25 Life Lessons Learned From Traveling the World After High School
I didn’t want to go straight to college after I graduated high school. I actually didn’t want to go to college at all but the only way I could get my parents to pay for my gap year was to promise I’d go back to school afterwards. Traveling the world after high school, for a year in between studies, was the perfect way to get away from American life, see how the other half lives, find myself, and become a better person.
The short trips I’ve taken over spring break and school holidays ever since haven’t compared to the thrill of traveling the world for a year with nothing more than a backpack. I can’t wait to do it all again after I graduate from college. This time, for life.
Here are 25 life lessons learned from traveling the world after high school:
1. There’s never a good reason to wake up before noon.
2. It’s always 5 o’clock somewhere.
3. English is the only language you need.
Everyone speaks it.
4. You can bargain down anything.
30 baht pad thai? Make that 15.
5. 21 is a ridiculous drinking age.
6. Travel is the best education.
If only my parents didn’t make me go back for a degree.
7. Your needs and wants are basically the same.
I want a beer? I need a beer.
8. You don’t have to see every tourist attraction.
Or any of them.
9. The more countries you see, the better traveler you are.
42 and counting.
10. You haven’t lived until you’ve skinny dipped in every ocean.
11. The less money you spend, the longer you can travel.
So bargain and beg.
12. You’ll never be lonely.
Your next best friend is sleeping right next to you.
Do you have shorts and a passport? You’re good.
14. Toiletries left behind are up for grabs.
If it’s in the shower, it’s yours.
15. You never need a plan.
Just buy a ticket and go.
16. Guidebooks are useless.
17. Ignore your parents’ emails.
They just worry too much.
18. Foreign girls are easy.
Way less uptight than college girls.
Just put up a towel. And get the bottom bunk.
20. Don’t lose your passport.
It’s your only travel essential.
Except t-shirts with beer labels. They’re wardrobe staples.
22. Weed brings people together.
And a great way to spend a day.
23. Bribes can get you out of most trouble.
So get into a lot of trouble.
24. Which hostel you stay at matters.
25. Travel makes you better than everyone else.
Don’t listen to anyone who tells you otherwise.
These were some of the biggest life lessons I learned travelling after high school. And they were all things I would have never gotten from some classroom at college. So if you’re thinking about backpacking after high school, if you’re thinking, “I want to travel after high school”: do it. Nothing should hold you back from traveling the world after high school
What life lessons have you learned from traveling after high school?
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