07 October, 2016

Work Experience vs. Travel

how to travel when you have a job
WARNING: LONG POST. GRAB A SNACK.

This concept is something that we've all thought about ourselves, had conversations with our family and friends, and probably grown frustrated with at one point or another.  Memes circulate the Internet showing young kids lined up for jobs that require years of experience, but they're only 12 years old.  We're taught from a young age that the standard, American dream is going to school, going to college, interning/working in between, and landing that dream job with a corner office.

There's no doubt that society has changed tremendously, and there are so many more outlets now to take a more creative path, and us "millennials" are less likely to crave the 9-5 life, the corner office,a the need to report to the same place at the exact same time every day.

I've been wanting to touch on this topic for a while, and I finally had a conversation that triggered all the right words.  If you've been keeping up with my posts, you saw that I mentioned my 2017 goal is to go to Europe.  I've never been, and I was talking with friends about taking my Birthright trip to Israel this summer.  The ideas started circulating, and I thought the perfect plan would be to fly to Israel for the trip and then stay on that side of the pond and head to Europe.

I've always struggled slightly with the idea of going to Europe.  How am I going to go when I have a job?  How am I going to take the time off?  What will my boss say?  How am I going to afford it.  I would make excuse after excuse, but...they're valid excuses, aren't they?

I worried with taking the time off, since with a 9-5 we're only guaranteed so many days, so many hours.  I worried about "getting in trouble" or potentially losing my job, which would then cut any saving I planned on doing.  I finally came to the realization that it's now or never, and I told my sister that she had to come to Israel with me!  I've been trying to save, and saving has to be the BIGGEST excuse we all make.  I spend so much money on trivial things -- If I could even cut that in half, I'd be golden.

My sister, Sydney, is a sophomore in college (Bear Down).  She's always been super involved in school: athlete in high school, active in clubs, and is now very involved in a sorority.  She has a handful of things to put on her resume, but as always, we're drilled and semi "brainwashed" to always believe that's not good enough.  She needs more experience, more internships, more connections to compete with everyone else in the playing field.
how to get internship experience with travel
I wanted to share our conversation because it truly makes me a little frustrated, sad, and fed up.  We're rarely told how important once in a lifetime experiences are, and we're always forced to think about our future, our career, and the next job we're going to land.  Don't get me wrong, I'm a firm believer in work experience and getting as much on your resume as you can.  BUT, I don't believe that we should pass up a huge experience if were blessed enough to be able to have them.

I finally told myself that now was my time to go.  Yes, I'd have to take my time off, but I'd save the days to do so.  I'd save the money.  And at the end of the day, we only get one life.  If you're fortunate enough to be able to travel, be thankful.  Go for it.  Opportunities knock constantly, but you have to open the doors yourself and let them in.

The pressure on young adults and even young kids is real these days.  Yes, supporting yourself and surviving in the real world is imperative.  But living your life to the fullest is JUST as important.  Don't forget that!

I'd love for you all to share your experiences with work vs. travel dissonance -- Let me know thoughts you've had, decisions you've made, and why you chose to pursue one path over another.


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