To travel or not to travel…that is the question

Recently a friend came to visit me in NYC while she was taking part in a networking/shadowing opportunity in the Bronx. So I offered my air mattress as a place to crash! I was excited to see her and to hear more about an exciting trip she has in the works. She is planning on traveling to New Zealand, Australia, and South America in only a matter of months! It sounds absolutely incredible! She is starting to schedule this trek at increasing rates as her planned departure is not too far off! As I sat back and listened to all the different places she is hoping to visit, it made me start to think about my own future plans and whether or not that includes travel.

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I think one thing that is hard as a “millennial” (God I am so sick of this word!) is the constant “millennial propaganda.” What I mean by that is there are SO many articles out there telling you how you should be living your life. That you shouldn’t have savings in your 20s, and should instead spend all your money on experiences. Or that you’re an idiot if you don’t have savings (side note: Totally agree with this article! Fellow post grads…save some money! Seriously!) An overwhelming amount of people constantly try to tell me how I should be living out these so called “best years of my life.” Again, just as I felt after graduating college, if these are the best days of my life…how depressing is that?! Instead, I keep a quote at my desk and in my apartment that reads “The Best Days Are Yet to Come.” This is my little reminder that there are so many amazing opportunities and moments ahead that I will one day look back on and smile.

I am really excited for my friend and I am hoping that I can make the trip down to South America for a few days to visit her at some leg of this massive trip. Her trip has definitely made me reflect on what direction my life is heading in, more specifically in the short term. As I listened to her describe all the places she hopes to visit and experience, I started to second guess my own choices , more specifically why I am not planning a trip soon too! There are so many articles out there that encourage me to drop everything and travel. Book a one way flight and never look back. Well if you have been reading All Shook Up since its infancy you will know that I am a little too Type A for that. However, as I started to think more about this encouragement to travel while I am young, I realized my own choice is just as valid as these articles.

I know that I will always go on my own path, no matter what my friends, family, or constant Elite Daily articles tell me to go. My life is nothing like the teenage me thought it would be, but at the same time I think what I am doing is authentic to who I am now. I like to travel, yes, but I think not traveling right now is the best thing for me. I am finally feeling secure and confident in my job after a little over a year, and I have an apartment that I know I will be in for another year. That sense of security and these basic facts give me a sense of control in a world that, lets face it, is tricky to always have a grasp on. I think for me, I want to work on making Manhattan my home and exploring all the different neighborhoods and touristy sites it has to offer. Because let’s face it, this is the city that millions of tourists come to see, so I may as well embrace my new town to fulfill my wanderlust. Working within my budget and planning day trips or even just an afternoon here and there in new neighborhoods is still exciting and refreshing. I love stumbling upon a new favorite store or coffee shop, or realizing how easy it is for me to make the trip across the Brooklyn Bridge (like I did last weekend!) I think there is so much opportunity at my fingertips to travel less in the sense of huge treks or flights, but in experiencing something new and unexpected nearby. I think this also goes for any city or town! There are so many opportunities, even in your hometown! I love heading back to where I grew up to see my favorite spots, but also to try out different restaurants or attend new exhibits. I think there is something to be said for being a tourist in your hometown. The best part? These smaller adventures fulfill my constant curiosity, without giving up a job or apartment that I love!

Working 9-5 is definitely not for everyone, and I’ll admit sitting in a cubicle is not the most exciting thing in the world. But working on video shoots or seeing products before they are released to the public is something that will never cease to excite me. I love making new connections with the people I work with and being seen as someone others can rely on. My Instagram feed may not show sunsets off the Amalfi Coast or climbing Machu Picchu at dawn, but I am slowly working towards the career goals I’ve set for myself. This post is not to say that there is a right or wrong choice, that you should or shouldn’t travel. Instead, I think over the last few days I have slowly realized the best choice for me at this point in my life. And whether or not that is the choice of my friends or the never ending stream of millennial travel stories, doesn’t matter.

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4 thoughts on “To travel or not to travel…that is the question

  1. I think that the key is just doing what feels right to you, in this moment 🙂 For you, taking a semester to live abroad in Australia during college felt right at that time. During that same time, I was feeling like I wanted to stay at school and take advantage of all of the things that I had going for me there. And then after school, I was SO eager to start working and getting real experience in my desired field, and feel like I was doing something meaningful. Now, I’ve to a place where my inner guide is wanderlusting like crazy. But two years ago, I wanted something totally different. Something that my dad told me a few months ago when I was talking through my struggle on whether or not to quit my job (which I LOVE) and spend a majority of my savings in order to do some long-term travel, was to “Do what you want to do while you want to do it. Because if you wait, then when the opportune time comes someday, you might not want to do it any more.” He told me that he had done lots of things in his younger years that he wouldn’t want to do now. He has more money and experience to be able to do them more easily now, but given the opportunity, he wouldn’t do those things at this stage in his life. If I’d said I “should” travel instead of getting a job right out of college, I might have decided to then head back to grad school after traveling, and would never have had the amazing opportunity of working two years with my current organization. As someone else above said, “you do you.” That is a simple statement that can feel complicated and hard to figure out sometimes, but when it comes down to things, I think that is the key. Get in touch with your inner drive, and follow it. If that means that you get excited about crockpots and new walking routes through the city to work while you see pictures of other people getting excited about rainforest waterfalls and epic backpacking trips, so be it. Happiness is relative. The most important thing is staying true to yourself 🙂 You are beautiful ❤

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