This post may have a little more text than normal – but I’ll throw in photos too, don’t fret. Bear with me and read on.
I strictly remember a moment months ago where I was visiting my old high school to watch one of their shows for theater. I was walking down the hallway and stumbled by my old high school vice principal. He stopped and greeted me. Typical small talk ensued – and the questions “What are you doing? Where are you going to school?” couldn’t have jumped out of his mouth any faster after our “hello”.
I’m thinking to myself……everyone else he has seen since graduation would probably answer that question like:
- “I’m graduating from Michigan State University in 5 months with a Bachelors Degree in business”
- “I’m an engineer now – I graduated from Michigan Tech this year”
- “I’m a nurse working at the local hospital”
But here I am. Wanna know what my answer was?
“I’m not in school currently. I work at Lucky’s Steakhouse. I decided I’d rather travel the world for now. But!!! I graduated from Delta College with my Associates Degree last semester…..pretty cool, huh?”
I got the whole ‘Aw, Kim. You’re better than that. Get back to school!” spiel. I just kind of smiled…..walked away…..and then thought to myself……
Wait, what? Did he really just say “you’re better than that?” I was 20 years old when he told me this. When he told me this I had traveled to almost 20 countries. When he told me this I had lived with local families from numerous countries: literally living within different cultures and experiencing life from various perspectives. I was gaining education every single second while I traveled. I wasn’t sitting in a desk or writing in a notebook – but I was becoming more and more educated everyday.
This is the problem. Two words.
We are expected to graduate from high school and immediately enter a community college or University. We are expected to continue our college education consistently for years and years until we reach the desired degree. Putting ourselves into a massive debt just so we can get a “good job”….that we may or may not be miserable doing…..just so we can…..pay back all that debt? Wait, what? Skkkkuuuuuurt!
No. Not I.
I’m young. I am now 21. I don’t quite know what I want to do for the rest of my life – but that’s okay. Why should I? I still have a lot to experience and when I fall in love with something I’ll work to make it my career. I’m not going to waste my money and time going to college right now to take random classes and rack up a huge debt under my name. And honestly – I just wanted a break. I’ve been going to school since before I can remember (literally) each and every year.
So….the world is my classroom.
I get every subject out of it, too.
Sociology. Math. Science. HISTORY. Language. Art. Fitness. Religion. You name it.
I am learning about humans from all around the world. I am learning about their cultures and how they live their daily lives. I am learning about different countries’ history – strolling through ancient sites and ruins in Rome, visiting concentration camps and WWII museums in Germany, or paying a visit to various sacred temples in Indonesia for example. I am seeing and touching what I would be looking at in a textbook.
I’m constantly surrounded by different languages and accents – where I’m picking up words, phrases and rules as I go. I’ve been eye-to-eye with some of the most important/impressive pieces of art in the world at art museums like The Louvre in Paris and the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam. (Yeah, I have a selfie with the Mona Lisa….no big deal).
I have to use my brain and do math while traveling – estimating costs of plane tickets and how much I spend each day. Converting currency daily and being able to do conversions for distance, weight, temperature, etc…..
I am exposed to different religions everywhere I go – being able to visit their churches, mosques, temples. Going to ceremonies. Experiencing their way of worship.
And of course – I have my fitness class. Not only do I walk miles on end with two large backpacks on both my front and my backside….but I hike. I swim. I scuba. I hike mountains, in the desert, through the water, and sometimes even an occasional volcano. I’ll do yoga in Bali and I’ll scuba dive in Hawaii. My body is constantly moving, on the go, and working hard.
And I’m happy.
I am doing what I love to do. I am living my passion. I am living out my dreams and goals.
As of right now, I don’t want to be in a classroom setting. I don’t have any idea what I want to do. I’m young. I’m growing. I’m learning. I’m finding myself. And that’s okay.
So – yeah, Mr. EX Vice Principal….if you so happen to read this….
I’m traveling the world instead of going to college right now.
But I’ve got one hell of an open-mind, a big heart, and a zeal for life.
Sorry to dissapoint you….but I’m happy with this lifestyle for now. And that’s all that really matters.
I am living – not surviving.
Thanks for reading my blog post. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns: please feel free to e-mail me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Also – follow me on instagram to see travel photos and inspiration – @waddupkim
- XOXO, KIM CHARTERS – AS KIM TRAVELS.