Travel is the Best Form of Education


Deciding what to do as a career has been a mind boggling frustration for me since before I can remember. There is so much pressure from those around us, trying to force us at the meer age of 17 or 18 to make life changing decisions. In our final year of high school, we are told to choose a university, choose a degree, and head off to study the following year. However for me, I was unsure, and still am, as to what i’d like to pursue. The only thing I knew is that I wanted to gain some life experience to help me figure out what path I wanted to take.

It has now been 4 years since I finished high school – and I still have yet to have attended a university. Some people may think that i’m avoiding it. Others might see it as an escape from reality.
But you know what? It’s not made for everyone.
Why should I have to choose something, pay a lot of money to study it, then come out of my degree in debt and unhappy, just because humanity has made me feel like I must follow that certain path? I don’t.

It was only last week when I had a thought – why does it matter if I don’t attend a university. I’m young. I’m only 21 years old and I have my whole life ahead of me. This doesn’t mean that I will indefinitely cross out university as an option for the future, but for now, I want to live my life how I want. I shouldn’t be worrying about the future, I should be focusing on the now and enjoying every day as it comes.
It has taken a while for me to get to this point, because I used to think it was immoral to not attend university, but i’m here.

Travel has given me so much more than expected. What people don’t realise, is that you will gain so much experience and learn so much more than you could ever have imagined by travelling the world, instead of sitting in a classroom for hours a day. Yes, you do learn a lot by achieving a degree, but all you’re doing is learning. You’re not experiencing it first hand. You’re not getting out there and exploring the vast opportunities that the world has to offer.

For those of you whose decision is unclear, I advise you to educate yourself and travel the world! Stop worrying about what others will think, live your life for you, to make yourself happy, not others.
Don’t say it’s not possible, anything is possible. There are plenty of ways to be able to afford to travel overseas. At the top of my list is to work abroad – loads of countries offer working holiday visas for people aged under 30!

So get out there, see the world, gain life experience, grow, and enjoy every minute!


Published by

Kate Allan

A twenty-something girl from New Zealand who is eternally exploring wherever she is

11 thoughts on “Travel is the Best Form of Education”

  1. I couldn’t agree more! Some people learn better in classrooms and from text books and some people need to see and do to learn and I know I fall in the latter. Having a child, I see first hand the learning and growth as a person that our little girl does while we are travelling. You can’t beat having the world as your classroom! Happy travelling!

  2. Totally agree that uni isn’t for everyone! I liked my college experience well enough, but I definitely wish I had taken some time off to travel and learn more about myself/the world before going. And if you do decide to get a degree down the road, the experiences and skills you’ve picked up while traveling will help immensely. Good for you for doing what’s right for you!

  3. Everyone has its own rythm and its own path.
    Personnally, I felt very inexperienced and wouldn’t have dared to travel when I was 18. It’s only after my exchange programme in Rome that I started to travel and of course learnt so much about other people.
    Sometimes I regret not doing a gap year but I was just not ready! Luck you! Keep enjoying life!

  4. Right after my high school I went, against all advice, to Belgium for a year to be an Au-Pair. And I still think it was the best thing for me. It gave me a lot of confidence and helped with my English.. I opened to other cultures and ways of living and I caught the traveling bug. I returned and went to university – but was switching two times before I finally found what I wanted to study in depth. Take your time – when you find what you really want to learn more, the universities will still be there, waiting 🙂

  5. I couldn’t agree with the post more! Everybody’s path is different, and university definitely is NOT the be all and end all. Two degrees and a mountain of debt later, I wish I would have pursued my true passions sooner versus trying to live up to the “American Dream”. There’s so much more to life and the world and kudos to you for following the beat of your own heart.

  6. You have to do what feels right to you. As you said, spending a lot of money on a degree that isn’t right can actually be a setback. The life experiences gained through travel are truly priceless. Advanced degrees don’t always lead to street smarts or common sense.

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