One time I was expressing my internal anguish of not knowing if I should go straight to Europe after my trip to Hawaii, or return back to Calgary to work, save, and buy a house (of course I was leaning towards Europe). The person I was speaking to laughed at me and said,
“That’s not a moral dilemma, that’s a problem of not wanting to grow up.”
It kind of hit me hard, am I acting childish because I don’t want to settle down and live a “normal” life? I ended up taking on a new job when I returned from Hawaii. I love my job, but everyday I wished I were on a beautiful island or hiking in the jungle. It took me a while to find my happy medium, which is still not perfect, but I think I have an idea of how I can make everything work out. I just want to let you guys know this is all my opinion, and I think that any road you decide to take will be wonderful.
After high school, some people decide to take a gap year and work. People I have talked to have told me they find it hard to get into school after a year of which might turn into two. I watched a TED talk video once (http://www.ted.com/talks/meg_jay_why_30_is_not_the_new_20). Meg Jay speaks about how she believes every single year of your life when you are in your 20’s should count. You should always be working towards a career and be searching for meaningful relationships. At first, I didn’t agree with her, but I do see her point. Many people who travel end up having to pick up random jobs just to keep their traveling funds going. Random jobs that won’t make their skills or resume more impressive to future employers. Now a day, it’s unfortunately hard to find a good job without going to university. I am grateful I got the opportunity to attend my dream school at 18. I found that if you start university at 18, you are with people your age, who are all in the same boat and have the same goals. University can be rough. At some points I really wanted to just give up. I honestly mostly looked forward going back to school to see my friends again. They got me through it, and somehow made it fun at the same time. Before I knew it we had graduated and gotten big girl/boy jobs. And of course while in school you can always take weekend trips, spring break, winter and summer trips!
To some, this is a difficult “moral” dilemma. At this point in my life, all I know is you regret what you don’t do. So if you are unhappy then make a change. If the change ended up being awful, then you learn from it and make another change. If you never try something you want to do then you may never know what would have worked for you. After university I worked for a year, I was unhappy. So I went back to university for a year. Before I went back to school I spent a summer traveling in Europe and Southeast Asia to “get traveling out of my system”. Let me tell you, it did not work. Not only did traveling not leave my system, the need to travel just got worse. People call it catching the “travel bug”, and that is really the best way to describe it. When you catch the travel bug, I don’t see why you need to treat it, just go and let it infest you. I do love to learn, but I’ve realized there are other ways of gaining knowledge on what actually interests me other than school. I learned a lot in the past two years, mostly that how you think determines how you feel and how you see the world. If I looked at things a particular way, a career change wouldn’t help make me happier. It is your mentality to your situations you face that render you either happy or unhappy. I am happy now with my career; in fact very grateful I did not go down the path I thought I wanted to take. Furthermore, I now realize I am lucky to have a career with so much flexibility that I can do what I truly love, to travel.