One of the first questions people ask when they find out you're a fresh new college graduate is: "So what's next?" From my experience, most responses include words like "job hunting" or "just hired." But for me, after spending two years as a full time grad student while maintaining a full time job, going straight into work - albeit a new (hopefully) higher paying job, just didn't appeal to me. At all.
So while my fellow graduates will be entering the work world, what will I be doing?
Well, I have decided to take a few ( undecided number of) months off to travel. A year was preferable, but you know. Sally Mae called and said she wanted her student loan money back.
I know what most people think when they hear this. They either tell me that they wished they could do something like that, or that they could never do something like that. For those that tell me they want to travel more, I always ask what is stopping them. More often than not, there are a whole host of caveats.
"I'll travel when I have more money."
"I'll travel when my kids are older."
"I'll travel when I'm married."
I'll travel when I save up enough to buy a house first."
"I'll travel when I have more time off work."
And the list goes on.
Don't get me wrong, these are all really valid and responsible points. But I can't help but to wonder if people ever sit and think that - as grim or cliche as this may sound - tomorrow is never promised. For anyone.
Even though I am writing about travel, this could apply to anything. I run into too many people that reflect on old dreams passed that they never pursued because it was just never the right time. Always wanted to try your hand at baking? Or start a YouTube channel? Do it! Yeah, you may not get your own show on TLC as the next Cake Boss, and you may not make it to be a famous and paid Youtuber, but you will be able to say that you did something you were passionate about at least once.
I believe that life is meant to be lived. I would prefer to live as though life is one big adventure than to forever wait for "the right time." Because the sad truth is, that right time may never come. There will ALWAYS be something more "important" to do. But guess what? It will still be there waiting to get done when you get back.
I am not at all saying that people should be frivolous with their money or habitually neglect responsibilities in order to travel. What I am saying is that if there is something in life you want to do, DO IT. Don't wait until it's too late. If tomorrow was your last day on Earth and you didn't know it, would you feel that you have seen even one new place other than your own town or city? Could you say that you tried something new that you'd always wanted to try?
Travel doesn't have to be international in order to be amazing and worthwhile. Even traveling to a new state (or province, district, town, etc.) could be a great experience. Traveling to different countries is of course wonderful. but even your own country could have a lot to offer in terms of a new perspective and opportunity to see, experience, learn, and do something out of your version of ordinary. For example, I am currently in Washington D.C. after road tripping it up from Miami and I have learned that I LOVE it here. It has it's own culture, vibe, and scenery, completely unique from anywhere else. And I didn't even need a passport to get here.
Bottom line is: If travel is life, live it.
Drop me a comment and tell me - if you could take 6 months off from work, school, etc. What would you spend your time doing?