That was the question that I asked myself 4 weeks before my graduation.
If you’re asking yourself or you think you’ll be asking yourself with the same question, and if you’ll consider my personal opinion I will say:
Because if you have all the chance to have a break to go on a holiday, then I suggest for you to go. Without any second thought, just go. Life after graduation can be really tough and challenging (I don’t think I need to sugarcoat that) so be cool to yourself, have a damn break, and experience life for all its worth. Don’t worry about your future job, and the working industry is always waiting and hiring. Besides, you won’t have enough vacation leaves when you start working so how about your wanderlust soul? Slow down.
Well, that was what I and a few other friends did when we finished college.
Right after graduation, when everyone else was getting the latest iPhone, getting a car, a shopping spree for their graduation gifts, I cashed out mine, went to Cubao, and bought a one-way ticket to my province: Antique. It was very random! So I asked some of my friends if they want to come and two of them said yes. One week after graduation, my timeline was half-full of posts about applying for a job and finally getting the job. Achievement, success, defeat, and loss. Some of my batch mates told me I will be forever unemployed if I don’t start sending my virgin resume to companies. I wasn’t bothered at all for the reason that, what can I do? I’m already bound to a vacation that will change my life forever!
One month after, with only P9,500 inside my wallet, I went to Cubao to start the trip that I will never forget (still one of the most spontaneous and adventurous trips that I did) Okay so we took RoRo (because plane ticket during that time was pricey and we didn’t have a lot of money) It took us 13hours to reach Oriental Mindoro. There was a delay with the second vessel going to Caticlan, so we still need to wait for another 5 hours for the next trip. We got to my hometown by 3:00 pm the next day so that was 26-hour travel time overall. But that was cool!
It was splendid, you know, to see the faces of your relatives lit up when they saw you all-grown-up and actually just graduated from college. And after how many long years that I’ve been busy studying high school and college in Manila, there I was, standing in front of my dad’s house, looking around. It changed a hell lot. But nostalgia swept over me as I started walking around the compound. It was fiesta during that time so imagine how bloated our tummies were because there was a lot of food. And I mean delightful food from any time of the day! I swear to the gods I love the province life. Right? The air is clean, the vibe is different, the life is simple. It’s just nice to be back after a long while. I, Edward, and Rhianne stayed at my Tita’s beautiful house for 3 days.
After the fiesta, we left our hometown in Antique at 6 in the morning. Rode another bus going back to Caticlan because we were just 4 hours away from Boracay so, again, why not! And to add more spice to this travel, Mark, Domeng, and Ryan were joining us on the island! I was so excited! By 12 noon we’re already on the island. I was in awe. My jaw dropped like how Rapunzel let down her golden hair. No wonder a lot of people consider this island as the best island in Asia! (I don’t know if my sources are true, probably not but I saw it with my two eyes)
We stayed for almost a week in Boracay. The stay there was enjoyable, no dull moment, and very lively. Eat, beach, party, sleep. Every day is a new flavor. There, I met a lot of people from different countries. I also met Myka and Lewis (who happened to be my favorite travel buddies!!!) and two lovely Swedish girls, Anna and Sandra. Met a lot of travelers too: Josh, Sam, Tiffany, Michelle, Ashley, and many more. It was fantastic! I remember one time, it was just 2 in the afternoon, and I was already feeling tipsy. Everyone’s cool with it. We went to the beach to sober up and to get tanned at the same time. Win-win. That’s how it goes, I think; go back to your hostel, take an hour nap, get cleaned up, and you go back to the beachfront right away. Life is fast, and it’s happening every second and people are having the time of their lives.
During our last day in Boracay, we had to leave our hostel by 5 in the afternoon because the ship going back to Batangas port will leave by 9 pm. That was the first time it came to my mind that leaving something beautiful is very sorrowful. When we were on the ship, the six of us went outside to grab some drinks. I wouldn’t consider getting drunk for the 10th time in a row but I was sad. So I had one glass of this cocktail that I couldn’t remember anymore. I was having a fancy time, drinking on a deck of the ship under the starry night with a reggae band playing in the background. Time to go home, the trip was now over. But we were changed.
While I was there sitting on one of the patio chairs of the ship, I remember the person I was a week ago. The person leaving home to start this trip, that was a different person. A lot of things happen while I’m on the road. Would you believe I only had P200 left inside my wallet when I got home? Yes. Twelve days away from home with very limited cash. I can’t exactly remember how I coped with reality when I came back from this vacation. But I remember I felt unfortunate because the truth is, I didn’t want to go home just yet. That was the first day that I passionately craved adventures. But how can I finance my future travels? I needed money, so I just found myself applying for jobs online. That’s the time when I got the job as a barista at Starbucks. It was an accident, to be honest! But I love my company so much, and I’ll be celebrating my second year as a partner on June 9. Who would have thought, right?
So that’s the reason why I’m telling you to go out there first before you get a job and start to become an adult. Your soul needs to meet different souls for you to see another version of the world from your vantage point. I want you to see that the sunset that you admire from your bedroom window is different when you watch it from another island. You need to experience it for yourself. But don’t get me wrong; this post is not about encouraging and discouraging. Whether you just finished school, resigned from a job, or thinking of changing your career, the decision is still yours, and I hope you play your cards right and good luck!
P.S. Just like you, I’m still not sure if the cards I’m playing right now are “right” but I will find it out soon.