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Old 03-18-2009, 02:34 PM
 
Location: Portland, OR
125 posts, read 532,267 times
Reputation: 51

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Objective advice from ANYONE-Travel, School&Age

I have been torturing m yself with a major decision for almost a year now. I have talked to friends and family, made pros and cons lists, flipped a coin, and I still canít decide: tough decision in a nutshell ; Travel now or return to school and travel later-but there is a bit more to this:

I am 34. I work in a field I have no interest in Ė banking. I make good money, hence my ability to save relatively easily. I am completely apathetic about my work. I canít stand it. Not a good thing.

I never finished my degree because I changed my mind and major so many times. So I took a break. Which turned out to be a really long one.

I have the opportunity to go back to school, finish my BS, get a PA/MPH and finish all of this in about 3-4 years. I ultimately want to work for World Health Organization or somewhere that would allow me to work overseas in developing countries.

Thing is, I would be re-locating to do this, which will eat into a bit of my savings. And I would be putting off any major, long-term international travel for at least 3-4 years.

Or I could stay at the job I canít stand, simply to keep saving money. Then take off for a 6-12 month trip around the world. And then come back Ė but probably not with the same job. (Highly doubt I could get a leave of absence) And then go back to school.

One day my gut says to go back to school, get in the field I want, and weave travel into that. Iím not getting any younger. The next day my gut says ďif you donít travel now, will you be miserable for the next 3-4 yearsĒ

But I am miserable. In my day to day life. And traveling isnít going to fix that, is it.

Iíve had a wanderlust since I was a child. If I died tomorrow, I would regret both not traveling and not getting my degree. They are both extremely important to me.

What would you all do?
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Old 03-18-2009, 03:14 PM
 
Location: AmCit in Philippines
351 posts, read 1,719,857 times
Reputation: 224
In this economy, I'd try to do all three. Use your holiday and perhaps request some additional leave time to travel, and then try to finish your BS in night school when you return. Jobs may not be easily come by, and the recession will take awhile to work itself out. Unless you have the financial means to support yourself, or think you'd be happier flipping burgers (if you can get those jobs anymore!) don't throw away your income stream.
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Old 03-18-2009, 03:19 PM
 
Location: Ballwin, MO
366 posts, read 1,582,559 times
Reputation: 226
Finish school, no question. Then you should be able to do whatever you want after that.
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Old 03-18-2009, 03:29 PM
 
515 posts, read 1,173,663 times
Reputation: 340
I would travel until the beginning of the next school semester. IE: College here is off from may-september. Travel, then begin school in September.

That's what I would do!
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Old 03-18-2009, 04:39 PM
 
Location: Portland, OR
125 posts, read 532,267 times
Reputation: 51
Default Finishing BS at night

Quote:
Originally Posted by wastina View Post
In this economy, I'd try to do all three. Use your holiday and perhaps request some additional leave time to travel, and then try to finish your BS in night school when you return. Jobs may not be easily come by, and the recession will take awhile to work itself out. Unless you have the financial means to support yourself, or think you'd be happier flipping burgers (if you can get those jobs anymore!) don't throw away your income stream.
This would take at least 2 more years, as many of the classes I have left are upper division science courses, and I couldn't take a full course load each semester. This would make my journey to finish school 5-7 years long instead of 3-4. I don't think I can be that patient - besides, my work suffers when I am in school because I care much more about furthering my education and getting good grades than the job I am already apathetic about. i know the economy is scary right now, but waiting it out could take 1-3 more years.
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Old 03-18-2009, 05:29 PM
 
Location: Olympus Mons, Mars
5,678 posts, read 8,592,236 times
Reputation: 5769
I would concentrate on finishing school, that is more important from a long term aspect than traveling. You can travel even when you are 40, you have a lifetime to do that...the countries are not going anywhere trust me ;-) You will be happier if you get into a field you truly like and I would suggest defering travel for a bit to do that.
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Old 03-19-2009, 06:39 AM
 
Location: Durham, NC
2,536 posts, read 8,122,888 times
Reputation: 1624
Finish school and try and find a job that makes you content. You might find that your desire to travel extensively is not as keen once you have a career that is stimulating and offers more rewards than a good salary.
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Old 03-19-2009, 07:10 AM
 
Location: Hong Kong
339 posts, read 1,075,829 times
Reputation: 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by tangerinepuddle View Post
This would take at least 2 more years, as many of the classes I have left are upper division science courses, and I couldn't take a full course load each semester. This would make my journey to finish school 5-7 years long instead of 3-4. I don't think I can be that patient - besides, my work suffers when I am in school because I care much more about furthering my education and getting good grades than the job I am already apathetic about. i know the economy is scary right now, but waiting it out could take 1-3 more years.
I empathise because I had a similar situation in my early twenties. I really feel for you reading that message!

Your messages make very clear how much you hate your job. That seems to be the outstanding issue to me. I would say that definitely has to go. What is also clear is that you want to travel. Anyone who says to just forget that, it's not important or put it off for 3+ years probably doesn't know how badly the travel bug can bite!! It is definitely important. Especially if you want to work for an NGO or an organisation like WHO. I think for that sort of job, getting some 'worldy' experience can count for a lot.

Can you save heaps of money between now and when the school semester starts? If you can my solution would be, should it be financially possible for you, is to study full-time, finish your degree then during your summer breaks go traveling for 1, 2, 3 months. Choose cheap destinations - there are no shortage of those! Travel on a shoestring...it's surprising how far your money can go.

I think things can come a bit unstuck when you elicit opinions from all your friends, family and strangers, because you'll inevitably get conflicting opinions! You need to go with your gut. Good luck!
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Old 03-19-2009, 10:38 AM
 
Location: Portland, OR
125 posts, read 532,267 times
Reputation: 51
Thanks all - Really and truly. Its time to finish that degree - and be satisfied with traveling on breaks for now
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