Saying goodbye to summer and facing reality

As my time in Mexico comes to an end and I have to think about all the boring parts about travelling (seriously, who enjoys packing?!), it’s time to come to terms with the fact that in 2 short weeks I will be joining the working world. Don’t get me wrong, I am very started to start my job, live in a new city and generally be an independent woman (including not having to ask my mum for money to get my haircut), but I will miss the freedom of student life, the 6 month holidays every year, and just generally doing what I want, when I want.

So, at the end of what I’m very melodramatically calling my very last summer, I’ve been thinking a lot about how lucky I’ve been with the many opportunities which have come my way. I think what I’m most proud of is 3 summers of travel without spending any of my own money. After first year I volunteered in Nicaragua for 10 weeks with Raleigh ICS (a government funded program), after second year I lived in Croatia for 3 months as an Erasmus student undertaking dissertation research, and last year I was lucky enough to spend the summer with my Dad in Mexico, where we could go on holiday to places like Guatemala and Costa Rica, much like you would to Spain back in the UK. This Summer I have had to put some of my own cash into my travels (Barcelona and SE Asia), but I really can’t be bitter considering what I’ve got away with for so long.

But now, well now I have to face the reality of only 13 days paid holiday until April, bringing me to my ‘It’s not all the bad‘ list:

1) My time off will be my time off – Sure I had months on end ‘off’ as a student, but there was always uni work which could be done, making  it very hard to relax and bringing me onto…

2) I can enjoy bank holidays! Every bank holiday my Mum would call me up asking what I’d be doing with my day and telling me about her plans to ‘potter around,’ but in student land, bank holidays were just pretty much any other day and the fact it was a bank holiday didn’t take away from the many looming deadlines.

3) Weekends exist and there are so many UK and European cities I would love to see and could easily do so in a weekend.

4) I can afford to enjoy my holidays – As a student, holidays were so budget centred and there were so many things I couldn’t do because I simply didn’t have the money. But now, with work, also comes money, meaning I can hopefully afford to go to more places and do much more while I’m there (and hopefully saying goodbye to my holiday diet of break and crisps).

5) I won’t have to ask my Mum for money for a haircut anymore! I know it sounds stupid but this is probably what I’m most excited about – to be fully and completely financially independent. I’ll be able to afford to take my parents for a meal out occasionally, rather than scrounging off them constantly.

Whilst I’m going to miss the freedom student life brings, I am very excited to start this next chapter of my life (and to start paying something back into my very deprived savings account!). And, for any current or soon to be students, there are SO MANY opportunities to travel with funding, you just have to look for them and take every opportunity possible!

Does anyone have any tips for my transition into the adult world? I’d love to hear your experiences!

Molly

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