After speaking with many of my fellow students, colleagues, and friends, I’ve learned a lot about peoples’ preconceived notions regarding traveling, especially traveling while in college and traveling alone. The truth is, it’s really not that difficult or scary. Here are some of the main concerns I’ve heard, and what you can do to overcome them!
“I don’t have enough money to travel.”
There are plenty of resources, grants, and scholarships available to students, post-grads, and professionals throughout the world. There are also opportunities to volunteer or work abroad, which can both greatly reduce or completely cover the costs of travel and accommodation. Studying abroad is also an option for college students, and there are many scholarships and funding options available for these programs as well.
“I have better things to spend my money on.”
This may be true, depending on the person. But as a student-traveler, I can honestly say that traveling has been the most invaluable experience in the entirety of my life. It’s changed me forever. The things I’ve learned, the people I’ve met, and the places I’ve seen have truly made a lasting impact on me. I’ve also been able to relate my experiences traveling with things I’ve learned in class, seen in the news, and done at work. I’ve talked about traveling in my interviews and with my professors. I’ve written about it in papers. If you want to make an investment in your personal well-being, your education, and your future, travel is certainly one of the best things money can buy.
“I’ve seen the movie Taken, it’s unsafe to travel abroad.”
As long as you are alert, you will be fine. I’ve learned from many challenging experiences, including a stolen passport, that the most important lesson to learn from traveling alone is to be alert and to be attentive to your surroundings.
“Traveling alone is terrifying.” or “I don’t have anyone to travel with.”
Traveling alone is not as scary as people often think. There are plenty of people in every place who are happy to help and get to know travelers. You’ll make friends, I promise, and you’ll probably learn a thing or two about yourself along the way.
“I’ve never been abroad.”
All the better that you consider going! It may seem intimidating to travel internationally for the first time, but it’s actually a lot easier than you think. There are many misconceptions about going abroad that are often untrue. To this, I’d say the only way to learn how to travel is to take the initiative!
“I don’t have the time to travel.”
Traveling does not need to last for months, or even weeks. It does not need to consist of a trip across the ocean or to another continent. A trip to another city for a weekend may be just as valuable as a trip across the country. Learning about a new place doesn’t mean that you have to spend a lot of time and money doing so! There are even ways to be a traveler in your own city by exploring the areas you’re unfamiliar with or going to cultural events. There are many ways to be a traveler that don’t have to take up a lot of time. You just need to find them.
“I need to be doing something that will show up on my resume.”
Traveling has brought me plenty of real-world experience that I can definitely show on my resume. First of all, if you keep a blog during your travels, it looks very impressive when you talk about starting your own travel blog on a resume. It shows initiative and passion. Also, it can open up many opportunities, including volunteer service, international programs, etc. that look fantastic on resumes and add a unique touch. Basically, you CAN put traveling on your resume, you just have to show how it impacted you and gave you relevant experience for the working world.
“I don’t know where to begin.”
Well, you’re in luck! My upcoming blog post will be focusing on how to get started as a young (or young at heart) traveler. Until then, check out Nomadic Matt’s Travel Site — he has some great tips about how to get going and how to budget.
Best of luck and bon voyage to all of you current and prospective travelers!