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Why I Chose to Move Abroad and Travel When I Graduated Instead of Get a Job

The Huffington Post logo The Huffington Post 30/03/2016 Kimberly Conner
SOLO TRAVEL WOMAN © Dougal Waters via Getty Images SOLO TRAVEL WOMAN

For anyone who hears that I am a graduating college student, the obvious choice is to ask me what I am going to do next. Friends, teachers, and most adults I encounter constantly bombard me with questions about what the hell I am going to do with my life after I graduate, 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 a few who hate these questions, because no, I do not have an entry level job at a Fortune 500 company with promise of moving up, and to be honest, right now, I don't want one.
I am constantly hearing of my friends and classmates excited about the jobs they have just secured for after they graduate, and I really am SO happy for them. These classmates of mine are really securing a stable future for themselves and making way for a successful life, and I couldn't be more in awe of them; I really couldn't. 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 will be incredibly impressed with your offer from a leading Corporate Financial Firm. But the thing about all these amazing careers I hear some of my friends interviewing for or beginning is that I often have no idea what they even are, and they honestly make me feel a bit queasy.
Maybe I was born hard wired a different way or without some kind of true American career drive, but the idea of immediately embarking on a lifelong journey of working 9-5, 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 a little bit. It is being so overused and is beginning to lose some of its meaning to me. The website of every fast food chain I have seen has a "careers" section page 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, I too, then, will be embarking on a career -- a career in working while traveling and trying not to run out of money. That's my kind of career.
Right now we have something precious, and that is our youth. We're in our twenties, the time of life to make mistakes and where anything really 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 that we have to know all about the rest of our life when it has really just begun.
Once you get started on your career, isn't it the point that you're in it for good? Working hard, moving up, 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, and not wait until we are retired and elderly to do so? 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." For me, 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 is still okay to be, and while I can. I want to run rampant and 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 in the world; 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 qualities we will slowly lose as we get older. What better time than when we are light and free, not weighed down by the troubles of adulthood, or at least not just yet? This is why I am choosing to begin my "real world" life by moving abroad.
It won't be completely impossible or far-fetched. I'll get a job that pays enough to cover my cost of living, or use money that I have saved up to cover any shortcomings. Not being completely oblivious to the experience-based structure of today's society, it would be great if said job could be in something I could continue later on in my life, but not necessary. 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 clear that this isn't saying I am not completely supportive of those who have chosen to start 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 let alone be mature enough and able to start a career in it.
This also isn't to say I don't want a nice job that I can work my way up in. Eventually, when I have gotten all of this out of my system, that is exactly what I want.
This is to say that at this point in my life, I choose uncertainty and adventure. And for me, it's worth the risk. ◊
See how I have been doing at my adventuring life - you can find my blog Adventures & Sunsets right here that is just over a year old now :)

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