By Leora Kahn
It is officially the spring of 2016, which means that the most dreaded time of my life has finally snuck up on me: my college graduation. I know that I am supposed to be excited to enter the real world. I should be excited to finally be able to support myself financially and live wherever I want, with whomever I want. But if I am being honest, I am absolutely terrified! Let me tell you; the quarter life crisis exists. It is real and it is happening.
"The world is a HUGE place and my home life feels safe. My friends, family, and comfortable ways surround me, I feel at peace. However, it is time to face the music."
I am sure that many of you out there reading this have been through what I am going through, or are going through it right now. I want to share some of my favorite quotes that have encouraged me to leave the comfort of my home and follow my passion: travel. Fair warning- I am a huge advocate of Fernweh (an ache for distance places, a craving to travel). So let’s get started-
“And so the adventure begins…”
What adventure? Life. Life is one long adventure, and it is ours to do with as we choose.
“But we lean forward to the next crazy adventure beneath the skies.” –Jack Kerouac
Up until now, us twenty-somethings have had the good life. College can be stressful, but hindsight, it was all worth it. Our friends are always less than 10 minutes away and laughs are plentiful. Just because one chapter is closing, doesn’t mean that the book is over. There is so much more to see in this enormous world, and I’m determined to chase the sun.
“You don’t have to have it all figured out to move forward.”
Take it from me- I don’t have a plan! But I have a dream. I know that I want to see what else the world has to show me beyond my comfort zone.
“The world is too big to stay in one place & life is too short to do just one thing.”
There are over 7 BILLION people in this world, each with their own history, culture, and traditions. There is SO much to see and SO many people to learn from in this short life we are lucky enough to live.
“The trouble is, you think you have time.” –Buddha
When I tell people that I want to travel, I get one of two responses. I either get, “Oh yeah, maybe you can one day!” Or, “You are young, you should go now!” I prefer the later response, because it is true! We all think that we have time and procrastinate on our dreams to focus on reality. We focus on climbing the corporate ladder, starting a family, and planting roots. But we only have so much life to live, and I want to learn about all there is to see!
“You are what you settle for.” –Janis Joplin
Now that I am graduating from college, I have the option to begin my career wherever I choose. Most of my classmates are interviewing for corporate jobs at fortune 500 companies, and that is amazing! And honestly, I think that my dad would be a lot happier if I was one of those people. But I think that I have my whole life ahead of me to make a name for myself in the corporate world. I don’t want to settle. I want to learn from people I’ve never even met before in places I cannot pronounce. So, I encourage you all to not settle into society’s norms. Do what makes YOU happy.
“Stay close to what keeps you feeling alive.”
I am a firm believer in living an exciting lifestyle. If you do what you love, it won’t feel like work. If you love where you live, every day is an adventure. Travel often, and travel far. Life isn’t meant to be lived in one place!
“Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.” –Jack Kerouac
I idolize Mr. Kerouac. His cross-country adventures are legendary and inspiring. So take a page out of his book, climb that goddamn mountain!
“So this is the part where I’m supposed to tell you it’s not scary. Well it is. But fear is natural, fear is good- it just means you’re growing.”
Change is scary! Especially entering foreign cultures where norms, languages, and customs are unknown. But someone very wise once told me, you will never learn if you do not take that leap of faith outside your comfort zone. If it scares you, it may be a good thing to try.
“Live, travel, adventure, bless, & don’t be sorry.” –Jack Kerouac
Take that trip that you have been putting off. Get up, get out that door, and don’t be sorry!
“Life is short. If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now.”
The moment is fleeting. Responsibilities will soon kick in and the opportunity to press pause on your life in order to tour Italy may not be realistic. Put your dreams into action today!
“Don’t wait. Life goes faster than you think.”
I think you guys get what I am trying to say here.
“Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how far you have traveled.”
After studying abroad, it is safe to say I learned immensely more about my studies and myself then I could have EVER learned from a textbook. I am a huge supporter of studying abroad and learning about foreign cultures.
“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.”
Some may say I sound naïve, or unrealistic, or a dreamer. But ask adults their opinions on escaping reality! Some are stuck in their boring day to day average lives and encourage us to get out their and see the world. So save your money, don’t spend it on materialistic things.
“Life was meant for good friends and great adventure.”
Don’t embark on the journey alone! Sign up for group tours. Make friends, or bring old friends along! The more memories made, the better.
“Be in love with your life. Every minute of it.” –Jack Kerouac
Be happy! This is the most important factor. Take pictures, embrace the culture, retain as much as you can! Fall in love with the nomadic lifestyle.
“In the world through which I travel I am endlessly creating myself.”
Travel is one of the best ways to learn about yourself, and develop into the person who you truly want to be.
“Travel. Not to find yourself, but to remember who you’ve been all along.”
Sometimes, life can get in the way. Travelling is an amazing opportunity to clear your mind, and focus on what really matters to you!
“Traveling is like flirting with life. It’s like saying, ‘I would stay and love you, but I have to go; this is my station.’” –Lisa St. Aubin de Teran
Once you start to travel, you will never want to stop. Trust me.
“Once the travel bug bites, there is no known antidote, and I know that I shall be happily infected until the end of my life.” –Michael Palin
Like I said, the travel bug is contagious!!
“It’s a funny thing coming home. Nothing changes. Everything looks the same, feels the same. You realize what’s changed is you.” –F. Scott Fitzgerald
There is no better way to grow as an individual, than to travel. Learn about foreign cultures and people. Learn about their ways of life, and take their lessons home with you. You’ll be amazed.
“Don’t listen to what they say. GO SEE.”
Okay enough of me rambling on. Don’t just take my word for it, GO!! I hope that these quotes have inspired you to develop drapetomania (an overwhelming urge to run away). Go see the world!
I am a huge believer in group tours run by people who know the business inside and out. Group trips are one of the best methods to see the world in a time effective and economically productive way. Which is why I am a HUGE fan of Travel Italian Style. Cassandra Santoro is one of the most reliable, hard working, driven, and culturally educated women I have ever had the pleasure to know.
So go out and see the world. Weekend trips, monthly trips, or semi-permanent trips!.
What are my post-grad plans? Honestly, I’m not exactly sure. All I know is that I am young, I am independent, and I am free. I am going to save up my money and follow my passions. I am going to explore the world, and I’m going to find myself. I highly encourage you all to do the same. And on that note,
"You may have the world if I may have Italy."
Wondering what your next step should be? Then come meet our Founder & CEO Cassandra Santoro at the upcoming National Organization of Italian Women event on May 17th in Ciprani Wall Street in New York City!
Along side Cassandra will be 4 other travel & business guru's who have made a life by following their passion. Purchase one of the limited tickets here
Leora is the Public Relations and Marketing Coordinator for Travel Italian Style and is a Marketing student at James Madison University. In the spring of 2015, she was accepted to study business in Antwerp, Belgium, which allowed her to explore Europe and open her eyes to new opportunities and experiences. Needless to say, she is now consumed with a passion to travel! Leora loves to document her travel stories through all types of social media in order to share with everyone the happiness that accompanies exploration. Leora spent time travelling through 11 countries during her time abroad, while Italy was hands down her favorite due to the blissful culture, beautiful scenery, and tasty food. She cannot wait to visit again soon!