Travel the World While Paying Off Grad School Debt?

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Last week, two of my housemates were sitting with me at the dining table. The older one told the younger one about how I have never made much money in comparison to her three grown children. The younger housemate then takes out a book she’s been reading and offers to lend it to me for a few days. I spent bulk of the rest of the day reading it: Richard Bolles’ What Color is Your Parachute? (a job hunting and career-changing guide book) even though I had neither conscious desire to find a new job nor to change careers. The next day, I decided that I was thinking way too much about what I had read and the fact that I was reading a job hunting and career change guide with such rigor meant I am probably not as happy as I could be doing something else, but I couldn’t figure out what that something else might be….Except travel, which really is not a job but who knows? Maybe I will meet someone who will help me land a job during my travels? And wouldn’t my travels be limited due to bills I would have to keep paying? On Labor Day, I had a surprise visit from a friend. Hearing of my predicament, she says to me, “You should work on a cruise ship.” Apparently her aunt is a teacher who also took a break from her teaching career for five years working on various cruise ships being paid to see the world. She called her aunt and had me talk to her to learn exactly how she did it. I have begun the steps she recommended as well as a lot of my own research but I keep questioning my impulsive decision. It’s scary to make a decision that may change my life. I want to stay in my comfort zone: at the house I am at, in school and at this job, but I also know that this could be the opportunity of a lifetime to travel the world: see new places and meet new people. My friend’s aunt cautioned that her travels set her retirement back but she felt it was worth the sacrifice. So, I did the math and if I want to retire from a teaching career at 65, I would have to return to teaching at 43 (if I stay in this field), which is over ten years away. This means I have time to travel, study other areas of interest, meet people and experience life without committing to a “real job” because “real jobs” are for steady incomes for people who need that because they have kids and/ or aging parents. I have never been in a hurry to have kids (knock on wood) because I’ve always figured if I don’t have ’em, I can adopt…Give homeless kids a home and not have to race my biological clock. My parents are under 70 and have no health issues… I can do this! I am so scared that I am going to back out! I have an interview next week and I haven’t yet had the courage to confirm the time! Wish me luck!

Related website links to thoughts that made me think:

How Dropping Out Of College Can Save Your Life

 

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