Why I Travel Instead Of Study

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Why I Travel Instead Of Study – I felt the pressure already a few months after graduating high school.

You know that pressure, the pressure everyone gives you ‘to do something with your life’.

Better Education & Finding My Purpose
Better Education & Finding My Purpose

It didn’t really bother me back then, I just wanted to travel and enjoy life like everyone else.

Now, a few years later – 21 years old, I suddenly find myself being the only person I know who hasn’t gone back to study, or like they say themselves:

“to do something with their lives”.

That’s just fine with me, but since I don’t do and feel the same as those around me, it really seems to bother them.

They simply can’t understand why I don’t follow their path.

Why I Travel Instead Of Study

For me, there are 3 reasons WHY I travel instead of study…

I Want The Dream As My Reality

I Want The Dream As My Reality
I Want The Dream As My Reality

For me, there is no bigger regret than to regret what I never did.

Living without knowing what could have happened if I wouldn’t have chickened out.

If I would have taken the safe way and studied to become something I didn’t ultimately want – would really kill me!

When we’re kids, we all have these big dreams of becoming pop stars and pilots, so why do we have to let ourselves be persuaded that we can’t do that?

And all this happens before we have even tried?

From someone who never tried either?!

I don’t know what I want to be yet.

I refuse to start studying for any other reason than because I absolutely love the education and that it leads to something that I’m 100% passionate about, in other words, that it leads to my dream job.

Before that, why waste time jumping between educations when I can travel, explore and learn something real?

Choosing My Own Path

Choosing My Own Path
Choosing My Own Path

I believe that everyone has to create their own path in life, and as much as other people and society might disagree, you have to do what feels right to you.

And for me, travel is my call.

I don’t trust other people telling me what to do with my life and how to live it.

I think that by following other people’s advice when it comes to jobs and education.

You will more often end up fulfilling someone else’s dream, not your own.

I believe that the best way to find an education or profession that you love is by developing your hobby into one.

Better Education & Finding My Purpose

Why I Travel Instead Of Study
Why I Travel Instead Of Study

When you travel a whole new world opens up.

You see so many new opportunities, you get a chance to look around and see what is possible, new doors open up and you realize that the way they live life at home isn’t the only way.

I find that I’ve finally got some perspective on things, thanks to the past two years of full-time traveling.

I really think that traveling is the best way to find out what you want to do and how you want to live your life.

My grandmother thinks that people travel because they’re restless, that they can’t be happy with life just as it is, that they’re unhappy.

If only she knew how much you learn by traveling, how many life skills you learn that nobody ever teaches you at school or at home.

Everyone I know who has traveled says that they learned more in one year of traveling than they ever did in 4 years of studying.

Most importantly, they learn what LIFE really means – and it was never about “having an education”…

Study Exchange Program Why You Should Consider Participating

Every student is probably familiar with at least one type of a study exchange program.

There are also more and more students deciding each year to enrich their study experience by participating in such program and spend a semester or even a whole academic year somewhere abroad.

Reasons for participating in a study exchange program vary from each participant; however, most of them agree it is an amazing and one-of-a-kind experience.

If you are still hesitating about whether or not you should take part in one, we have prepared a list of reasons why you should definitely consider going for it.

Being part of a study exchange program is the best opportunity for you to see the world and travel as much as possible.

You will have to focus on finishing your courses, but you will surely still have enough free time to visit all the cool places you always wanted to see.

Not only you will get to discover the country where you will be studying, you will also have an opportunity to see the nearby countries.

Experience a different type of education

By participating in a student exchange program, you will get a chance to experience a different style of education than you have been used to. Each country has different ways of teaching.

By spending a semester or an entire year at a different university, you might get a whole new perspective on your study program.

You will probably also enrich your knowledge of the things you already know and definitely learn a lot of new things as well.

study exchange program
A study abroad program will be an enriching experience

Improve your CV

Spending some time at a university abroad is also a very good thing to include in your CV.

When you will be searching for a job or an internship in the future, you will have something that will stand out and distinguish you from the other applicants…like academic writing

Employers are more and more demanding; having international experience is definitely something they will appreciate.

The fact that you lived and studied abroad also lets the employer know that you can easily adapt to changes and are familiar with an international environment.

Meet new people

Taking part in a study exchange program is a great opportunity to meet people from all over the world.

Nowadays, almost every country in the world is participating in some kind of an exchange program.

This means that wherever you decide to go, you will meet many new people.

Good thing about getting to know people from various countries is that you will also learn a lot about their culture, customs and manners.

As you will all be far from home and in the similar situation, making friendships will also be easier.

You will always have someone to hang out with in your free time.

Get to know new culture

There is no better way to get to know one country’s culture than living in that country and experiencing it first hand.

No matter where you will go, the culture there will probably be different from your own.

Although this might seem a bit intimidating at first, it is actually a great way for you to learn new things and get more familiar with new traditions.

You also have to make sure to try the traditional food and drinks and participate in at least one typical event.

Discover new interests

While living abroad, you will experience a different way of living than you knew.

You will be able to engage in many new activities and perhaps even develop new interests.

Maybe you have a talent for a specific sport or activity you did not even know of before.

This is a great opportunity for you to discover your hidden talents and interests.

Learn a new foreign language

You should consider taking part in a language course while living abroad.

This will really make your everyday life easier.

It will also get you closer to the culture and the locals.

Although you will probably not be able to speak fluently after only a few months, it will probably still be enough to understand the basics.

This will be good to  include in your CV as well.

Remember, employers also always appreciate candidates that speak at least one foreign language.

Personal growth

Living abroad as a part of a study exchange program is an excellent way to get to know yourself better.

You will surely become more independent.

You will not have your family members around you which means you will learn how to deal with issues on your own.

Additionally, this is also a great opportunity for you to discover what you really want to do in life and in general grow as a person.

Experience for a lifetime

The best time to go abroad and gain international experience is when you are young.

It is when you can adapt to changes the easiest and are also able to learn quickly.

Study exchange programs will give you so many new experiences and bring people to your life you will never forget.

If you have an option to take part in such program, you should definitely consider it as you will cherish this experience forever.

Planning for your study exchange program

Although the overall experience of studying abroad will be unforgettable, planning it could get quite stressful.

You will need to obtain all the necessary paperwork in order to study at the university abroad.

You will also need to be sure your courses will be approved at your home university.

Additionally, for some countries you might also need a Visa.

You should consider health insurance.

Perhaps the most tricky part will be finding a place to stay abroad.

You can consider staying in a student dormitory, but if you want a bit more β€œlocal” experience, you should consider renting a room in a shared apartment.

There are different options of where you can do that, one of them is HousingAnywhere.com, an online housing platform for international students and young professionals.

The whole process from searching to booking a room on their platform is easy, fun and safe.

What are you still waiting for?

Put all your worries and doubts aside. Learn about the most suitable study exchange program for you.

We promise it will be worth it!

My Secret Travel Habits And Superstitions

Superstitions is something we laugh about when it’s brought up.

Until you realize that most of us practice them in all kinds of ways.

I’ve never seen myself as a superstitious type, but when my friend Jenny started talking about it a few days ago I realized that superstitions and habits had been there in the background all my life – especially when I travel …

It started with my lucky toy, a one-eared teddy-rabbit.

I brought it with me everywhere, literally:

I took photos of him by the ancient ruins in Greece, on the beach in Spain and by a temple in Bali – if I traveled, he had to come with me.

My Secret Travel Habits And Superstitions
My Secret Travel Habits And Superstitions

One time I left him on the airport, and once I realized that it was gone my mum had to make the pilot stop the plane and wait for us to run back and grab it.

And who knows what would have happened without it being with me on the plane?

Today my toy is replaced with other habits, like the “appreciation prayer”, hand hold and kiss Nathan every time before/during take-off.

It’s not really a prayer, but every time before take-off I like to think about and appreciate my life, the people in it, of the amazing moments I’ve experienced lately, and yes, in some way – that I’m alive.

I’m not afraid of flying, but I like to know that just in case something actually would happen, I had appreciated my life.

When the plane starts going down the runway, accelerating speed, me and Nathan hold each others hands, and as the plane takes off, we kiss.

It’s a small thing, but it has become one of our habits, and together with the excitement of going to a new country I always get the butterflies.

My friend was telling me about her little travel superstition, which happens when she visits parking lots.

She taps the dashboard of her car whenever she pulls into an airport parking lot, with the hopes of suddenly being gifted with the most brilliant parking spot ever! :p

Most of the time it doesn’t work that well, something which doesn’t really need to be explained.

But when it does, it boosts her belief in superstitions and she continues doing it.

Isn’t that funny how we give things chance after chance even though it continues to prove us wrong, but then last time when she tried at the Heathrow Airport parking lot and it (for once) worked.

She was so certain that it was all because of the tapping.

In all the years that she has tried this insane ritual, this is the only time that it has actually worked, but who am I to tell her wrong, I have superstitions too.

I’ve told her next time she flies from Stansted, to go and stay the night before if getting a good parking spot is so important, but I think she secretly likes the challenge and the stress of having to make it in time for the flight.

To be honest, I think many of us like the idea of having something that we believe brings us luck, it makes us feel safer when we travel, and in some way we build a connection between us and that silly “lucky item”, whether it’s a lucky coin, a necklace, or even lucky panties.

What travel superstitions do you have?

Please share! πŸ˜‰

What Is The Future of Traveling?

The volcanic eruption and the ash cloud over Europe sure put us all to the test last month, and has had many of us wondering what the world would be like without planes.

Think about that for a second:

What would the world be like without the ability to fly?

My sister was one of all the hundreds of thousands of people affected by the ash cloud.

She and her baby were stuck in Rome for a week.

This made me so aware of how much we really need the ability to fly between countries today for our daily lives to function properly.

I believe that many good things came out of this volcanic eruption.

We got a little taste of what the world would be like without planes, and soon, because of the ending supply of oil, flying will be completely different.

Some people claim we will run out of oil in ten years, others claim it will take way longer than that.

However, most sources agree that eventually one day we will have run out of oil. It’s not a matter of if, but when.

Personally I’m kind of torn between when I hope for it to happen.

In a way I wish it would happen sooner so that we will have ruined slightly less of our environment, but then there is my ego which knows that when it happens I would probably be tearing my hair off watching the prices go sky high on flights.

Flying has never in history been this easy, cheap, and more people than ever have the opportunity and economy to fly.

How long will this last? Is this about to change again?

Will traveling and backpacking become something only rich people can do?

I have many questions, but have found few answers.

The Problem With Traveling By Train

The obvious answer would be to go back to travel by train again.

A few decades ago flying was something only a few could afford.

Everyone else traveled by train.

The most common way to backpack was by train.

Will we go back to the good old trains?

Well, it’s a good option, but there is a problem:

Traveling by train is no longer cheap.

So what will happen when flying is expensive, will traveling by train become cheaper?

I doubt it.

That’s not how the business works.

Reading at the national railway site for Sweden, they explain the pricing system like this:

“When there are few who want to travel by train, all the prices are lower.

If the competition for seats is fierce, however, the fare goes up.”

This means that the already over priced tickets will become even more expensive, because people will be forced to travel by train and therefore there will be more “competition”.

The Rise of The Electric Bike?

A few years back the electric bike was on the uprise, but it was pricey and seemed kind of lame.

Today, with good health and environment being the hottest topics, the electric bike has finally had a true breakthrough.

How do I know? Because even my dad is considering buying one! πŸ˜‰

I also have a feeling that things are about to change radically when it comes to the way we look at traveling.

We don’t want things to go fast anymore, we value quality more than the time it takes.

‘Slow travel’ is on many people’s tongues.

We want the whole experience, not just to see the “must sees” and do the “must do’s”.

Will this lead to more biking?

To more people exploring the world on a bike?

You get to smell, see and feel the surroundings, yet, in an uphill, you can just sit back and relax and the electric bike will carry you the whole way up.

People are starting to understand the importance of good health, but aren’t quite as willing to make that big effort.

With the electric bicycle you can do a little bit of biking, and if you get tired it’s not a problem since it can run by itself.

Parking will be free.

Fuel will be free.

Really, when I think about it.

How come so many people still drive to work?

To be honest with you, I’m a big fan of biking.

I bike everyday.

People don’t believe me when I say that it’s actually faster biking into town than catching the tram – it really is!

What type of transport do you think we will use in the future?

How will we travel?

Do you believe in the electric bike?

(photo credits: 1 : scubasteveoangelapennywilhelmja – jepoirrier)

55 thoughts on “Why I Travel Instead Of Study”

  1. what an interesting idea, I too am feeling pressure to study and get a real job but want to travel. Really not sure yet, but thanks for sharing your thoughts Sofia.

  2. ITs so true!
    But I have to say I am pursuing something I enjoy doing as much as travelling. And my degree provides me the opportunities to travel as well. πŸ™‚

    Nevertheless it is true, that you learn more as you explore than while sitting at your desk.

    Cheers

  3. Very well said, Sofia. And remember, like many people have said before me, that travel is one of the best educations you can get!

  4. I love this! I totally agree with you, its why my husband and I travel (even with five kids). People think we’re vagabonds, that we ‘can’t hold down a job’, or that we’re running from something or restless.

    Really, we just love the adventure and discovery, the expansion of our minds, and the
    ‘real’ education that comes from travel.

    Kudos to you for discovering this while still so young, and having the courage to live it!

  5. I think you should always follow your heart and it will take you down your intended path. Sounds like that’s what you did! πŸ™‚

  6. “I think that by following other people’s advice when it comes to jobs and education, you will more often end up fulfilling someone elses dream, not your own.”

    That is such a true statement I think you could have made the entire blog post that one sentence.

  7. Great post Sofia, from the heart. I think your first point rings the most true to me.

    One thing that’s wrong with the school – university – career path in the US is the rush from high school to college. Most 18 / 19 year olds have no bloody idea what
    they want to do with their life. The expectation to immediately start college makes no sense and is the reason many drop out or switch majors multiple times. The result? More debt to weight you down post graduation. By taking six months or a year post graduation and traveling somewhere in the world,
    you’ll learn many things about yourself – hopefully, a better understanding of what you want to be when you ‘grow up.’

  8. It’s a difficult and very personal question, but you don’t have to be rush. You have all your life to study and work. Because my job I can’t travel as much as I’d like to… So take your time! : -)

  9. It really frustrates me how it’s almost programmed in us to be cynical about achieving our dreams. Tell someone you want to be a popstar and you’ll probably be met with someone saying “Don’t count on it”. You’re right, we’re told its not possible before we’ve even tried.

    If you don’t really know what you want to be, travel is a great way to expose yourself to everything and discover what makes you tick. Great post.

  10. I read somewhere that travel is not so much a recreation but more of a “re-creation” of oneself and there’s no better moment in your life to accomplish what you’ve always had an innate passion for then now. The world is tremendously big and often contradictory but there are a lot of things that make us similar.

    For a traveler, travel is about being independent, meeting people, sharing, experiencing local things and feeling the differences. I’m not sure if I would have had the courage to ditch school to travel the world instead but I owe my interest of wanting to travel more to photography.

  11. There’s plenty of time for school I’ve already changed careers twice and who knows what I’ll do when I get back.

  12. Wow, five kids, that’s awesome! The children will be so grateful when they’re older, having experienced something very few ever get the chance to do.

  13. Hey Usha Amudan,
    it’s great that you enjoy what you do, in the end that’s all that counts.
    If you enjoy your job or education there is no reason to quit, and getting the bonus to be able to travel isn’t too bad either πŸ˜‰

  14. There sure is! Also, I’ve found so much inspiration and gotten so many new ideas from traveling that I probably never would have thought of otherwise.

    Not only do you learn things, but you get inspired and see new opportunities and doors opening up.
    Perhaps you’ll figure out what career you want by traveling.. πŸ™‚

  15. Hey Sandra,
    it is a very difficult dilemma, and only you can decide what’s right for you.
    If you have already found a job or education that you really want, then go for it.
    If not, why not travel before you find out what you really want to do?

    In the end, go with what feels right in the gut πŸ™‚

  16. I agree, although I sometimes feel like I’m rushing through life a little. A good thing to remind yourself once in a while, to take things slow πŸ™‚
    Thanks for commenting!

  17. I went to the same ordeal but mine was when I decided to leave that cubicle where I’ve been trapped to for almost four years. Of course people were asking why I chose to gave up my job especially when I was just being offered a promotion. But there are things that money and a career cannot make up for and i’m happy when I travel. Not once did I ever regret making that decision. Its been a year and I couldn’t be any happier.

  18. “believe that everyone has to create their own path in life, and as much as other people and society might disagree, you have to do what feels right to you”.

    Couldn’t agree more!

  19. Great post Sofia! It’s something I can kinda relate to. I decided to go travelling when I finished High School at 17. I spent a year travelling Oz, then travelled parts of Europe, before returning to college, to what I thought was the way to go. After two years of college (and travelling during summer/xmas periods) I realised that this wasn’t the path for me. I was right in the beginning to go where my heart left me, so I dropped out, and started a travel blog. I’m now a full time travel blogger at 22, and I couldn’t be happier.

  20. Love this post! I just finished uni, and I’m training myself to become an etnographer, and definetely my biggest training has been travelling. I’m taking a year off to “develop my skills”, but really I just want to enjoy life and to make things happen for myself. This world is too big and amazing to read about it from a book! Great post!

  21. Great post. I wish I had chosen my own path about 25 years ago. As a teen I chose what adults around me said was the right path. Amazing how many of those adults wound up dealing with depression. They were doing life: doing what was “right.” Glad to see you are out there “living” life.

  22. As someone with 7 years of secondary education, here’s my take on it.

    1. A formal education is overrated and WAY overpriced.

    2. Unless you NEED the degree to get the job you want (e.g. doctor), there are more practical ways to educate yourself.

    3. If you really want to learn something, read books, research online and START DOING WHATEVER YOU WANT TO LEARN. Experience is the best teacher.

    4. Be true to yourself and don’t let the expectations of others influence your decisions.

    That’s my 2 cents. Happy travels!

  23. I just recently found your blog, but just wanted to say this is great! I think WAY too many people just go to school because it’s what they think they’re “supposed” to do. Then they end up with a bajillion dollars in school loans and a job they may or may not enjoy.

    I think at the very least a gap year should be required! I say continue with what you’re doing! School will always be there when you’re ready!

  24. Great post. I learnt the hard way, and unfortunately gave into the pressure to ‘do something with my life’. Luckily realisation dawned upon me in good time, and I’ve never looked back to this day!

  25. I agree Andi, every time I’ve denied what my heart tells me I’ve always screwed up, so perhaps I’ve learnt that lesson by now πŸ™‚

  26. Thanks Matt!
    I agree, most 18 year olds have no idea, and usually people change drastically during those next two three years in every aspect of their lives.

    The cost is definitely something to consider as well, who wants to live under a huge debt that gave you nothing in return for the rest of your life?

  27. That reminded me of the saying by St. Augustine: The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.

    I guarantee that you’ll develop your skills tremendously when traveling, even if that’s not your main purpose πŸ˜‰

  28. Leaving a job when offered a promotion takes guts!
    I feel the same way, I’m happy when I travel, I can’t live doing something that doesn’t make me happy.

  29. Hey Dennis,
    it’s never too late to ‘live’ your life and change your path, I think it’s great and very brave of you to follow your boyhood dream of writing – go for it!

  30. Awesome points there!!
    It’s amazing how much you can learn and educate yourself in by researching online, and I agree, experience is the best teacher.

    Thanks for sharing your experience and thoughts!

  31. Wow, thanks a lot for sharing that with us, I couldn’t agree more!

    For me it’s actually the opposite way, I owe my interest for photography from traveling!

  32. Yeah, like Forrest Gump says: Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get! Same with the world, you never know, and that’s what makes it so much fun!

  33. This is how I’m feeling. I tried college for two years, but I kept changing majors so many times. I figured it was a waste to stay if I can just follow my passion of traveling instead. Hopefully this spring, I can jet off to Berlin (currently interested in Germany due to my heritage and a desire to learn languages).

    But anyways, I know how it feels. The pressures from everyone and the liberating feel of following your own dreams without caring what people thinks.

  34. I wish I had taken a gap year (or years) after high school. What an enriching experience you have created for yourself at such a young age!

  35. You know when you read something or hear a song and you “feel it’s written for you?” Well…this post is one of them!

    I’m leaving for South America in November and I have been stressing so so much because I have undertook a distance university degree which requires me to be in Spain the summer after. This factor gets in the way of me not wanting to plan where my path leads and also will hurt my budget.

    Hmmmm, you’ve offered some excellent thoughts here and I’m going to have a long night πŸ™‚ Cheers, great read.

    “When we’re kids, we all have these big dreams of becoming pop stars and pilots, so why do we have to let ourselves be persuaded that we can’t do that?”

  36. Hi Anthony,

    I’m so glad for the way you felt about the post, I really appreciate it.
    I hope you got your head straight and have a better idea of what you want to do.

    Thanks for sharing your post, I totally agree, never let that childhood enthusiasm go!

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