You’ve heard it before...
Someone says, “Traveling outside the country was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It has completely changed my life, and I’m glad I did it right after graduating college, there’s no better time.”
Okay, so maybe they didn’t say it exactly like that, but you get the point. The reason you constantly hear it being said, over and over, is because it’s true. I wish I had traveled after graduation and before starting my career.
Actually, I’ve recently travelled outside the country for the first time in my life. Some friends of mine were taking a trip to Budapest and asked me to go. Now, you’re probably thinking of that really quirky Wes Anderson film with the word “Budapest” somewhere in the title, but I can assure you, not only is the film not set in that country; the country it is set in doesn’t actually exist. You're welcome.
This anecdote of my travels is a literal representation of the paradigm-shift that I’m currently experiencing in my life, even as I put these words on paper. The following is a brief background, then I will jump into my five reasons why you should stop making excuses and just get off your ass and travel somewhere -- especially if you are fresh out of college, or if you’ve just been making excuses.
In my early twenties I had two priorities: first, finish college, and second, progress my career. I was very practical (which, for the record, has worked out well for me, but that’s not the point, so keep reading). My simple strategy was to focus on the present so I could plan for the future. I worked my tail off with a full time job and full time school. Meanwhile, I watched several friends take trips around the world. After graduation it seemed like the number of my friends traveling grew exponentially. “I can have fun when I’m thirty” I would whisper to myself while scrolling through my Facebook feed. I passed by friend after friend traveling to Europe, Thailand, Costa Rica, and beyond.
The opportunity to travel abroad has knocked on my door several times. Once I had even booked a trip to China, but after being asked to join a special project at work, I decided to continue progressing my career instead of taking the trip. After graduation another opportunity fell in my lap, but I already had a job set up post-college. I wanted to be practical, so I jumped head first into my new role.
Two years passed before opportunity came knocking again. Two friends and I sitting in a bar one night (what’s usually the start of a bad joke) turned out to be a life changing moment. One thing lead to another and our trip to Budapest was booked!
Five Reasons to Book the Trip:
I was nervous to ask my leadership for time off, but they were extremely supportive and excited about my journey. I’m not sure why I was surprised, they’ve always been a very supportive group. After some reflection I realized the only thing stopping me from taking that leap was me. I wanted so badly to be practical that it stopped me from taking a chance and doing something different.
This blog post is not just for those of you who are about to graduate, although I do hope it helps push you across the finish line. This post is for anyone who is standing at a fork in the road. Wiser words from Yogi Berra, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” The takeaway here is “JUST DO IT.”
(Writers note: For those of you wondering why I quoted an animated bear twice it’s important to clarify that I’m referring to Lawrence Peter "Yogi" Berra, famous catcher for the New York Yankees (1946-1963), not Yogi Bear, you can check out some of Berra’s best quotes here!)
About the Fratzke Brothers:
As Strategic Account Managers at Brandify, a national marketing firm, the Fratzke Brothers work directly with Fortune 500 brands to perfect their digital strategies. As Digital Marketing Experts the Fratzke's share experience, advice, and best practices through engaging content across multiple platforms, including: Videos, Blog Posts, Podcasts, Speaking Engagements & Workshops.