The Best Ways to Get the Most of Your Travels After Graduating (Personally and Professionally)

Firstly, congratulations on graduating! The world, as they say, is now your oyster! However, exhausted from an entire lifetime in education and overwhelmed by the confusing career choices now in front of you, you might not be feeling like diving head first into the world of work just yet. How about diving head first into the turquoise sea surrounding some far-off land instead? Packing up and leaving the country isn’t about your avoiding real life, it’s about you exploring the real world so that you can come back equipped with a multitude of experiences and skills that’ll help you in your new life, both personally and professionally.

If you’re a newly graduated fearless female thinking of taking a leap of travelling faith this year, we might have just the ticket to boost your travelling experience. Born in Barcelona when two feisty friends, Allison Prouty and Katrina Swanston, met and realised that sometimes adventures are best shared with a friend, new app Yes Let’s is the most important thing you’ll want to pack for your travels. Its purpose is to give the female solo traveller a less lonely and more fun way of experiencing local cultures. As masters of the travelling road, Allison and Katrina are excited to be able to share their experiences in order to help maximise yours.

…and so, shall we go on a post-graduation journey of discovery together? Yes, let’s!

Why should you travel after graduating?

‘Travelling will add new layers to the knowledge you’ve developed while studying’ the duo told Your Coffee Break. There’s no finer education than that you get from exploring and discovering for yourself. You’ll learn not only about wildly different corners of the world, but about yourself and how you instinctively deal with certain situations too.

How long should you travel for?

Practicalities like resources and time will, unfortunately, likely be the biggest obstacle in deciding how long to leave the motherland for. However there are ways to tackle this hurdle; volunteer or work along the way in return for free accommodation and experiences to add to your resume.

Travelling anywhere from one week to a few months is adequate time to immerse yourself in another culture.

How can you cure post-graduation, pre-travel nerves?

Yes Let’s will ultimately help you connect with females feeling exactly the same way you do. It’s absolutely normal to feel a little jittery before heading into the great unknown, but as Allison and Katrina point out, ‘fortune favours the brave! Step out of your comfort zone and wonderful things can happen. If you leap, you will find inner strength and courage you never thought possible’.

Importantly, don’t let nerves stop you from making the most of your travels once you’re there. In order to feel safe research before you go, and use your common sense. Trust your instincts, keep friends and family back home updated with where you are, and be smart about what you carry on your person. Taking a few sensible precautions will allow you to then throw yourself in and get the most out of your travels

Where should you go and how do you make the most of your travels?

First posing this question to the Yes Let’s ladies, they told us that choosing a country would be like choosing between their children: ‘where NOT to go?!’ Eventually Allison and Katrina did manage to narrow it down (ish), recommending Peru, Prague, Malaysia, Argentina, Egypt, China and Morocco!

Once you’re there, both see the tourist sites and live like a local. After studying you may need some down time, but don’t regret not discovering more of your destination. ‘Plan some legs of your trips and leave the rest to chance. Talk to the locals, get tips from other travellers, and be willing to change your course’.

Dragging around a large suitcase will hinder the exciting element of spontaneity somewhat. ‘Take a few things you cannot live without: a converter, a journal, books or a kindle, a fashionable cross-bag, shoes that fit your terrain and a good sense of humour’. Katrina laughed as she recounted a conversation she once had with Allison about how many dresses she should take to South America: ‘She said to me: “honey, you do know there are shops in South America, don’t you?’ Great piece of advice – take less than you think you need’.

How will travelling enhance your personal life?

As you journey through new cities, countries, cultures, eat new foods and meet new friends you’ll discover new ways of looking at things, Katrina and Allison explain. ‘You’ll return with a whole new perspective on life. We’ve found it adds new depth to your empathy, compassion and curiosity’

How will travelling enhance your professional life?

Professionally, travelling shows a willingness to just jump in, adapt, and figure it out along the way. ‘After navigating your way through medinas or foreign bus systems on your own, you can pretty much figure anything out’. Plus, if you’re travelling to a country which doesn’t speak your mother tongue, more often than not, you’ll learn enough dialogue to break ground with a new language. Additional languages on your CV get a major thumbs up!

Katrina and Allison also point out that employers look for great interpersonal skills: ‘you’re going to meet lots of people when you travel and by doing so, you’ll learn how to relate to a whole range of different people. This will help you in any interview and, once you get the job, in the workplace too’.

If you haven’t yet met like-minded wanderers with whom you want to roam the globe, be one of the first to sign up to the Yes Let’s community, and join the adventure on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram! Yes, Let’s app for solo female travellers launches later this summer.

Danielle Wood

Danielle has a fascination with living a life full of creativity. She is the founder of A Life in a Season blog and contributes to Huffington Post UK. When not writing her next blog post or snapping photographs, she can be found immersed in the latest film and theatre performances while discovering the newest trends hitting the streets of London.