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As a 21-year-old female living in rural England, growing up I had the same ideals drilled into me much like most other people my age: You go to school, get good grades, attend university, get a job and live happily ever after.
This process never sat well with me, but I couldn’t understand why until recently. I became a cliché girl who aspires to travel the world, a girl with a terminal diagnosis of wanderlust, a girl who aspired to more.
Out of all my classmates that attended secondary school with me, I’d estimate that around 80-90% of them followed the above mentioned pre-planned route in life, and they are no better off than me. A 21-year-old college dropout who never made it to university.
In the past 4 years since I dropped out of college, I have learned more about myself than I ever did after 14 years in compulsory education. The education system that millions of young people are put through gave me more trouble than should be possible. I developed anxiety, social anxiety, depression and had regular panic attacks, all because of the pressure to achieve certain grades in a system that sees you only as a statistic and not as a living breathing person.
It is my belief that in today’s day and age, a university degree is nothing more than an expensive accessory, as the workplace is just too crowded, and employers have begun to prefer employees with apprenticeship qualifications, and those that have a wide range of life experience.
Over the past 4 years I have travelled to countless different countries, some many times over, and I have barely even begun. These countries include; America, Australia, Spain, France, Italy, Portugal, Germany, Holland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Grand Cayman, Barbados, Antigua, St Kitts, Bermuda, and Jamaica, just to name a few.
Had I been in university, the likelihood is that I would never have visited any of these places, and whilst visiting these places I have gained an immeasurable amount of life experience. I have immersed myself in different cultures and explored new ways of life. I have become a more confident, self assured, determined, curious person who is above all a dreamer. How could anybody be able to achieve this personal growth from sitting in a lecture hall writing essays and taking tests for 3-4 years solid?
We do not live on this planet just to work until we die, we are here to LIVE and to experience wild and wonderful adventures. We are here to get lost and find ourselves again, to evolve into greater people with each adventure, and most importantly, to enjoy our limited time on this planet.
Through my soul searching and exploring, I now know that I would choose to spend my life getting on and off planes and living a curious traveller lifestyle over having a mundane job in a mundane life wishing I could go on all of these wonderful adventures. Sure I may not have a constant steady income, but I am comfortable and happy, so in the grand scheme of things, isn’t that the most important thing?
With that, I’m off to organise another long journey exploring America, maybe I’ll see you on the plane?