“Do it while you’re young”, “Youth is wasted on the young”, “You’re only young once” – same old clichés, same old story. It’s true that youth is an awesome thing but it’s all relative. As a kid I thought I’d be an old man by the time I was in my mid-twenties, now I’m here it just doesn’t feel so old – quite the opposite in fact. So embrace life, forget about the numbers and don’t hold back.
Traveling the world is a dream of so many people around the world but it’s almost as if there is a silent resignation that once your ‘best days’ are behind you, it’s no longer possible. You missed the party. Traveling is a past time for the youth of today, your boat has sailed old-timer, your time has gone. No one wants to say goodbye to their ‘best days’ but old father time just relentlessly plods on and takes them from you, right? WRONG.
Age is a state of mind and in 2011 it’s up to you to challenge the status quo. Your ‘best days’ aren’t defined by a set of arbitrary ages created by an MTV generation, if you adhere to that then all hope is lost. Your ‘best days’ don’t lie within 16-25, they are all the days after you realize what you want from the next year/decade/rest of your life. Those are our best days, so go after them with vigour and hold on to them tight, we never have to let them go if we make that choice. They don’t have an expiration date. But they don’t come to you, you have to go out and get them. And that opportunity is available to all of us, whatever age we happen to be.
Some of us are lucky enough to realize what we want at 18, some 35, some 60 years plus but it’s not a competition. To reach that point where we can sit back and think ‘I know what I want’ is a real pleasure indeed, no matter what decade you were born. Just be happy, grateful and proud you’ve reached that point and now go out and do something about it. No one is going to do it for you, and using age as an excuse for not acting is no excuse at all. This can be our time. Be the change.
I’ve seen people in their 80s with a backpack strapped to their back in Ethiopia, a French couple in their late seventies traveling across Indonesia, a 68 year old guy in China who just fancies ‘seeing what all the hype was about” – they traveled with a smile, knowing that they were making the most of their lives. Forget travel blogs, life coaches and self-help guides. That’s real inspiration. And if they can do it, so can you. The big wide world is waiting eagerly for you.
So regardless of your age, now is your time to go out there and grasp what you want from life. Go and see that safari sunrise in Africa you longed for 10 years ago, go wine-tasting in France while you still have the chance, white-water rafting? Sure, no problem. Do it now – because remember, “We are never as young as we are tonight” Happy travels!