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6 Reasons to Travel When You Graduate

6 Reasons to Travel When You Graduate

Those of a certain age always have memories of times where things were simpler, but as a college or graduate student, those times can seem like less of a reality. The ability to do adventures, like travel, can seem like a “luxurious hobby” rather than something actionable. It may be hard to believe, but this is the perfect time for you to travel. A desire to see the world is all you need, and here are six reasons why you should consider going abroad sooner rather than later.

Traveling Young Offers More Opportunities

The thought of going to a foreign country may seem unthinkable, but the younger you are (especially after the age of 18), the more opportunities you are given to travel abroad for a lower cost or even for free.

The most common option is studying abroad. While the rules of studying abroad differ depending on the university you attend, it often involves studying for a short-term in a foreign university with English-speaking professors. You are given the time to explore and experience the country for the 4 – 8 months you’re there. There are various scholarships and grants available for those studying abroad as well, which makes it more economical.

Volunteering can make a summer, winter, or Gap Year break more worthwhile. Various organizations provide opportunities to help those underprivileged or just in need of assistance. From providing a hand on a sheep farm in Australia to helping kids in third world countries with Operation Smile, the opportunities available allow you to help others and experience the world at no or a low cost.

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Traveling Allows You to Discover Yourself

You’d be surprised how many individuals I’ve met while abroad who have mentioned how much travel influenced their life course. Helping out on a farm could expose you to the experiences that may want you to switch your major. Maybe that all-expenses-paid teaching job in South Korea pulled at your heartstrings and made you want to pursue a career in education. The experiences you are given through travel while young, can truly shape what you want to do when you’re age becomes more advanced.

Traveling Increase Your Confidence

Last month, I was about to leave a hotel and wanted to have a final look-around to ensure I didn’t forget anything. I did have everything, but one important item: my travel pack, which had my wallet and passport. I freaked inwardly but was in action mode outwardly.

When I finally recovered the pack in the nick of time, relief wasn’t the only thing that came over me. This experience, a little fifteen-minute sliver of my two-week trip, taught me lessons of independence and the ever-useful life lesson of thinking on your toes about how to handle a problem in a mature way.

It may seem like a small experience to those who haven’t traveled, but to a traveler, your wallet and passport are the two things that ensure you have a place to stay thousands of miles away from home and your symbol as an American traveler.

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As a traveler, you’ll experience situations when you have to think on your feet or be placed in an awkward, lost-in-translation experience. This is what creates confident individuals in the end, who have broken out of their shell. This is something that can only be experienced when you have the time and energy of a young adult.

Traveling Young Breaks the Tourist Mold

Extending on the point made above, traveling young is the perfect time to become a true traveler, not simply a tourist. A tourist is someone who fears the alternative path, opting for popular sightseeing before returning to his or her four-star hotel. A traveler doesn’t have a problem staying in a hostel or two-star hotel, and taking the path less traveled. These are the acts that allow a young traveler to experience what others may not.

While your friends, with their wives and kids, may have their best memories of their latest trip to Egypt riding the camels while viewing the pyramids, yours as a young traveler may be trying new delicacies before playing an impromptu game of soccer with your new Egyptian friends.

The difference between a tourist and a traveler isn’t always based on the places visited, but more on the experiences and connections taken from where you’ve been. This may not be possible with having two little travel companions and a spouse.

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Traveling Advances You Professionally

When exposed to a foreign language, the longer you find yourself abroad, the more of the language you absorb.

Those who haven’t traveled before may find it unimaginable how native English speakers can leave the United States with only basic conversational skills and come back in a couple of months with a professional level command of the language.

Going abroad puts you in situations when you learn words as you go along. When a traveler has a basic exposure to the language and its rules before leaving the states, they have a higher chance of coming back with a better command of it. This is by no means a useless feature of an employable adult.

Various companies, both in the private sector and in the government, are clamoring over young adults who can speak a second language. This could prove to your parents that your year abroad in Morocco could reap much larger rewards once you return home!

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Traveling Allows You to Put Myths to Rest

Finally, and best of all, traveling young when your worldview is still being molded can allow you to become an advocate against the myths and misconceptions that may be placed on the country you visited. You experience firsthand how the people in that country viewed you as an American, as a woman, or as a young adult.

Returning from such a country, you are able to either quash or provide a different perspective to myths about a country. Not all individuals are painted with the same brush stroke, and travel allows you to grow compassion and common ground with those who aren’t the same as you. This is by far the best lesson of a young traveler.

So what’s keeping you from traveling? Let us know in the comments below and let’s start a conversation.

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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