There is a vivid memory I have of walking into Target with my mother the week after my college graduation. We ran into a woman, a co-worker and friend of my mom's, and so we stopped and chatted for a bit as she tried to wrangle her baby and toddler, purse and cart.
An everyday scene, to be sure. But this one is etched into my brain because of one simple thing. This harried, happy mother looked me dead in the eyes and said, "Travel now. You must travel now. There will come a time when you can't as much. Travel now."
And of course, when you are a twenty-something receiving advice from a thirty-something, you laugh it off or simply ignore it because you are oh-so-different and special and unique! You'll be able to travel freely forever! La dee da!
Luckily for me, I already had plans to travel. My exuberant 20's included year-long stints in Colorado and Ecuador, and shorter jaunts to Ghana, Peru, Germany, Indonesia, and Mexico. But I wonder... if I hadn't planned all of that, would I have let my 20's slip by?
Because here's the thing: you may not think you are going to have a marriage/kids/dog/house. That is totally fine. I didn't either. I didn't want any of those things (ok, maybe a dog)... but I ended up with all of them. Life shows up in completely unexpected ways, and when it does, you have to hope that you've traveled.
Not because it's the coolest (it is) or because you learn a lot (you do). You have to hope that you've traveled because when times get tough (they will) you can draw on the kickass times that you had while traveling and know that you will be a-ok.
So graduate? I'm proud of you. You've worked hard. And now's the time to grab that passport and pack your bags, because you've got exploring to do. It's time to see the world now.