I wrote a post not too long ago about how I was going through a quarter life crisis. I had finished college (NIU represent!), did an internship, and traveled to the west coast and Canada. I was applying for jobs, but doors just weren’t opening for me. I couldn’t understand it, because you know, college usually meant you’d get a job. (Not really the case anymore…) Working as a barista for six months and living at home served as a buffer between college life and full-time adulthood (although, do we every really grow up? Hehe.
BUT, I’m happy to say almost to the one year anniversary of graduating college, I’ve found a full-time job in Chicago, which I adore. I’m working at GiveForward as a fundraising coach – we provide personalized fundraising pages for out of pocket medical costs, plus I work with some pretty passionate and hilarious people. Going to work everyday is pure joy.
One of my favorite sayings is ‘a delay is not a denial’. Although doors weren’t opening for me for awhile, I’m glad they didn’t, because honestly, I couldn’t see myself anywhere else right now and GF is the perfect fit. It gives me the opportunity to be myself, change lives for the better, and TRAVEL! (I’m going to DC next weekend for a conference .
My coworker, Ariana, is huge on traveling, too – I can tell she’s going to my partner-in-travel – we’re always discussing where we want to go, where we’ve been, and the people we’ve met. We went to lunch last week to talk about our travel dreams, past places we’ve visited, and lovers that got away. Being 28, she’s had more experience traveling and seen more of the world than me, and I was happy when she said I reminded her a lot of herself at my age (22). I hope I can be as awesome as her at 28. (Age Ain’t Nothin’ But A Number, right?!)
We discussed our wanderlust and this is what she said: You know that feeling never goes away, right?
And, you know what? I’m fine with that.
Since returning from my trip to the West Coast, I’ve been going through quite the roller coaster, trying to figure out the next step. Invigorated by seeing a new part of the country, I started to quietly plan in my head a move to Seattle after falling in love with the city after I visited. I worked with a nonprofit based there, and met some cool people through it who were willing to hook me up with a hostel job if I decided to take the plunge. But, as life goes sometimes, that door didn’t want to open for me right now, so maybe later?!
After applying for a few jobs and internships in Chicago, I had a first, then second, interview with Red Frog Events. The job seeking continued after being sent a carbon-copy email from the year before when I interviewed with them and was rejected. Grr!
So, I’m on to bigger and better things! Right now, my heart is focused on getting a job at GiveForward, an awesome fundraising tool for people wanting to raise money for loved ones going through some type of medical crisis. I’m still waiting to hear back for the third and final interview, so cross your fingers for me! Oh, and here is the ridiculously cheesy (and humorous – at least to me) interview follow-up I made, which even made it’s way to Startups And Burritos: The Blog of Ethan, GiveForward’s Cofounder. Cool, right?! If GiveForward doesn’t work out, I’m considering teaching abroad for a year (which I’d still LOVE to do at some point, anyway). Any and all advice will be paid back in retweets and lots of love.
It seems crazy that it’s almost been an entire year I’ve been graduated from college. Trying to figure out what the next move is always seems daunting, but sometimes when you don’t know exactly what you want, it’s hard to put one foot in front of the other! But I guess a little action is better than no action. (Oh, wanderlust, how you make life so complicated sometimes.)
For all you 20somethings, what do you do when you can’t figure out what the next move is? How do you balance work and wanderlust? Sound off below!
“Once the travel bug bites, there is no known antidote, and I know that I shall be happily infected until the end of my life.” – Michael Palin
The amount of times I’ve been told that I’ll grow out of my “travel phase” are endless (and quite annoying). Apparently exploring the world can only be a temporary interest – passion – obsession. I’ve come here to tell you, like Michael said, once the travel bug bites, it doesn’t leave you. It’s embedded within your way of life – and most of life’s plans revolve around it.
At least that’s true for me.
I started traveling young with a visit to my grandparents in New York at age two, my aunt and uncle in Wisconsin, Arkansas (or wherever they were living at the time), and other excursions I was taken on. Not appreciating travel until I was fifteen or so, I figured those trips were a normal part of life. It wasn’t until I volunteered in Juarez, Mexico, that I realized the potential life changing effect travel can have on your life…
Since then, I haven’t been able to sit still. If I’m not traveling, I’m planning to travel. If I’m not planning, then I’m at least thinking about the possibilities (Africa? Spain? Amsterdam? Colombia? Guatemala?) It doesn’t stop, and I know it won’t. I’m okay with that.
My trip to Juarez had inspired another trip like it – volunteering at a community center, Suncokret, in Gvozd, Croatia. (visit my blog about my experience at Suncokret here). And I studied abroad in Dublin, Ireland through my university last summer. I’ve also spent time in Canada, USVI, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Slovenia, and a couple handfuls of US states…
To suggest I need to get the travel bug “out of my system” is hilarious to me – considering I’m getting ready for a post-undergrad internship – at PEACE Mexico. Yes. In Mexico.
I could have easily attained an internship here in the Chicagoland area, but if someone says, “Would you rather intern near Puerto Vallarta or in Chicago?” you should automatically assume what I’ll say: I’d rather be there than here. And it’s no offense to Chicago – Illinois – or the USA. I’m just madly in love with the world, and I will never let American boundaries contain me. Why should I?
Welcome aboard. And don’t be afraid when the travel bug bites – believe me, the world isn’t as scary as people say it is.