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.
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.