I just finished school and am trying to decide between studying and traveling in Europe or Australia. Given the current situation, I think you know what my advice is going to be, says our elder.
So I’m a 19-year-old guy fresh out of school and I have three options of what I want to do with my life. Option 1: travel Europe. I live in Australia but am a dual citizen in Italy. So have a European passport. I want to go backpacking across Europe. Book the cheapest flight to anywhere in Europe and go from there: bus, tram, train, uber or even buy a cheap shitty car and jump from town to town. Working every now and then if I can or want. But basically just a very fluid time, going where the tide takes me with no deadlines. Option 2: Travel Australia. So I have a 4 wheel drive and would love to tour Australia, as in go 4 wheel driving and sightseeing around here. Go to all the different places in Australia but not all at once, doing it periodically, a trip here and there every so often. Option 3: Study. I want to study paramedicine and become a paramedic; however the pathway that best suits me is a diploma first and payment upfront. So I would need to pay a deposit of a couple grand and then fortnightly payments to pay off the course. Then do the bachelor’s for two years and will be a fully qualified paramedic.
Problem with Option 1 is obviously our current situation and the fact that we don’t know when we’ll be able to travel again so what do I do in the meantime? Also my paramedic career gets put on hold. Problem with Option 2 is I miss out on travelling Europe and there’s nothing like travelling young. Problem with Option 3 is that I don’t get to travel Europe because I won’t have the funds, and can do trips in Australia rarely but still sometimes. Would love some opinions. Thanks
Mr. Bill replies
Thanks for writing to us and sharing your story and your choices. I do have a few reactions and thoughts as you consider what to do.
First, congratulations on having accomplished education as far as you have to this point. Fresh out of school must mean you have graduated and are prepared to move on to the next phase of life and career. Excellent and again, congratulations.
I know that some people take a gap year, or a year off after high school. They travel, work, just do whatever they want without the pressure and routine that is required by schooling. Most of those who take that gap year are still wondering where their life will take them and what career and/or what their next education experience should or will be. That isn’t the case with you. You have career goals, you want to pursue a helping and wonderful line of work. A paramedic. That is impressive. You know exactly what you want to do and what will be required to realize your goal of being a paramedic.
I do agree that there is nothing like traveling when young. However, my next thought is in relationship to the current virus and the impact it has and is having on the world. Many states in the US are still under restrictions, and those that are not, ones that have begun to reopen are seeing a spike in the number of cases of the virus. I don’t know how stable the countries in Europe are, but at one time they were terribly impacted. Restrictions may have eased that impact somehow, but from what I read, the virus is still present and very much a threat. Many trips have been cancelled, airlines are almost empty, and in some countries, food and restaurants are sometimes not available. Now does not seem like the time to travel Europe. I wouldn’t.
That doesn’t mean that if you don’t choose Option 1 you will never see Europe. You might not see it as a young man, but you will have multiple opportunities to travel over your life. Vacations. Meetings. Conventions. Retirement trips. Many, many opportunities to travel and explore Europe. And, if you want and when things settle down, you may eventually work there. Just not right now, when it might not be the safest.
I do not know the situation or conditions in Australia, so I can’t relate the virus impact to your country. You live in Australia and as long as you remain there you will always have opportunities to travel and explore the country. Just as I did with the United States over the years. I didn’t do that when I was as young as you, but I did starting in my twenties and continued to this day. So Option 2 will always be available.
You have just completed the level of schooling in which you were enrolled. You know what you want to do with your career and you are in the routine of classwork, studies, and schooling, something that may have to be re-learned if you take too long a break.
I think you know what my advice is.
Avoid traveling until the outbreak is under control and travel is more safe, health wise.
Remember that you have many years to live and that you will have many opportunities to travel and explore the world.
Select Option 3, and once you begin your career, begin to save money so that you can afford to travel when you can and as you desire. Remember that your choice of work, paramedic, is and will be in demand anywhere you go. You will be very marketable and potentially could work anywhere. Including Europe.
I hope that helps. Questions or thoughts? Disappointed that this isn’t the advice you hoped to read? If so, let me know and we exchange another letter or two as you make your decision. And, let me know what you decide. I’ll be thinking about you and wondering how you are doing.
Letter #: 458731