Graduation is one of the most exciting and intimidating times in your young adult life. Once senior year rolls around you are always faced with the tough question “what are you doing after graduation?” and you’ll hear it a million times. Well, myself and the rest of us at The Abroad Guide think you should answer with the word TRAVEL. Don’t put it off– here’s why you should travel post-grad.
1.You’ll never be as young as you are today
It is time to live your life and live it to the fullest! Do it for the stories, as my friends like to say. Travel teaches you to live an adventure and what better time to have an adventure than now? You should take the time to see the world while you’re young and see what lies beyond your front door. I promise that it’s worth whatever money or sacrifice that may be stopping you.
2. You can still take advantage of student discounts
Remember to keep your student ID after graduation because it will come in handy when you travel. Many tourist attractions and transportation companies offer great discounts for anyone with a student ID. They don’t have to know you just received your diploma. There are also many discounts just for being young, for example if you buy a Eurail Pass before you are 26 you receive a 35% discount.
3. You have the least amount of responsibilities
At this moment in time you have the least amount of responsibilities you’ll have – at least until you retire. Plus, I can almost guarantee that it is more fun to travel using the “student” discount than the “senior” discount. Take advantage of your freedom. Instead of stressing out about finding a job, take time to use your freedom to explore different parts of the world and yourself.
4. Travel makes for great interview conversations
Employers love hearing about travel experiences! It proves to them that you are able to step outside of your comfort zone and shows initiative on your part. Most, if not all, employers know that travel builds interpersonal skills, which is very important in the workforce nowadays. Almost every interview I’ve had began with asking standard interview questions, but once I slipped in something about “that one time I was traveling”, the conversation became a lot more exciting for both the interviewer and myself.
5. You never know who you’ll meet
Traveling exposes you to many people you would not have met otherwise. This is a chance for you to build an international network. You also never know what connections you’ll make for the future. The woman sleeping next to you in your hostel might be the founder of an awesome start-up and could be looking for someone to help expand her company in America. It also allows you to have an international community of friends, so next time you travel you will most likely have different places to sleep all over the world.
6. Hostels are made for you
These budget-friendly places are filled with young travelers looking to socialize and have an experience of a lifetime. Most people you’ll meet in hostels are between the ages of 18-30 and are usually also going through life transitions. They provide an entertaining atmosphere that allow you to create a mini community whether that is through pub-crawls, group dinners, or movie nights. When you’re older and have kids, your vacations will be a lot more expensive because hostels just won’t cut it!
7. You’ll learn how to travel on a budget
You’ll be amazed at how much you can accomplish and see on a tight budget. Traveling on a low budget teaches you to be resourceful as you try to make every cent count. At this point in your life you don’t have to be concerned about finding the nicest hotel or fanciest restaurant, as it’s socially acceptable to go on a free walking tour, cook a cheap meal at your hostel, and finish the night with a €3 bottle of wine.
8. Traveling will prepare you to enter the real world
One of the scariest parts of graduating is becoming a real person with real responsibilities. Many people don’t realize that traveling is more than just socializing in an Irish pub watching football– it’s discovering yourself, discovering the world, and discovering the different people that make it up. Traveling exposes you to your strengths and weaknesses. It teaches you how to adapt to different environments and how to relate to different cultures more easily.
9. Traveling will open you up to many exciting opportunities
Traveling will help you understand that the world is both a big and small place at the same time. You’ll learn that many more opportunities and lessons lie beyond what’s taught in a classroom. Whether you know exactly what you want to do in the future or if you have no idea, traveling will expose you to people, places, careers, and maybe even post-grad degree options that you never thought about until you experienced them first hand.
10. You can continue traveling once you’re finished
Traveling when you’re young means you have much more time to discover the rest of the world. You don’t want to catch the travel bug when you’re too old to go skiing in the Swiss Alps, scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef, or clubbing in Tel Aviv. The world is just too big and interesting to not be exploring.
Get up and get out there. Hey, when you get to those family graduation parties and you’re getting asked that same question over and over, would you rather respond with “Oh, not sure – going to look for a job around here,” or tell them about your plans to volunteer in Africa, dance by the light of the moon in Thailand, or watching the northern lights flicker across the sky in Finland? You decide. But I hope to see you on the plane pretty soon!