Once I graduated from college, it seemed like I was faced with a choice. Get a job in my field and start working my way up the ladder OR travel. The former was the preferred route of society and the people around me and the latter was viewed more like a forfeit or a risk.
While I know that in places like the UK or Australia, gap years and time spent traveling is accepted and often encouraged, it seems that in the U.S, it is looked down upon. To travel after college is often viewed as irresponsible, a way to fall behind in the working world or a sign that you are misguided with no career plan.
In my opinion, this entire idea is the misguided one and something that I feel that employers and individuals are starting to wise up to. I graduated from college with no idea what career path to take and it is travel that has helped lead me in the right direction.
If you are stuck at the crossroads of working on a career or traveling the world, I want you to know that you can actually do both at the same time. Here are the stories of 5 other travelers who all found that their travels were the catalysts of their careers.
Travel has helped me to become an Internationally minded person. Without travel I would have simply lived a very closed life only interacting with one community.
Travel has allowed me to go out and see the world and interact with a number of different cultures. It’s nice to have friends from all around the world rather than a handful back home that have the same conversations.
Travel has allowed me to be internationally minded, to learn about different ways of life and learn how to interact and communicate with a number of different cultures. Now I have far more confidence walking into an international job roll, compared to before when I hadn’t travelled as I can now understand the world around me as a more global focused citizen.
Well, if that’s not good enough for my resume I’m not sure what is.
Travel the world and explore different cultures, it will broaden your horizon.
Follow Dave’s travel adventures as he strives to visit every country in the world. And, check out his e-book which show you how you can do it too.
If it wasn’t for travel, I would never have done my Yoga teacher training and now be starting to teach Yoga. When I had a more stable life, I would work out a lot at the gym. But when I moved to Berlin I discovered AcroYoga, something I didn’t know existed.
Then when I went to Taiwan, I joined a Yoga studio and started taking regular classes. Yoga fits so easily into my constantly changing travel schedule in a way that the gym doesn’t, and it also gives me a community I can find whenever I’m in a new city.
It also helps with travel itself, and all the aches and pains from long hours on planes and buses. I did my training in Thailand, taught a little in Vietnam, and now I’m hoping to develop a proper practice teaching when I settle in Russia in May.
Amelia is a nomadic solo-traveller who wanders the world teaching English and Yoga, and eating awesome vegan food along the way. Read more about her adventures at Plant-Powered Nomad.
Travelling long-term was something that I always wanted to do, but given that I had practically zero online skills in terms of graphic design etc., I figured that I’d give freelance writing a go.
So I left home with the intention to make my income from writing, with a plan B of teaching if I failed to make it work.
It started off slowly but one client soon turned into two, and two into three etc. etc. I learned so much about freelance writing, and it funded my travels to countries that I’d previously only dreamed of visiting.
Today, I can now take the skills that I’ve learned and the clients that I’ve harnessed working relationships with me to practically anywhere in the world.
Follow Florence and her husband Carlo as they travel the world while working from their lap tops!
When I took a one year leave of absence from my work 15 months ago, I knew it would be a different travel experience than all of my other previous travels. Before I left, I decided to start a blog (Tao West Ventures) to document my time abroad. Unbeknownst to me, starting and maintaining a travel blog was much more than posting a pseudo diary entry every few weeks.
Soon after I pressed the “publish” button on my first post, I quickly realized that as a by-product, I should learn some degree of social media management, research skills, SEO, basic HTML and CSS coding.
I quickly regretted wasting the last two decades of my life on mindless television and internet surfing in lieu of some form of self-improvement and education.
In trade for free rent, a portion of my career gap year also had me running my friend’s vacation property rental business and starting up a hostel.
The skill that underpinned all of these endeavors was the ability to start.
To simply “start” is not as easy as it sounds.
With each project, task or new skill that I wanted or needed to learn was inevitably stalled by the brick wall of procrastination which had me hemorrhaging fear and self-doubt internally. To just hit that first key stroke, turn that first page or make that first call required motivation and focused effort on my part.
However, once I started, all the other cogs and wheels were set in motion. Learning curves took their natural course and new opportunities presented themselves. I learned to assess situations and make decisions much more quickly.
Upon my return to Canada, the skill of “starting” has become my Swiss army knife of all skills. Just start and the rest will follow.
See what Wayne is getting up to on his career journey and travels by visiting his blog, Tao West Ventures
I started blogging straight after I graduated from university and starting a blog was the best thing I ever did. For a start it has allowed me to join a community of not only bloggers but a whole host of entrepreneurs and internet marketers, many of whom I now count as close friends.
More importantly than that, learning by doing has always been an efficient method of acquiring new skills and running a blog gave me more than enough practice at that. I’ve had to learn everything from SEO and Social Media to E-mail Marketing and WordPress. I now blog full-time and have never looked back.
Regardless of whether you wish to make blogging a full-time career like I did, the connections and networking opportunities alone are well worth the effort of starting a blog and everyone should do it.
Learn how to escape like Amar and join him on his adventures around the world.
Deciding whether to travel or to start a career doesn’t necessarily have to be a choice anymore. Regardless of what job you are striving for, there will be some way to incorporate travel into gaining experience in your field. And, if like many of us, you have no idea what career path to choose, traveling is an adventurous way to figure it out.