I'm currently a Junior in high school (11th grade) and I wish to travel throughout my life, of course. However I also want at least one around-the-world trip that takes 18-24 months. My question, fellow travellers, is when would be the best time to do this?
My plans for the next few years is as follows: graduate from high school, undergrad, then graduate school (engineering, not that it matters). Would it be best to do my trip before undergrad or after? Would it make getting into graduate school more difficult? What, in your opinions, is the best time to do an epic world-spanning trip?
Thanks in advance guys!
If it was me, I'd do it in your 20's. I think a trip of this magnitude would look excellent on a resume. The self reliance, flexibility, and planning SHOULD impresse prospective employers. I don't know your financial situation, but if you are like most of us, you are going to have to earn your freedom, and it's going to take some discipline to get the cash for a trip that big. If money is no problem, I'd take that trip every decade or so taking a different route everytime.
I hope you take your trip.
Yeah, that's sort of what I was thinking. The languages I would pick up, the experiences...I would think it'd look great on a resume.
As far as money, I'm definately going to have to earn it, but I work a job now and plan on working throughout college. With scholarships covering my college expenses, all of my savings go to my travel fund. If I keep working at my current rate, I'll have more than enough for what I'm looking at doing. Plus I plan on working some overseas.
Do you think I should travel in between undergrad and grad, or should I wait to be done completely with school?
I think I'd do it after Grad. You are finally done with all that school, and it would be a great reward for your efforts. Plus, on a trip of that nature, you might get side tracked on one of your adventures and give up school completely. It's been my experience that once you finish school, it's hard to want to go back.
True. Plus with my major it'd be easy to forget some of the math and science in two year's time...thanks for your advice Rhombus.
If you have no debt from university (ie. support from parents or scholarships, etc), I think the best time to go would be after undergrad. Work for a year or so after undergrad & save money to finance a RTW trip. Travel then return to do grad school. Spend a year to travel and/or volunteer in projects around the world, etc. I don't know too much about engineering but in general, this type of experience would definitely make you an attractive candidate for any graduate program. I would think it would help rather than hinder your chances for grad school. Going back to school may be harder but that really depends on you. I know many people who have worked for a few years and still manage to do it.
Going straight from undergrad to grad school then taking a year or two off immediately after finishing a graduate degree will leave you with little or no work experience once you are ready to join the workforce. How competitive would you be at that point? However, I am not an engineer so I could be wrong about this point but this is just a basic assumption for most professions. For me, after grad school, I would be more focused on finding a job and establishing a career. Also, this is assuming you have no school debt and enough savings to finance your trip when you complete grad school, which may be possible for you (depends on your financial situation) but it's probably not common for most people to graduate without debt.
Anyways, you still have time to think about it & plan it out. I think your undergrad experience will definitely influence your decision regarding this point and you will know what you want to do after 2 or 3 yrs of undergrad. In the mean time, take advantage of the summers you have off in high school & undergrad - try to make small trips of a month or two. See what you can handle on a smaller scale - gain travel experience, make friends, have fun and prepare yourself for the RTW trip! Good luck!