than Ever
For hearty travelers, there’s a real sense of adventure in stepping off a plane and wandering through a strange city, managing to piece together enough dialogue to locate and secure lodging, transportation, and food. Locating a guide was a process of trial and error–fun for some people, frightening for others.
For the more pragmatic, this step isn’t necessary. Everything can be thoroughly researched, reserved, and reviewed before you even pack your bags. When you arrive at even the most distant ports of call, you’ll have a place to go, a way to get there, and an idea of what’s for dinner.
Memories Are Better Than Ever
We don’t mean you’re hitting the gingko to amp up your recollection skills. This is about the ability to share and preserve the experience with others.
The days of lugging a heavy camera and film everywhere you go are over. Even the days of tracking memory cards are largely behind you. With a smartphone, you can capture and share an unlimited supply of photos. Just snap all day and upload all night, and the next day your storage is empty and ready to reload.
The timing is great too, It used to require hefty postage costs to send snapshots back home if you wanted to share them before you returned. Now you can email, Snapchat, Facebook, or Tweet them immediately, giving friends, family, and sometimes sponsors a daily walk with you.
The day will come when the demands of career and family will preclude your adventurous plans. In that tiny window between those obligations and the high school years when you were too young, there exists an opportunity to trot the globe. Do it now. It’s better than it’s ever been.