For the past six weeks or so, there have been two girls from my home church here on a missions trip. Prior to that, there was a young man, also from my home church, who was here for a little over a year and a half on an internship. Let me tell you, my 21 year old self really envies them. I am so glad that more kids from "back home" are getting on a plane and flying to new places.
I'm not going to go back and over analyze my time between high school graduation and marriage. I travelled with my family plenty. Also, the youth group through my church travelled aplenty in my teen years. But I didn't take many/any (I went to visit a friend in Mexico once) missions trip in my 20's. It's not something I necessarily regret because I don't really remember turning down opportunities.
But if I could encourage any young readers to my blog, it would be to say this: travel, experience another culture, stretch yourself emotionally, physically, spiritually (even at home), make yourself uncomfortable.
So, you 20 year olds!! Don't be scared! Come visit! Take a missions trip somewhere "scary". :) Learn a new hobby. Learn about another culture. Fill up those "empty years" with lots of experiences. I know those years aren't "empty"...it's tough paying a cell phone bill. haha! But really, you will never, ever regret money and time invested in travel, learning, and growing.
Obviously, every one's path is different. But my goodness, my adjustment to new life over here would have been easier if I would have just pushed myself out of my comfort zone a little bit. I had no idea that I would live on the other side of the world. Most certainly, God's hand was evident in my life preparing me for life in another country. But, I would have really done myself a favour if I'd been a little more flexible in those in-between-years.