Overlooking the mountains in Huaraz, Peru

Getting Over the Guilt

As a young person and recent college grad, I’ve faced pressure from all kinds of sources to cease my “constant vacation” and become a regular old 9-5’er. I have no issue with this lifestyle. In fact, I am currently searching for work in order to join you all in my first “big girl job.”

My issue stems from the idea that as young people, our elders and peers tell us how envious they are of the fact that we have the entire world ahead of us, yet they urge us to cease the frivolity and “get a real job.” It’s the great millennial paradox. We’re caught between our dreams and our bills.

My hard-earned dollars earned me...a trip to the Great Wall of China!
My hard-earned dollars earned me…a trip to the Great Wall of China!

But what about having it all? Can’t we be hard workers and passionate at the same time? I have visited 10 countries in the past 6 years and have paid for every penny. I got a job when I was 15, and I pinched my pennies to take my first big trip to Brazil. When I was presented with the opportunity to live in Spain for a summer, I fund-raised my 17-year-old butt off to raise the money. Or how about when I decided to spend a semester in Peru and applied for enough scholarships to pay for every cent, right down to my pencils? That IS hard work. I haven’t vacationed on my parent’s dime or dug myself into a world of debt. I have positioned my life in such a way that I am able to live my hobby, which just happens to be travel.

Touching a glacier
My hard-earned dollars earned me…a trip to Iceland to touch this glacier!

No, I didn’t graduate with a job offer and a 401K, but I did graduate with no debt and enough money to send me to ten European countries for a month. While my peers begin their “real” jobs and focus on paying their student loans, I will soak up the sun in Santorini and enjoy a beer at Oktoberfest in Munich. These moments are priceless.

Machu Picchu
My hard-earned dollars earned me…a trip to Machu Picchu in Peru!

Now, if you’re offended, wait just one moment. The point of this post is not to shake my fist at those who just don’t understand my love of travel. It’s also not meant to offend anyone who has worked just as hard as I have but have just been handed a raw deal. The point is to encourage all of you to get over the guilt of pursuing your passion and do what you can every day to make it happen. Although travel is what I focus on here, if you have the means to fulfill your dreams, don’t let the archaic model of how you should live your life stop you. Keep filling your piggy bank with your hard-earned dollars and do as you please.

Bye, Bye, Bye,

Erica

 

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6 thoughts on “Getting Over the Guilt

  1. I am missing a photo here of the most awesome place you have been so far… Northern Spain! hahahaha

    Just found out about your blog and I think is amazing you share your adventures and tips!

    Besos!

    Like

  2. It’s one thing to leech off of your parents and avoid the real world. It’s another to work hard and grab your opportunities. Life is about grabbing opportunities, be it professional or for pleasure

    As a baby boomer, I have a similar situation. My peers drive fancy cars, live in perfect houses, carry Coach purses. Although I lead a comfortable life, I prefer to invest my extra money in experiences, including travel. I have always grabbed my opportunities. Don’t ever lose your passion.

    Like

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