The biggest risks in life often turn out to be the most rewarding and travelling whilst studying is no exception. It’s not easy though, especially when you feel lost about the whole thing before you’ve even left. Lucky for you, if you ever decide to embark on a similar journey, I’ve already mapped it out for you.
There are always things we do in life that we regret. Some things bigger than others. For me it ranges from wishing I’d ordered my friend’s meal when the waiter comes with our dinner to hating myself for never registering with AF Bostäder. Although I risk returning to Lund without a proper roof over my head, I will never regret leaving stability behind in order to study wherever I want.
Since I graduated high school, I’ve been torn between letting go of my travel dreams and getting a higher education. I’ve always found both to be important; the two can bestow invaluable life lessons that the other can’t provide. Having the opportunity to travel whilst pursuing my university degree has therefore been the perfect blend of living in the present whilst preparing for my future. For anyone thinking of doing something similar, I have a few pieces of advice.
Firstly, during your regular studies at Lund, try writing a home exam overseas in order to get a feel for the lifestyle that awaits when you travel and study simultaneously. It might be good to give it a taste before applying for online courses and buying a round the world trip just in case it isn’t something for you. Secondly, travel with or surround yourself with people in a similar situation. Studying is so much easier when you’re not the only one glued to your laptop. Thirdly, plan for the day ahead in advance and make sure you stick to it. Although it might be tempting to drift away from your studies, remind yourself why you’re here. You didn’t lug your school books and laptop halfway across the world to never use them. Fourthly, buy as much electronic resources as possible. It doesn’t only make your bag much lighter, it also makes your studying much more efficient (Hint: it involves the Ctrl + F shortcut). Lastly, take some days off to do whatever you like. Back home you have weekends, why shouldn’t you be able to have them abroad too? Visit that waterfall. Laze on the beach. Go on that hike. Get to know the locals. Enjoy yourself, you’re on holiday.
Although I doubt that I’m alone in backpacking and studying concurrently, I still feel like doing this was a huge risk. I’ve never met anyone who’s done it before and I’ve therefore felt pretty lost, even before I left. It’s generally known that you only regret the chances in life that you never took. Despite how much that saying makes me think of cringeworthy, motivational instagram captions, it stills echoes the truth. Deciding to study whilst backpacking requires taking a huge risk but I can assure you it’s one that is impossible to regret.