The University Network

6 Reasons Why Recent College Graduates Should Travel Right After Graduation

College students generally look forward to their graduation. It marks the beginning of professional careers, relieves students from piling tuition rates, and opens doors for new opportunities in life. However, an entrance to the real world can be frightening. Traveling after graduation extends time for personal development and cultural understanding, effectively repressing graduation dread. You can travel within the country or, better yet, travel abroad for a completely new experience.

Here are 6 reasons to travel after college.

You Have Time

Once you start a job, you will have very little vacation time. You have to earn your time off! So, take advantage of your freedom while it lasts. If you have already landed a job, try to start in the fall, so you have the summer to travel. If you haven’t earned a job, don’t worry. There will still be opportunities when you get back. Spending time abroad keeps you off your parents’ couch. After graduation, reward yourself with a break.

You are Young

Traveling by yourself, or with a few of your peers, is much easier when you can walk for miles and sleep comfortably in a hostel. Be adventurous while your body can still handle it. Go mountain biking, cliff jumping, scuba diving, skydiving, and experience the nightlife while you still have the energy and drive.

When you’re older, chances are you will be bogged down with a job, and possibly a marriage, or children. You won’t be as independent and available as you once were. Travel is always informative and exciting, but experiences vary with age.

Travel is Cheaper

After four years of dorms and off-campus housing, recent college graduates don’t tend to be very picky about where they sleep. When you are young, you are more willing to settle with a hostel, or pile five friends into a single hotel room. Also, you won’t have the financial burdens that will bog you down a few months down the road. You can budget your money solely on your trip, without worrying about a mortgage, car payment, or insurance costs.

Many airlines and other forms of transit give discounts to students and young people. But, the biggest financial advantage to traveling at a young age are hostels. Think of them as a temporary dorm rooms. You will be surrounded by a diverse crowd of college-aged people. Few of them will share your cultural background, so converse with them and learn from people your own age. Take advantage of the deals while you still can.

Travel Fosters Growth and Independence

If you didn’t have the opportunity to study abroad during your time in school, traveling after college will give you an opportunity to fully submerge yourself in an entirely new culture. It causes you to venture away from what you’re used to, thus making you a more empathetic and well-rounded person. You will have to challenge yourself to live somewhere where people don’t always think the same or speak the same language as you. You learn to understand your own weaknesses and construct a way to fix them.

Travel forces people into financial independence. For many, this will mark the first time you have to budget your finances. Budgeting your trip serves as a good trial run before adult life. Not having enough euros to pay for a leather wallet in Italy won’t hurt as much as late payments on your mortgage.  

Travel Can Influence your Career Path

You never know what, or who, will catch your eye when your career path is open. Most likely, you will never be as free as the day you graduate college. You haven’t started your professional career and your potential is limitless. Travel exposes you to people, ideas, culture, and even jobs or alternative post-grad opportunities. Rates for graduate schools are often cheaper in Europe than in the United States. If you fall in love with a country, there is no one forcing you to leave. You can even keep traveling, as long as your money permits.

Travel Experience Could Earn you a Job

Travel can be a strong resume booster and will allow you to paint yourself as a well-rounded, experienced applicant with a dynamic skill set. Employers view people who have traveled abroad as ambitious and versatile. With travel comes an understanding of people, and that translates through professional work. Plus, travel experiences serve as great answers to standard interview questions.

Travel proves that you can adapt to, thrive in, and enjoy unfamiliar surroundings. If you have a basic understanding of a language, travel will help you perfect it. Travel improves your adaptability and your ability to plan and navigate through an unfamiliar region.

The best time to travel is immediately after graduation. You will have freedom and time to explore. This may be the last time you are willing to bunk up next to a stranger in a hostel, or can physically climb, skydive, or cliff jump. The experiences and cultural knowledge you will develop will last a lifetime. Don’t hold yourself back!

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