All of us grew up with our parents constantly reminding us to get a job upon graduation, and to not bother with anything beyond what was learnt in textbooks. I grew up with my parents telling me the same thing. My parents chose the safe route, and expect me to do the same. I refuse to oblige.
Our environment shapes us more than we can imagine, and growing up in a world where technology advances by leaps and bounds means we are more than open-minded to risk. We embrace the impossible, and task ourselves to always be up for a fresh challenge. One thing that is almost impossible to accomplish, but always on the top of an undergraduate’s bucket list? Travel the world.
There are 195 countries in the world, each offering a myriad of cultures and experiences that are complicated yet unique to the locals. I would say the chances of truly immersing in the cultures and understanding the local roots are near zero. But that shouldn’t stop us from wanting to do it. If impossibility ever stopped anyone from doing anything, the Wright brothers would never have invented airplanes, and none of globalisation would have taken place.
However, the question is not so much whether, but where. There are so many cultures waiting to be experienced, and even more not documented. Where would possibly be a destination suitable for a fresh graduate who is financially constrained, but has all the time in the world?
Move beyond cafe hopping in Singapore, kickstart the lake hopping journey in Australia! Take a dip in the mystical pink Lake Hillier or spam Instagram-worthy photographs by the scenic Dove Lake, they will all become part of the best memories in years to come.
Realise the dreams of becoming an international foodie - travel half the globe to Italy, splurge on authentic pizza margherita and tiramisu. Empty your travel allowance by feasting like a royalty, and live to tell a tale of how the police tried to arrest you - for being cashless!
Challenge your endurance and stamina by swimming in potentially the longest river on earth - the Amazon basin! Navigate through a flooded forest, whose river length varies with seasonal climatic conditions, to enjoy a dip with the pink dolphins. Experience the wonders of nature, and influence others to do a part in preserving nature.
The thing is, the destination should not matter. Every corner of the world has something different to share, and by focusing only on the end is nothing but shallow. Be open-minded about where your journey will lead, embrace the unknown because a new chapter is unfolding and you’d want to be there for every moment, because making every breath count should be what truly matters to you. As Simon Schuetz (founder of Awesome Maps) once mentioned, "Your world is waiting".