There is a lot of pressure put on college graduates to get jobs right out of school. Whether it’s coming from family, friends, professors, the media, or yourself, the stress of landing a 9-5 by graduation day can be substantial. That’s what you’re supposed to do, right? Go to college, get a job, and then life will work out. For some people, that’s fine and that’s okay. But for you, there is that voice in the back of your head that won’t let the idea of traveling after college go away. There are so many ways to go abroad after college, though fear and excuses often get in the way of those travel dreams. Since almost everyone will tell you all the reasons why you shouldn’t travel after college, I’m here to give you ten reasons on why you should.
1. Because you have the time.
You don’t need to jump into the corporate grind first thing Monday morning after graduation. You have the rest of your life to work. Taking some time off to go abroad, have new experiences, and maybe even find yourself is worth it. There will still be jobs to apply for when you get back.
2. Because you aren't tied down.
When else will you not be tied down to anything? When you get a full-time, entry-level job that gives you maybe two weeks of unpaid vacation per year? When you have an apartment lease and bills to pay? When you get married and start a family? Nothing is wrong with any of that, but if you want to travel, it is much easier to travel now, when you aren’t tied down to anything.
3. Because it makes you more marketable when you apply to jobs in the future.
Study abroad or travel boosts your resume and often makes you a more qualified candidate compared to those without international experience. When you’re back on your turf you’ll be able to apply all the things you learned abroad to your future job interviews.
4. Because you learn much more by seeing, exploring, and experiencing a foreign place than reading about it or looking at pictures.
When captioning photos of my travels, I always think, “This picture does not do it justice.” There is nothing more liberating than actually being somewhere in person. The feeling of jumping off a boat into the Adriatic Sea, with the rush of adrenaline and chills going up your spine as you hit the gorgeous, crystal clear water is 100 times better than simply looking at a photo of the turquoise ocean surrounding the islands of Croatia.
5. Because you're young and your body is able to handle pretty much anything.
Your body is likely more capable of handling jet lag, outdoor activities, late nights partying, etc. now than it will be when you’re older.
6. Because you can still take advantage of discounts when you’re young.
Most students and young travelers (usually under 26) are eligible to receive discounts. Whether it be airfare, transportation, lodging, or other fees associated with travel, take advantage of your young age to score some major deals.
7. Because there are plenty of options to travel after college, and they don't have to be expensive.
On that note, budget travel makes going abroad more feasible than you think. You won’t mind staying in a $12/night hostel in Istanbul now while you’re young, but you probably will when you’re older. There are hostels and websites such as Couchsurfing and Airbnb to save you some cash on accommodations. If vacationing or backpacking still seem to stretch your budget too far, then get a job overseas: you can be a tour guide, intern, Peace Corps volunteer, English teacher, au pair, the list goes on. And you don’t have to go to Western Europe, Japan, or Australia, which tend to be more expensive. Try Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, or Central America. There are so many places in the world to see, and not all of them will cost you an arm and a leg to see them.
8. Because it opens you up to a whole new view on life.
When you travel somewhere new, you become much more understanding of the world by experiencing new cultures firsthand. The skills you will strengthen while traveling will carry on with the rest of your life. You will feel and become more independent.
9. Because it makes you happy.
There is a reason behind the saying, “Travel is the only thing you buy, that makes you richer.” People tend to be happier in the long run by spending money on experiences like travel instead of material items.
10. Because if not now, when?
If you make excuses or wait for the “right time,” the right time will never come. The time is now. Start planning your trip and make it happen. What are you waiting for?