If you’re a recent graduate or will be soon, it could be bittersweet to reach the end of your studies. You might wonder exactly how to adjust to the transition from school to college or to the job market. Some students feel that they’re not quite ready to make that leap without a break or some additional life experience. Traveling to a distant land provides both. If you yearn to see what else is out there, this is the perfect time to spread your wings and make a mark on the world.
The Time to Travel Is Now
Why should you travel now when you have your entire life ahead of you? Many graduates wonder why others decide to leave when college years are so exciting. The truth is, there’s no better time than now. You’re young and vibrant. Your time isn’t restricted by a job or family, and you’re curious about the world. A year now or a gap year after college isn’t a luxury vacation. It’s an educational journey that you’ll actually experience by living it.
Learn More About Your World
You’ve studied about the world all through school. You know your geography and history, but what about the real world? The one you don’t see on the news. The one filled with people you’ve never seen, food you’ve never tried and customs you’ve never heard of. There’s no substitute for getting on a plane and actually going there. You’ll be surprised to find that most of the time, a country is nothing like you thought it would be. Even seasoned travelers are pleasantly surprised when they travel somewhere new.
Adopt a New Culture
When you embark on long-term travel, be prepared to give up everything you know. Your native land is now thousands of miles and perhaps oceans away. Get ready to learn different ways of doing things. You’re going to have to rely on yourself and newly made friends to make it work. When you live in another culture, your belief system may be challenged, but you’ll begin to understand new viewpoints. You many even find you like some of them better and adopt them as your own.
Get First-Hand Knowledge for Your Career
Travel to your elected destination may have a direct connection to the career you’re majoring in. Whether it be languages, history or even culinary arts, being present abroad is a skill that will make your resume shine. You might discover you want to change your career path for something more specialized. It also opens doors to volunteering, teaching or relief work opportunities.
If you’ve ever wanted to learn another language, take a year and travel to a country that speaks that tongue. There is no better way to learn a language than immersion, especially when coupled with classes. Interacting with locals is an extremely effective way of learning a language. Not only will you be speaking it, but you’ll learn the idiosyncrasies and gestures that go along with it. Being bilingual is valuable in any field. It gives you the ability to converse with that many more people.
Grow and Become More Capable
There’s something about international travel that makes you grow up a little faster. Suddenly, you’re thrust into a lifestyle that you know nothing about. You’ve got to trust yourself to make decisions that will get you safely from one point to the next. Traveling across borders is a terrific lesson in problem solving. You’ll face dilemmas and challenges that you’ll need to solve, many times by yourself. This is where growth takes place.
Travel Will Change Your Life
Deciding to spend a year abroad will change the person you are right now. These changes are positive. Travel will help you become better equipped to handle complex and unexpected situations that come your way. You’ll develop more compassion towards others. Mostly, your experience will provide you with a broader vision for your world based on a better understanding of different ways of life and beliefs.