Thursday, October 20, 2016

On Traveling While in Grad School.


I’ve always been a traveler.

Ever since I was a little kid, my mom and I would accompany my dad on business trips. From mini road trips to Orlando’s Gaylord Palms Hotel to my first plane ride to Colorado Springs to stay at the Broadmoor, I was a natural at packing up a bag and embarking on a new adventure.

I took my first solo plane ride when I was 19 years old to visit my sister when she lived in New York, and after that, I was constantly on the lookout for new places to visit. By the end of my undergrad, I’d traveled to NYC, Chicago, Las Vegas, Bulgaria, Italy, and England. Before starting grad school this past year, I added Asheville, Savannah, and Los Angeles to that list. Needless to say, I’ve always been a little travel bug…

Until I went back to school and became a true “broke” college student.


Now I have to think a little harder and longer about taking a trip, whether it’s a weeklong excursion or just a weekend getaway. Can I really spare $300 for a two-hour flight? What about going out to brunch and dinner every day? What if I have 30485 pounds of schoolwork to do that weekend? I only work one to two days a week as it is, can I afford to skip out on those shifts?

Unfortunately, these are logical questions...and their logical answers have a tendency to outweigh my desire to be spontaneous and adventurous. Having said that, even though I'm a big advocate for saving money and only spending what I have, I'm also an advocate for making memories and gaining new experiences. I refuse to put my life on hold for the next two years just because I'm in school for my dream job. I don't want to resent this degree because I feel like it's "holding me back" in the meantime.

Does this all make sense?

In a nutshell, I'm in the mood for a trip, but I have to think very carefully about how to go on one. We're planning for a little NY getaway to visit Ryan's family in early December, and my mind is already on spring break. I'm feeling another nature trip. Right now, I have my heart set on Yosemite National Park, but depending on my financial situation, I'd be happy to "settle" for a smaller trip to Nashville or Charleston.

Are you a travel bug? How do you decide when it's a better idea to save money and when to splurge on a fun trip?

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