It’s funny, I expected to already have my life figured out by now. My 18 year old self thought 25 was as adult as it gets. I saw myself working at a PR agency in the big city, hailing cabs in heels. I imagined industry recognition and a resume that screamed “You’d be a fool not to hire me!” Reality isn’t as glamorous. In reality, this is the time of decision making – not settling in. I’m continually playing the “what if” game and trying to determine what’s too safe versus what’s simply outrageous. Along the way, I’ve found myself backing away from the paths that lead to an impressive title and promising salary. But in a moment of weakness, I chased a safe route. I started an application to grad school.
I don’t mean to imply that going to grad school would be no biggie. It most certainly is a huge decision, one that requires 18 months of my life and $60k of my money (that I don’t have). I weighed the pros & cons, met with a trusted mentor and realized why it is the wrong decision for me.
A masters degree in Journalism Innovation from Syracuse would certainly bring prestige to my resume and new skills to my repertoire. And to be honest, I probably wouldn’t hate the 18 months because I’m a nerd and genuinely enjoy school. I could hopefully pay back my loans with the job I’d hopefully get upon graduating.
So what’s the problem?
I’m confident in my current skill set and work ethic as an employee. I don’t even have to be passionate about the work to perform well. But I imagine I’d work twice as hard if it were for something I believed in…
I do think I’ve gained a wealth of knowledge and experience for being only two years out of school. I’m a quick learner and have no problem faking it until I make it, but I’m not confident enough to think I can compete with someone who has 10+ of experience in the game.
The question is: How does one gain experience, but avoid doing something they don’t believe in?
My solution: Go after the positions that make my heart beat faster and keep traveling, which will take me places I’ve never been and force me to acquire the skills I need to succeed.
I believe travel can provide the same growth potential as grad school and here’s why:
- Expands your mind
- Puts you outside of your comfort zone
- Problem solving skills
- Communication skills
- Street smarts
- Cultural awareness
- Pressure situations
- Planning & execution
And that only touches on the skills that can be applied in the [communication] workforce; there are a host of other ways travel increases personal development. So what is holding you back? Is it the time? The money? Let me remind you that money will always come and go and that letting it drive your decision making will literally affect your entire life. If you are unsatisfied with your current situation, the time is now (no matter your age or financial position) to make big changes.
I won’t regret traveling or writing about it, because those are literally my favorite things to do. I’d rather give travel blogging my all than go to grad school and get a job just to pay for said school. If it doesn’t work out and I go broke on the road then I can find something else I love. Wow, when I write it out it really does seem so simple.
In reality, adulthood is pretty much learning how to block out the noise and make decisions on your own. Sometimes you make the wrong choice, but adulthood is also learning how to recover and get on with it. Lucky for me, grad school will always be there.
Now if anyone has any tips on how to become a successful travel blogger without turning my site into a hive of sponsored links and affiliate ads, let a girl know.