I recently talked to one of my employees (I’m a manager at another job) how she felt about recently graduating from college and how everything was going and she was exhilarated. First off, she was a science major, Biochemistry to be exact, and she completed her internship at a hospital in the ICU department (health focused people, don’t kill me if that wasn’t the right term) and she just got accepted for another internship at The University of California, Los Angeles.
She was excited for this internship because she didn’t even think she was going to be accepted, but then she stopped herself and said that once she graduates, there’s only a 5 year window to do everything that she wants like traveling the world.
Hold the phone. This is not true. This isn’t true at all. I know multiple people who traveled the world and who are currently traveling the world that are way past their 5 year window. I’m not sure who put this thought into her head, but apparently it’s something that’s commonly believed because I’ve met multiple people with this mentality.
You are the person who makes your own path. No one else paves that road for you. You can travel whenever you want, put all your time into your hobbies and reach a professional level, and you can put your career on hold for however long you want, but remember, one plan does NOT fit all.
There is no rush to travel, but if you’re going to drop an amazing opportunity, make sure that you weight out the pros and the cons. Are you going to get an opportunity like this again? Did you get this opportunity through a friend and will you make them look bad by denying this?
Sometimes, traveling can wait and other times, career can wait. It really just depends on your priorities and what you think is more important, but remember… if you make a decision and it ends up badly, first, try not to blame anyone else. That was your decision and you are the only one who can take responsibility for it. And finally, don’t forget – tomorrow is a new day. It’s a new day and another opportunity to stay on or change your path. It’s up to you.