I shared a little about my background and how I fell in love with travel in my newsletter. If you missed it,that means you haven’t subscribed to get exclusive content and travel discounts. Long story short, I believe travel has an overall positive impact. It’s motivating, educating, inspires creativity, and is priceless. That’s why I would advise graduates to travel before committing to college or a long-term career. Before all the proud parents and bright eyed, bushy tailed students start giving me the side eye, hear me out.
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I’m not saying college is useless or that no one should ever go. I learned a lot and was exposed to a lot during my time there. My last online college experience gets credit for the way I’ve shaped my remote life and career. I just think not everyone should rush right back to school or become a career student without seeing what’s out there first. Still not convinced? Take a look at a few more valid points.
You Can Learn So Much More From Travel
There are some lessons you can’t get from a book or professor. Travel enables a different type of experience and exposure than what you gain in a classroom. There’s a huge difference between reading about a geographic location in a textbook and being in the midst of it, up close and personal. It’s a different experience to see a photo of an attraction versus standing in front of it. To hear about a culture, their customs, and their food is nothing compared to actually doing it. There’s no better way to learn about networking, international business, and language than by traveling.
One myth swirling around is that wanderlusters and nomads have a taste of the “peter pan syndrome”, that we never grow up. Contrary to that belief, travel will place you in a position of having to mature and become more independent. You’re leaving your cushion, your place of peace and all you know. You’ll have to figure things out on your own and make your own way and decisions. At times, your intuition will have to guide you. From traveling, you’ll not only learn more about the people and places around you, but you’ll also learn more about yourself.
Travel Gives you Time and Exposure to Make Sound Decisions
Making mistakes is inevitable, and it’s they way we learn to do and be better. Youth have the luxury of time to learn from bad decisions. When it comes to your future, though, you want to have the best advantage you can. While traveling, you’ll have the benefit of experiencing different cultures and stimulating your ideas to make good future decisions.
Per research from the National Center for Education Statistics, 80% of college students change their major. On average a student will change his/her major at least three times before settling. Travel gives a young person time to “find themselves”, explore different options and opportunities across the globe, and decide what they really want to do.
You Can Earn Money While Traveling
Most often, you’ll spend early years investing more time than the money you receive in return. You may as well gain valuable experiences in the process. People of all ages and from all backgrounds study abroad, learn languages, or work abroad. Even if you don’t commit to a long stay abroad, the internet boom has opened a wide variety of ways to earn money remotely. There are lists of feasible ways to earn money while traveling.
College Doesn’t Guarantee a Career or Success
College isn’t always meant for everyone. It doesn’t make you an overnight success, and sometimes it’s just a part of selling the American Dream. That dream has set many of us graduates up for failure. With factors like fluctuating job markets, many college grads have entered the “real world” underemployed or in a completely different field than they intended.
If it weren’t for backup plans, ambition, and creativity, I don’t know where my career would be. I’m also still paying for one degree that I didn’t put to practical or direct use.
If you have a goal in mind to be a professional that requires a certain level of higher education, it makes sense most of the time. If not, you might be wasting your time and money. Time and money you could have spent exploring and learning about yourself and others first.
Even if you think you know you want to be a doctor, lawyer, or engineer, you might change your mind after college or mid-career. I have used my degree zero times to get a job. I use my exposure and experience every single day to network, build my business, and make money.
Consider an Affordable Way to Do Both
The military is not as appealing as it used to be, but it still has some advantages. Travel, exposure, and education benefits are just a few of them. While it may not be exactly ideal, even veterans had to admit joining the military gives young people the opportunity to travel when they otherwise couldn’t afford it. For those who still want to explore college in the meantime, the good news is they have time to decide and get funding to complete their education during their military service. Specifically, through the GI Bill.
Even if you can’t or won’t take a break from school to travel, try to squeeze every ounce of it into your summers. Save your graduation money and do the study abroad thing. Convince your parents of the academic benefits from traveling and why they should fund it. Find a way to get the experience that you’ll never regret. Make sure you document it in a travel blog so you’ll always have your stories to tell.
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How to Get Started Exploring Travel Before College
Don’t waste time getting started on your travel ventures. To have a taste of what it would be like, start with a graduation trip! You can eat your way around Central America, Get Lost in Asia, Take a Tour Through The Best of Europe, or Spend a Weekend in Panama.