Survive Your Postgrad Blues by Traveling
Without school to keep you rooted, you can take off in any direction you choose. Here are four reasons why traveling helps you beat the postgrad blues.
If you follow what most college grads do, you land a full-time job in a permanent location for at least the next few years. That decision makes sense – you did just spend the last four years preparing for your professional future. But sometimes the most practical decision isn’t always the best one.
What about breaking out of the mold and doing something atypical? Do you find the tradition of settling down once you get a degree boring? The best time to do something different is now, while you’re young and have plenty of opportunities waiting.
Without commitments and school to keep you rooted, you can take off in any direction you choose, even if it’s just for a short time. Here are four reasons why traveling helps you beat the postgrad blues:
1. You Learn More About Yourself
College is undoubtedly a life-changing experience. You learn how to survive on your own; you develop a sense of independence, and make your own decisions. Then the spontaneous life you cultivated in college comes to a halt as you settle into a career and the daily 9-5 haul.
It’s good to break that routine and go somewhere new, whether it’s across the country or around the world. By putting yourself in unfamiliar situations, you given yourself the best shot at growing as a person. You discover what you want or don’t want in life. You spend your time indulging in sights you’ve never seen and learning just what it means to live outside your comfort zone.
Ever wonder why gap years are so popular? Graduates are giving the opportunity to learn who they are without the regimented schedule of college. Traveling through a foreign place offers a sense of perspective that you would never gain while in college or in a professional setting.
Essentially, you learn who you are and get closer to finding out where you belong. If that isn’t reason enough to venture out into the world, here are a few more.
2. You Discover New Things
Educating yourself doesn’t have to stop after graduation. Hold onto that refreshing feeling of learning something new by visiting new places and meeting new people.
Try foods you’ve never eaten. Say hello to someone in a different language. See natural wonders beyond the sights you see at home. Keep your mind constantly turning and exploring so that when you’re ready to settle down, you have more knowledge and experience than ever.
I was lucky enough to experience a way of life completely unrelated to my own when I moved to New Orleans. As a New York native, I didn’t even consider that I might potentially need to know a different language when I was preparing for college life. New Orleans is a vibrant city full of culture, history, passion and excitement. I felt as though my four years in undergrad we’re equivalent to a study abroad because I truly experienced a different culture, a new way of life.
3. You Worry Less About Big Expenses
Traveling anywhere isn’t free, of course, but depending on where you go you might end up saving more money than you realize.
People spend about 10 percent of their income on cars, and the average lifetime earnings from a bachelor’s degree are around $3.4 million. That means you spend $335,000 on cars in your life.
Why not use some of that money for traveling? Spending a year backpacking around Europe without a car eliminates the expense of gas and repairs, to say nothing of living without a mortgage or rent fees.
4. You Get the Most Out of Your Life
Sometimes life can seem like a big guessing game. We guess where we want to go to college because it’s the next logical step, or we guess which major is most practical because the world expects us to have a serious idea of what we want to do.
Before we know it, our young lives are caught up in society’s expectations and sticking to the status quo. Our lives are meant to be filled with challenges and living each moment like it’s the last one, so it’s OK to travel around the world, change your mind and make mistakes as you go.
By the time you come back from your adventures, you don’t have to guess who you are and what you want because you’ll have figured it out.
5. Never a Dull Moment
Picture yourself taking a road trip across Route 66, strolling down the streets of Paris or skiing down mountains in Switzerland. Picture yourself doing things you never thought you’d do before.
Becoming a bit wistful and sad after graduation is totally normal, and if settling down into the hustle and bustle of immediate full-time employment gives you more anxiety than excitement, traveling could be a much more rewarding option. If financial trouble holds you back, save up for a year or work while you travel. The point is to take advantage of every opportunity while you’re still able to drift from place to beautiful place.