Should I start my career or travel as I always dreamt to?


I’m finishing university this year and this Wednesday I have an interview for a good, secure job at a large company. It’s a 9-5 office job that is well paid alongside having many perks. I’m 22 and I have always longed to travel extensively in a deliberate way for months maybe even a year or two. Up until recently I was decided, firm convinced actually, to work as a waiter until December/January and then take off into the world to see where it will lead me to. Now I am not so sure what to do. What do you guys think? Any advice or comment will help.
Thank you.

Category: Tags: asked May 10, 2014

8 Answers

All I can say is that we work all of our lives. You are young, this is the time to travel. Once you get into a stable job it will be harder to get away, as you age you will settle down, start a family, etc..I would say work that waiter job, make enough money to travel and go see the world!
This is something you have to figure out on your own, of course. I can't tell you what the right path is for yourself. What I can say is that traveling is expensive, even when you're trying to budget conservatively. I spent 5 weeks traveling in Europe, staying in hostels and eating food from markets instead of restaurants, and spent 6k USD during the trip. If you plan to travel, make sure you can afford it. Secondly, delaying your career means delaying promotions, and creating a work gap. Neither of these are a big deal, traveling will actually bridge the work gap for you. It may push back other things you may want in your life though, such as when to start a family and buying a house - things that rely on how much income you have. Just remember, you can always travel on vacations from work, or after you retire and have saved up for it. I'm not saying to pick one over the other, I'm just trying to help lay out the potential consequences.
Hi, I wonder if you could talk to someone in the job and find out if you worked a year or two, could you take a year off and come back? this way you would save up enough to happily travel and there might possibly have a job to come back to. If that's not possible, Honestly I would recommend travelling if you have the opportunity. I have pushed back travelling to wait for my boyfriend to finish college, whilst this wasn't the plan and effectively pushes back my plans for the future, it gives me time to save up enough to securely travel and not worry so much about money. Also, You never know what travelling might do for you, you could end up building up connections and other possible ways into your career. don't know if thats any help, but I hope you're happy in whichever decision you make :)
Traveling is good, but it's hard when you're young and don't have a lot of funds to fall back on. If you decide to go for it (and only you can tell yourself what's right) than do your best to create various safety nets and ask yourself some important questions first.

If you run out of money, how will you support yourself? There aren't many 'room and board' for work type places out there, but there are some. Places like can help you find a safe and cheap place to stay, but they often charge a fee for their services.

How are you going to transport yourself? If you choose to take a plane or a bus, there won't be a car waiting for you unless you rent one. This is very pricey! Not all places have public transportation, and you may find yourself stranded. Even a few short blocks can seem like a long distance sometimes! If you choose to take mass transit to visit these places, how will you deal with delays, cancellations, and payment?

Do you believe you'll be able to easily get a job if you need one in a hurry? Can you convince someone to hire you, knowing that it's only for temporary work? Will it pay enough to get you where you're going and leave you with emergency funds? Living day-to-day isn't any fun, and it's a quick way to end up homeless, stranded, and possibly malnourished.

I can't answer those questions for you, and there are many others you need to ask-- it might be a good idea to find a forum that focuses on traveling and see what they recommend you consider.

All that said, all that matters is that you are happy and healthy! Don't hold yourself back on something you'll regret years later-- just make sure you don't end up hurt (or worse) along the way. Good luck!
Take the job, you can travel on your one month annual leave plus you'll have more fun because you have job security and more money to spend on your travels :-)
Thank you all for the input :) I appreciate it!
Don't think. Just do what you really want. Everything else will work out eventually. Don't take it too seriously. It's just life and you should enjoy it and have fun! :)
Read the book "vagabonding", and go for it. You'll never have this chance again. Not until you're too old to enjoy it. Maybe you'll find a job in another country, even. Stability is an illusion anyways, and being stuck in a 9 to 5 office jobs with regrets about what you might have done when you were younger is something no one should have to live with.