Why I Chose To Travel Abroad When I Graduated Instead Of Get A Job
The obvious question people ask me when they hear I am graduating college is, "What are you going to do next?"
Friends, teachers and most adults constantly bombard me with questions about what I plan to do with my life, what I want to do with my major and what perfectly-planned idea I must already have for my future.
I may be one of the few soon-to-be graduates who hates these questions because no, I do not have an entry level job at a Fortune 500 company with promise of upward mobility. And to be honest, right now, I don't want one.
Though you may not believe it, I really am happy for my friends and classmates who have already secured jobs for after college.
My classmates are securing stable futures for themselves and setting the foundation for a successful life. I really couldn't be in more awe of them.
I'll give you the biggest congratulatory hug upon news of your newly-acquired internship at a brokerage firm, I'll jump at the chance to congratulate you on your promising entry-level job in research technology and I'll be incredibly impressed with your offer from a leading corporate financial firm.
But, the thing about all of these amazing careers is I often have no idea what they even are and they honestly make me feel a bit queasy.
Maybe I'm hardwired without some kind of true American career drive, but the idea of immediately embarking on a lifelong journey of working nine-to-five, dressing business casual, making my way up in a company, slowly becoming successful and basically getting old while doing so makes me die a little bit inside. (I know that's not all it's about, but bear with me here.)
The word "career" itself even bothers me. It's so overused that it's beginning to lose some of its meaning.
The website of every fast food chain I have seen has a "careers" section with opportunities for a "career" in flipping burgers.
Does that not go against everything we have learned about what a "career" is? If flipping burgers can be called a career, then I will also be embarking on a career: A career in picking up jobs while traveling and trying not to run out of money. That's my kind of career.
Right now we have something precious: Our youth. We're in our 20s — the time of life to make mistakes and where anything goes, as long as you can get by.
We don't have to have it all figured out yet, and it would be silly to assume so when our lives have really just begun.
Once you start your career, isn't the point that you're in it for good? Working hard, moving up and making money: The American Dream.
But what about those of us who caught that little pesky travel bug? What about the ones who don't fit that mold, the ones who want to experience more of the world and travel far and wide when we're young? This is the problem.
I cannot tell you how many travel blogs or articles I have read that begin with, “I left my career in _______ to travel the world.”
I'm going to skip the whole "working a job I don't like and then quitting" phase and skip straight to traveling. I know that's what I want.
I want to be young and stupid while it's still okay to be young and stupid. I want to run rampant, adventure and explore.
I want to experience new things and new cultures and meet new people. I want to push out of my comfort zone and challenge myself to leave no stone unturned.
I want to move to a new city where I don't know anyone and find my footing. I want to do this while I am young, able, fit, single and ambitious, which are all qualities we will slowly lose as we get older.
What better time than when we are light and free? This is why I am choosing to begin my "real world" life by moving abroad.
It won't be completely impossible or too far-fetched. I'll get a job that pays enough to cover my cost of living, and I'll use the money I have saved up to cover any shortcomings.
I'll travel in my free time, take photographs, write and make videos to share with those chasing different dreams than I am.
I'll try and work with a travel company for a summer and live in a few different countries with odd jobs. I'll go with the flow and take what I can. It will be one of my favorite things: An adventure.
I want to feel fulfilled right now. And personally, to do that, I can't be sitting at a desk.
I want to make it clear I am completely supportive of those who have chosen to start their lives directly with a career. I am more impressed than anything else; it's just not for me.
Honestly, I could not — for the life of me —explain to you what corporate real estate is, let alone be mature and skilled enough to start a career in it.
This also isn't to say I don't want a nice job where I can grow. Eventually, when I have gotten all of this out of my system, that is exactly what I want.
This is to say at this point in my life, I choose uncertainty and adventure. And for me, it's worth the risk.
Citations: Kimmie Conner