Yes, I have the travel bug and I have it bad. I look at pictures of different countries and cities everyday and think of different ways I could somehow be there myself.
But it wasn’t always like that…
Never before have I ever wanted to travel the world or study abroad but now that is all I want. I have even been looking into working on Martha’s Vineyard this summer and doing a year of service after I graduate. Looking back to 6 or even 2 months ago, I am surprised how much my view of the world, people around me, and the important things in life have changed.
Although I certainly want to be at the top of my class, I also want to do things that are fulfilling in other ways. I want to go travel, see the world, meet different people, and help them. When I tell people this they look at me like I’m crazy or that it will never happen. That just makes me want to do it more.
A few weeks ago, my professor told me that I can’t go abroad if I want to get this specific internship. I was told I would have to stay on campus all of junior year and do a certain program to get the prized internship. After speaking to him, my dreams of going to Italy or even South Africa basically went up in flames.
Shortly after this talk, I accepted my fate of staying at Stonehill for a full 4 years, never getting to go abroad. The longer I thought about staying here and watching all of my classmates have amazing experiences, the more I wanted to go.
So lately I’ve been thinking….
I have realized I don’t want to sit at a desk for 40 hours a week starting at 21. I realized that there is so much more to life and to the world than work. I have faith in my ability to get a job even if I do volunteer for a year, or go abroad for a semester. I believe in myself and I know that I will be okay even if I don’t get this one internship. I know that in the end I’ll be fine and I know that I will never forgive myself if I don’t go see the world at least for a semester.
You might be saying, “wow this girl is stupid for giving up a 90% guaranteed prized internship”.
Here’s my response: Yes, maybe I am but I need to find that out for myself. I’m so sick of people telling me “don’t do that” and asking “why would you even want to go to a different country?”. What I don’t think people around me realize is that everyone has different wants and needs. Although they may not want me to go to a different country to volunteer or study abroad, that doesn’t mean that I don’t.
I think people get so wrapped up in their school work or their job and just let the days and months pass. I don’t want to be one of those people that puts off traveling and volunteering for “tomorrow”. We as a society take “tomorrow” for granted and sometimes never even get to make it to tomorrow. Personally, I will never forgive myself if I let the days pass and never get to accomplish my biggest dream of traveling.
I know everyone has different ideas about life, but this is mine. I hope that future employers, my professors, and my family respect my decision to put my happiness and dreams first. I don’t think enough people do that, but I want to be one of them.
Finally, I hope that people don’t see this desire to travel as taking the easy way out or not being committed enough to my major and studies. I personally think you become a much more well rounded person if you are able to get these experiences. Learning to interact with people of different cultures, adapt to different situations, and learning to be truly self-reliant and independent are things that cannot be taught in a class room. So no, I’m not taking the easy way out- I’m taking the road less traveled to eventually get ahead of everyone else who is just staying on Main Street.
I hope this post inspires others to realize that their dreams are important, despite what others may say. Do what you really dream of doing, because someday “tomorrow” will be today and you’ll regret all the things you said you’d do but never actually did.