Travel After Graduating College
It is an age-old adage that the best way to learn is to get out of your comfort zone, and there is no better way to do this than by traveling. This is true whether you choose to travel within your own country or to some foreign destination you’ve only seen in pictures and movies. After all, you’ve spent the past 20 or so years in a school setting, so it’s about time you switch it up a little bit. Breathe in some fresh air from a place you’ve never been to before in your life. Here are the ten best reasons you should pack up your luggage and travel after graduating college.
Treat Yourself, You Deserve It
The first reason you should go to a different place after you get your degree is to reward yourself. This is probably one of the most common reasons recent graduates travel, as they want to de-stress after four or even more years of constant schoolwork. I mean, you wouldn’t expect to get passed an exam paper while you’re wearing sunglasses and getting your tan on in the Bahamas, right?
Take some time off first and live a little bit. If you work immediately after graduating, you’ll be working in what may be your dream job, but you may no longer have the chance to go on the vacation you’ve always wanted. You won’t run out of jobs to do if you take a little time off first.
You Don’t Need A Lot Of Money
You may think that the money you’ve saved up during your student life isn’t enough to go on even a half-decent trip. You may even think that you’ll be digging yourself into a bigger hole if you spend on traveling on top of all your pesky student loans and financial responsibilities. However, you don’t really have to spend loads of cash to have a memorable holiday. If you’re smart with your money, you may even be able to go to more exotic locations than you originally planned for. You may also get to try more new and exciting things at the places you’ll be going to once you graduate from college and get your precious degree.
If you’re smart with your bookings – for instance, waiting for a seat sale or staying at a relative’s place or a hostel instead of a fancy hotel – you’ll be able to save a lot of money. You could even try using backpacking backpacks instead of lugging around a large suitcase to save a lot more of your hard-earned money.
You could even apply for a part-time job at the place you’re going to. For example, you can work as an au pair, which actually pays quite well. This job entails taking care of a family’s home as well as their children. If you’re lucky, you might even get to stay at your host family’s house or they might shoulder your lounging, which could save you even more money. Other jobs you can do while on a trip include, but are not limited to, doing farm work or seasonal work in resorts.
Learn Good Budgeting
On the same note, if you learn good budgeting skills now, you’ll be able to carry over all of that knowledge once you start making your own money as a productive member of the workforce. You’ll learn how to spend only on the things that you really, really need like food that could last for days instead of a single meal. You’ll learn as well to set aside money for the things that you want instead of squandering it all in one go then complaining that you no longer have enough of a budget for your necessities.
Maybe you’ll also finally be able to stop yourself from buying designer items you don’t really need, after just getting your first few paychecks. I mean you don’t even have to buy new luggage for your trip. You can make use of your trusty college backpacks to keep all of your things.
Be More Independent
Aside from learning how to budget your money better, you’ll also learn how to be more independent. You’ve probably had great dependence on your parents or guardians before this, but now it’s time to let go and live a little. Now that wasn’t meant to downplay what you’ve achieved in life, but as an incoming professional you’d want to learn a thing or two about being on your own. Whether this is booking your own plane tickets and accommodations, or washing your own clothes.
When you go to a new place, you’ll be more or less fending for yourself. You can ask for help from people, but they probably won’t treat you like a child and do all the work for you. You’ll need to learn how to read directions, schedule your activities, and a whole lot more when you travel. This may seem tough at first, but you’ll learn to love it once you get the hang of it. These skills aren’t the type you’ll easily forget as well; you can also use them on your next trip. You could even use what you’ve learned in your daily life.
You’ll learn a lot about being independent of traveling to different places, whether you do so locally or internationally. One tip we can give you is to use packing cubes to keep all of your stuff organized. It will also pay off to use luggage trackers and passport holders, so you’ll be able to keep track of all your things as well as your important documents and papers.
Experience Local Cultures
A lot of people travel to go sightseeing or to sample the best of a country’s cuisine. However, let’s not forget that the primary reason we travel to different places is to open our eyes to other people’s cultures and beliefs. As we’ve mentioned before, directly immersing yourself in other cultures is an amazing way to learn. So, if you only have a short amount of time on your hands, forego the tourist spots. Not only are these places packed to the brim with people who are all clamoring to get in as soon as possible, but the management there also probably drives up the price way too high to take advantage of the demand.
Ask the locals about where you should go and what you should eat. Some of them might point you to the direction of what’s listed on travel guides, but don’t lose hope. Talking to the right person could lead you to some hole in the wall restaurant that serves better food compared to the expensive restaurant your tour guide told you about. You’ll come home with much more experience and memories than things in your luggage sets.
Once you get home and apply for a job in the “real” world, most job interviewers will probably be impressed by how well-traveled you are. They might even appreciate it if you can speak a particular country’s native tongue.
It’s not only the sheer number of countries you’ve been in or the plethora of languages you can speak that will impress your future employers. They would love to hear about all the interesting experiences you’ve had while you were away on your many trips. Going to different places at such a young age would also show them that you’re an ambitious and resourceful prospective employee. It might even project that you are a responsible young adult that can handle most, if not all, of what’s thrown their way, whether in terms of work or just life in general. There’s a better chance you’ll land a certain gig if you have more life experience than if you don’t.
Maybe if the company that hires you needs someone to travel for a business trip, yours will be the first name on the list. This is especially true if it’s in a country you’ve been to before since they’ll consider that you know how to get around and talk your way through there. Remember when we said that having connections in the countries you visit will pay off in one way or another? This is most probably the truest form of that. Aside from moving up the corporate ladder, you’ll also get to travel basically for free, so it’s a win-win for everyone that’s involved.
Meet Interesting People
Aside from experiencing a country’s culture, you might even meet some interesting people along the way. Some of them, as we’ve said, can lead you to the best experiences. Some of them could even become your friends for life. There are even those who could be important connections in your professional life. No matter the purpose, never be afraid to strike up a conversation with people from the place you’re visiting. Putting yourself out there and interacting with new people also teaches you how to become more assertive. If you look at it this way, then there’s a positive to the language barrier in the place you’re planning to go to.
You’re As Up For It As You Ever Will Be
The next reason why you should travel as early as after your college graduation is that you’re as healthy as you’ll ever be. You’ll be young, and full of life and energy as a recent graduate. If you wait longer to go on your trip, sure you may have a bigger budget, but then again, age or the grind of an eight-hour job may have already weighed down heavily upon you. This is true even if you wait just a couple of years or even months to go on a vacation. Don’t wait any longer. Do yourself a favor and hop on a plane to a place you’ve always wanted to visit as soon as possible.
Even things like riding on a plane or sleeping on a hard bed in a cheap hostel become more difficult as you reach a certain age or fatigue level; what more physically demanding activities like cliff jumping, rock climbing, or scuba diving? If these are the best experiences your dream vacation has to offer, then you may have the awful misfortune of missing out on them because you waited too long. Just think about how some people wait until they’re retired to see what the rest of the world has to offer. What can their bodies handle then? Laying on the beach with their toes in the sand? Eating and sleeping at five-star hotels? Not much else though.
You’ll Keep Moving Forward, Don’t Worry
You’ll still be moving forward with your life if you travel, no matter what other people tell you. Traveling helps out a lot of people figure out what they truly want in life. You may not even want to go back once you’ve fallen deeply in love with a country and its people. It’s not all about the money anyway. People back home may think you won’t be able to make as much money if you choose to stay abroad. But then again, if the wage is lower, then so is the cost of living. So, you’ll still be able to make ends meet quite easily. If you fancy your English skills, you could even teach the locals a thing or two in order to make some extra money on the side.
Who knows, right? Your perspective on life may change greatly after traveling. You may be able to discover what actually makes you the happiest. You may even realize that it’s not going to be being stuck in a boring 9-to-5 that accomplishes that for you. Even if your worldview doesn’t change much after you travel, you’ll still be blessed with new skills and knowledge you pick up along the way. You’ll be able to learn about money management, smart planning, and problem-solving skills. As we’ve also said, whenever you travel, you not only learn more about yourself but also about other people.
Stop Thinking About What Others Think
Lastly, if you travel after graduation you’ll learn to stop caring about what others think about you and what you should be doing with your life. You don’t need to compare yourself to other people who’ve already accomplished a lot at your age. Everyone’s running their own race at their own pace. Making comparisons will only serve to stress you out even more than your life as a student ever did. Do what you think is the right decision for yourself. Those amazing opportunities that others seem to keep getting? There’s a lot more where those came from. Don’t be afraid to miss out on them.
There you have it. Ten powerful reasons why you should travel as soon as possible after getting your college degree. If after reading all of this, you’re still mulling over it, stop overthinking and just book your next flight. We promise you won’t regret it.
- Why Traveling After My Degree Was the Best Decision I Ever Made, Thrifty Nomads
- Top 10 Reasons You Should Travel After Graduating College, Though Catalog
- 11 reasons why you should go travelling after graduation, Grad Touch