Most colleges in the States have already had their graduation. Now, as a newly graduate you are either sitting idle at home pondering on the next phase of your life, using the summer as a breather before going off to grad school or some other form of higher education or prepping to step into the working world. All with bright intentions, great hope and glimmering prospects of a fantastic future ahead. To each of you, I can only offer one advice: STOP! Take a gap year and TRAVEL!
It doesn’t matter how much money you have, that does not determine if you can travel or not, it only determines where and how you travel. Maybe a full year is impossible for some, but for many, if you pick the right location, it is absolutely affordable, even more so than staying here in the states. And for those who are already set to start a new life this Fall, use the summer wisely and travel, even if its for a few weeks.
Because the truth is, once you start working, it will never really stop. The working life will continue until one of two things happen:
1. you become rich (lottery, marriage, inheritance, develop an app) and no longer have to work
2. you retire
And a million other things will happen in between, but the travel opportunity a gap year provides will never come your way again, at least not with the same freedom you have now. No matter how flexible a job you land, traveling while employed has limitations. And for many of you, two weeks of vacation a year is probably going to be the norm for much of your life. And none of those experiences will teach you what traveling will; it is a form of education you will not get in a classroom or a workplace setting.
The number one reason I hear for not traveling is money, and I’m here to tell you that you don’t need to have tons of it. There are plenty of places in the world where the value of USD goes a long way (Central America, Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe to name a few). Obviously if you’re on a budget, don’t make Norway and Switzerland your destinations, but much of the rest of the world is your oyster! And if going “far away” scares you to pieces, start right here in your backyard, the states! All you need is some courage, determination, and proper planning. Since this happens to be my forte, I am happy to help anyone who would like some guidance on how to get started, or if you want, a complete itinerary to fit all your travel needs, desires and budget!
I am not a woman of many regrets but of the couple I have, not taking a gap year to travel between college and work is my biggest! Although, I’ve been to a vast amount of places before and since then, no amount of travel will replace the kind of experience I could have had if I had traveled during the transition of the two big phases of my life.
So take my word, and go…no matter where you go, just go!
4 thoughts on “My Advice To New Graduates”
This is a really good read. I am graduating in a year and am thinking of taking a gap year to travel and may be even teach English. Do you know of some programs like that?
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Absolutely! There are tons of them. I just did one with global volunteer networks. You can also try cross cultural solutions, I-to-I, world teach, etc. here’s a link to a blog post I wrote on this awhile back on my travel blog: http://theopinionatedwanderlust.com/2011/04/10/ask-saadia-volunteer-travel/
Hope this helps. So glad to hear you’re considering a gay year!
I am a new graduate and in my recent post I expressed how lost I feel right now. But reading this, gives me a new perspective, food for thought. Thank you. 🙂
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I am so happy that this post made a positive impact on you. May your future be filled with many travel adventures!