Choosing yo-pro life over travel life
I’m 9 months into yo-pro life (yo-pro: young professional), and I simultaneously love and hate my decision to take on my career fresh out of university. As I write this, I’ve just finished a 51 hour week, and I'm settling into the couch with some leftovers and a movie, #rager. Why am I not having a drink somewhere? Shouldn’t I be going out? What are my plans for the weekend and why, oh why am I not overseas?
Silly questions fill my head and then I make the mistake that only someone in this day and age with a smartphone can make- check Snapchat and feel instantly fomo about not choosing to travel (fomo: fear of missing out- but in this case, just mo: missing out). One Snapstory is from London, under the glittering fairy lights of Oxford St. The other is a tale from Italy, featuring old buildings, beautiful people, and only the best pizza and gelato in the world. The rest are an enticing and jealousy-inducing jumble of South East Asian sunsets, airport terminals captioned #nextstop<insertexoticlocationhere>, and unescapable #squad pics, featuring pop music, alcohol and all the friends that I don’t share the same city with (which makes me feel 1% better that they just didn’t invite me).
I love that I chose yo-pro life, when I’m on a beach shooting a brand video, hanging out with a great team, eating ice-cream. I hate that I chose the yo-pro life when I finish a 51 hour week, come home to an empty apartment and Snapchat shows all my friends doing cooler things than me. But I don’t regret that I didn’t choose to travel first because I love my job, my current achievements and the direction I'm heading in. I remind myself that the opportunity to springboard into my career was perishable and needed to be seized, and that London will still be there when I make it.
Being a grad can be tough, because you're feeling all mixed in emotions. On one hand, you want to make the most of your degree and get into the workforce. On the other hand, you want to let loose because you've spent a considerable amount of time juggling assignments, growing up and passing exams. Then you've got every Tom, Nick and Harry (because although we call people Dick, Nicks are way more common these days) annoyingly asking, "So what are you going to do now that you've graduated?".
Ultimately, each move made in life comes with a string of “what if” scenarios and opportunity costs, and I’ve come to know that you can’t do everything you want at once. Choosing my career first doesn't dictate that I'll be climbing ladders for the next five years. It just means that for now, I'll remember to selectively watch snap stories when I'm having a quiet night in. Dwelling on grass that’s greener on the other side is just going to kill the ground you're standing on. Instead, make the most of where you are right now, so your grass is green all round.
What are your thoughts on this decision- did you launch your career, or did you travel the world first? Also, I'm not completely depriving myself of travel- in February 2016 I'm taking three weeks off and getting lost in Thailand and Vietnam (best of both worlds, right?).