I’ve been traveling since before I was old enough to understand the concept. I started flying alone to see Grandma as soon as I met the airlines’ age minimum, me and my little five-year-old carry-on bag proudly striding down the jet bridge like I owned the place.
I studied abroad. I backpacked alone through Europe. I visited 20-some odd countries by the time I was in my mid-20s. I later worked as a consultant and was on a plane several times a week, racking up miles and spending vacation days in other countries. I am well-acquainted with the world of air travel.
And at some point along the way, probably when I sat down and thought about what I wanted and still saw “30 countries by 30” on the list, I realized that I didn’t really get that much out of traveling. It conflicted with a lot of other more important goals on my list — saving, building a business, etc. — and didn’t, even in its own right, provide much value. It shouldn’t be a top goal.
Because travel is, in and of itself, a bit meaningless.