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12 Stages Of Traveling As Told By 2013 Billboard Hits

After moving abroad and traveling in your 20s, you start to get asked “what’s it like?” Especially when everyone’s New Year’s resolution is to go off the edge.

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In the words of Daft Punk, Miley Cyrus, and Rihanna – an overview of traveling:

1. OneRepublic - "Counting Stars"

Study, drink, lift. The monotony of your academic or work routine pushes you to take the leap. You're giving something up to go study abroad or work overseas. Maybe you're just back-packing and winging it when you should be at home focused on your career. "I feel something so right by doing the wrong thing | And I feel something so wrong by doing the right thing…" who said traveling won't boost your career? "No more counting dollars | We'll be counting stars." Go forth young grasshopper. "Seek it out and ye shall find."

2. Ylvis - "The Fox (What does the fox say?)"

Your boss says [x] it. Your family says why. And the media touches on xyz. But what does the rest of the world have to say? Going abroad you meet people outside of your wolf-pack. With language barriers being real, you might feel foxy booking your bus in Vietnam or taking an order from an Oz with an accent. "What the fox" are they saying?

3. Lorde - "Royals"

Unless you're traveling for work, you are probably ballin' on a budget when traveling in your 20s. It doesn't matter where you are from, the places you stayed with your parents will vastly differ from those you consider when taking a weekender from studying abroad or back-packing around Europe. Not saying you'll give up your Michael Kors when you get home, but while traveling you'll learn to manage your finances, and appreciate experiences over expenses.

4. Miley Cyrus - "We Can't Stop"

Whether you love or hate her, there's one thing the queen of controversy got right: "it's our party we can do what we want." Traveling is fun. You meet new people, you see new places, and you try new experiences. Our entire lives at home are structured with routines and going abroad you can be spontaneous. Emancipated from expectations, you might just find yourself.

5. Capital - "Safe and Sound"

It's less convenient to be close friends with someone who is not physically present or who will be leaving. In the madness of meeting new people, you learn to count on the ones that matter. Bonding with your travel buddies, staying in touch with friends at home, and meeting locals who show you their town redefines real friendship: "in the tidal wave of mystery, you'll still be standing next to me."

6. Daft Punk - "Get Lucky" feat. Pharrell Williams

With American nightclubs closing as early as 1:30 am, you may quite literally find that abroad "she's up all night 'til the sun." Like any good wingman/wing-woman you'll have friends "up all night to get lucky." And guess what; you don't care. After all they're adhering to "don't sh*t where you eat." And you want to hear their story about the hostel laundry room the next morning.

7. Calvin Harris - "I Need Your love" feat. Ellie Goulding

Which one in your travel group was the romantic? Seriously, go post this on their wall as lucky #7. With every group of travelers I met, without fail, someone always falls for another traveler or local. Like the Reddit "I fell in love with a Danish girl while traveling," story someone in your clique got tied up like a Selena Gomez love song. The "I need you love lyrics:" "I feel so helpless here |watch my eyes filled with fear | tell me do you feel the same" might have those two in a fix. Some actually do something about it; it's beautiful. Some don't over-complicate the distance and preserve it in their memory for the gift it was. That's beautiful too.

8. Swedish House Mafia - "Don't You Worry Child" feat. John Martin

At some point abroad you will truly suffer. You'll get homesick. You'll get lost. You'll get ripped off. You'll give up on charades when communicating an order. You'll make the mistake of taking the train instead of a charter bus. Just remember "don't you worry child, heaven's got a plan for you." Things won't always be easy, but they'll always be worth it.

9. Rihanna - "Stay" feat. Mikky Ekko

You're going to find a city that wants you to stay. Maybe some people in that city too. If you're studying or working abroad, you'll have filed into a new schedule and a new set of norms. You finally got a hang of this darn place and now you have to leave? Maybe you won't, maybe you will.

10. Passenger - "Let Her Go"

Like a love affair, you'll become torn between two cities. "You only hate the road when you're missin' home." And now you can really appreciate what you had at home or what you had overseas. And thus the lesson of gratefulness is learned abroad. Well done young grasshopper.

11. Drake - "Hold On, We're Going Home" feat. Majid Jordan

It's okay to miss your mom. "It's hard to do these things alone." Whether you decide to head home after a year or re-define home to two places in the world, you're going to one day return to where you came from. You're probably going to cry (your grandma will if you don't).

12. Avicii - "Wake Me Up"

Awakened by your experiences, you realize that "I can't tell where the journey will end | but I know where to start." It started with stepping out of your comfort zone; with giving up securities to become secure with who you are. Making your dreams into goals. Discovering the mosaic world outside of your society. Life didn't pass you up; you opened up your eyes. "All this time I was finding myself | And I didn't know I was lost."

Note: These songs were not necessarily written about travel (shocking). However, when you venture out, a city or event might be personified in the process. The narratives of music might just remind you of places, just as much as of people.

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