Why You Should Adventure as Soon as You Graduate

So you just finished college. Congratulations! Now for the question everyone’s asking you: What’s next? Should you get a consulting job? Go to grad school? Move back in with your parents?

Let’s face it: You might not have a clue what your next step is. And that’s OK. The traditional options are just fine for some people, but they don’t work for everyone.

I was just like you. After college, I had no idea what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. And for me, there was only one answer: adventure. I devoted eight years after graduating to traveling the world and figuring out who I was. It might sound cheesy, but it was the best decision I ever made.

If you’re still figuring out what’s next after college, going on an adventure might be the right course for you, too. Here’s why I think you should adventure as soon as you graduate, and how you can make it happen.

Why You Should Do It

Besides the obvious benefits of having fun, learning a lot, and meeting new people, why should you adventure, and why should you do it now rather than later? Here are three reasons I think are pretty compelling:

  1. Your student loans haven’t kicked in yet. For federal student loans, you usually have a grace period of six months before you need to start paying. That probably isn’t long enough to do everything you want to do, but it gives you time to travel without worry and then set yourself up to start paying them back. You won’t have freedom like that again for a long time.
  2. You have limited outside obligations. You don’t have a professional job yet. You probably aren’t married yet, either. You probably don’t even have a dog. In other words, there’s nobody who depends on you. But life won’t always be that way, and going on an adventure will be harder when things change.
  3. You deserve it. Graduating college is a huge accomplishment, and you deserve a reward. Besides, burnout is a real thing, and you’re almost certain to experience it if you go straight into a nine-to-five or grad school. A great way to make sure you’re ready for that job or a master’s program? Take some time for yourself beforehand.

How You Can Do It

When it comes to how you’ll adventure, different strategies will suit different people. Here are several options that worked for me:

  • Seasonal jobs. These are just what they sound like — temporary jobs in cool places. For example, I worked at a ski resort in Colorado and for a kayaking company in Alaska. My favorite website for finding positions such as these is CoolWorks.
  • Work exchanges. If you just want to live somewhere interesting for a few months, try a work exchange. You’ll work six to eight hours per day in return for room and board; obviously, that makes them a good choice before, not after, your loan’s grace period ends. Great resources include WWOOF and Workaway.
  • International jobs. Did you know you can get a work visa for New Zealand? Or that you could get paid to teach English in South Korea? Since these jobs allow you to travel abroad while also earning money, they’re a perfect fit for fresh college grads.

Whatever you do, don’t wait. The longer you put it off, the harder it’ll be to leave. My advice? Take that adventure, and take it now.

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