- The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes. Marcel Proust
Your viewpoint about life will change.
It’s almost a guaranteed fact that once you travel Europe, your viewpoint about life will completely change. Traveling frees you in a sense. It allows you to do things you never thought you could. See things you’ve only ever seen or heard about. Meet people you never otherwise would. If you’re traveling solo, you will have a lot of free time on your hands during train rides and such where you’ll be able to reflect on yourself, and figure out who you are and what you want out of life. You will never be the same.
You’ll meet the most interesting people.
It’s no surprise here that you’re going to meet a LOT of different people. The great thing about it is that everyone has their own unique story. The people you will meet may be backpackers who are just arriving, ready to begin their adventure, or they may be backpackers who have been traveling for months. Or maybe the people you will meet will be locals, and you’ll have a chance to chat it up them over beers and get an inside perspective of the city. Regardless, they will all have stories and experiences to share with you, that are different than your own. You can learn so much from people.
You’ll take a much needed break from your daily life.
Who doesn’t want to take a break from their daily lives? Whether you’re working a 9-5, or in school, daily life can get BORING! You need to spice it up! Have an adventure or two, or three. You have your whole life ahead of you, why not do something you actually WANT to do for a change? It’ll rejuvenate you! You’ll be fresh and ready to go once you get back home.
You’ll gain knowledge about the past.
And you thought you were done with history class? Think again! I learned a ton of history during the two months I spent traveling Europe. More than I ever did in school, or at least remember anyway. The difference is actually coming face-to-face with the places and cities that you’ve read about in text books, or seen in movies, or heard referred to from well traveled people. It’s really something special.
You’ll be better able to handle situations.
The amount of times you will get yourself into situations where you think, “What the h*** have I gotten myself into?!” is numerous while backpacking europe, especially if you’re traveling without a set itinerary. While it’s not usually a good feeling getting lost in a place where you actually speak the language, try getting lost in a place where no one around you speaks the language, it’s dark out, and you’re completely alone. It definitely builds you into a stronger, more confident person who is much better prepared to handle different situations your faced with.
You’ll get to experience European life.
Who hasn’t dreamed of having tea in London, eating a baguette outside a Parisian cafe, or trying Italian pasta, right? By traveling Europe, you will get to experience the cultures of so many different countries. Each one unique and different in its own ways. And very different from what’s familiar to you. Almost every country in Europe has its own customs, and its own way of life, let alone it’s own language. If you’ve never left your own country before, it’s very different from anything you’ve ever experienced. Don’t miss out!
If you backpack through Europe, you’ll know that nothing is impossible.
Planning a backpacking trip, saving enough money, and surviving through European’s foreign lands are no small tasks. Successfully carrying out a European Backpacking trip, its a LOT of work. The time and effort you have to put into it to actually make it happen, is enormous. And then traveling once there is something in itself. If you can do it, know then you can do anything you set your mind to!
You’ll have a new found appreciation for home.
Trust me, I never thought this would be the case when I set out on my 2 month backpacking trip. However, I can’t tell you how happy I was to come home after my trip. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my trip, and I wanted to go back only days after I got home! However, being on the move for 2 months non-stop (sightseeing from sun up to sun down day after day, catching a flight or a train every 2,3, or 4 days) is exhausting! Not to mention the culture shock of everything. Sometimes it’s just nice to eat a familiar meal, sleep in your own bed (in your quiet room), have friends and family around who aren’t able to leave, and have a day to relax. You’ll definitely appreciate those little things we take for granted. :)
You’ll make memories to last a life time.
When you’re 80, and looking back on your life, what do you want to remember? Do you want to remember the inside of your cubicle, or the papers you had to write, or the tests you had to study for? Or how about the time you took that trip of a life time one summer way back when? When all you did was sightsee, party, make new friends, and try things you never had done before. Trust me, you won’t regret it! Plus, when you get back home you’ll have all these amazing stories and experiences to share!
You’ll have a better reality of the world.
If you never leave home, if you never travel anywhere that’s not familiar to you, you will never know what is really out there. Maybe that’s okay will you, and that’s fine. But realize that there are thousands and thousands of cities, places, people, and experiences to be had outside of your home. Get out there! Experience them for yourself!
I hope this article was helpful in inspiring you, or convincing you, that you SHOULD travel through Europe! It’s a decision I highly doubt you will regret. Whatever the obstacles, make it happen!