You’ve put in a lot of hard work at school and university, got excellent grades, and it’s time for a much-deserved break… but you can’t shake that nagging voice in the back of your head telling you that, if you take a break, you’ll become complacent and lose sight of your goals. Your next step is completing a master’s, and unlike college, you can do a master’s remotely. However, you want to take some time out and see the world, let loose, and just enjoy your life for a bit. Luckily, you can do your distance learning masters from anywhere – so why not spread your wings and tick some things off your bucket list?
There’s no doubt that your masters will take a lot of hard work and dedication, and you might be worried about how you can squeeze all of your studies in alongside the traveling lifestyle. Throughout this article, we will look at why you should travel alongside your studies and how you should go about it.
Wash Away Your Stress
Responsibilities of life, without the added pressures of studying an online MBA degree Accounting Principles, can grind you down to the point that you’re unable to focus on what’s meaningful. Therefore, you must take a break from the woes of life to let your mind relax and rejuvenate. What better way to recharge your batteries than fulfilling some wanderlust and seeing some dream-worthy destinations?
Traveling is proven to decrease stress levels and promote happiness, by taking your mind off stressful situations. Further, with heightened levels of cortisol, your calmed mind will find it easier to switch off, reassess life and create new goals – which is imperative when you’re studying for a master’s. Although you’ll be taking your stress with you, the ability to take a break and explore the sights now and then will guarantee that you feel reset.
Picture your stale routine and mundane study area. Now, imagine waking up in the morning in a whole new world with the sun kissing your face and the subtle sound of waves hitting the shore in the distance, knowing that after a hard day’s graft you can put on your best ugly shirt and help yourself to a well-deserved cocktail on the beach… keep this in mind as we move forwards.
Enhances Productivity and Creativity
When you’ve got assignments coming at you from all angles, it’s all too easy to fall victim to the dreaded writer’s block; or you find yourself not getting as much work done as you usually do. Another benefit of traveling is that it can increase cognition – which in turn increases your overall productivity.
That being said, according to psychologist Adam Galinsky ‘we have to actively engage with local cultures to allow our minds to be more flexible and increase our brain capacity.’ On the back of that, why not aim for something a bit more fulfilling and head out to China or Thailand to get fully lost in their world before returning to your accommodation for some fired-up studying?
Jumping in at the deep end is all about doing things you don’t fully understand but getting a better grasp for doing so. Living somewhere that fills you with excitement but also gives you an edge of fear and intimidation will force you to toughen up. Surrounding yourself with unfamiliar people and in different settings will increase your resilience. The experiences that you gather while traveling will let you apply the newfound toughness to other areas of life. For example, when studying and getting ready to hand in important assignments, you may not feel as much anxiety as usual.
This doesn’t mean that you will go traveling and come home without your feelings intact, but you might be more accepting that some things you just can’t control. For instance, imagine you were ready to fly on to another destination and you lost your passport before boarding your flight. This would fill you with dread and fear, but there isn’t anything you can do to change the situation. You will improve your problem-solving abilities, be better at accepting life as it comes, and be ready to face any challenge that your future career will throw at you.
Become Something New
Your work is very important to you if you’re considering doing a master’s course and your five-year plan has likely been in place for a long time – and that’s great. However, seeing the world and experiencing life from other perspectives can be life-changing. You will meet new people, see new things, and live with alternative cultures; all of this can alter your goals. As an example, your current goal might be to finish your online masters and start your own business by developing an app. Traveling could change that goal and you may find yourself wanting to apply your knowledge to something that will help communities you’ve encountered.
When You Get Back Home
Eventually, your home life will call and you’ll have to get back to reality – this doesn’t mean you have to revert entirely. On your travels, you will have picked up new experiences and be more open-minded, resilient, and equipped to deal with the relentless chaos that life can throw at you. When you see your friends, you will be able to tell tales of your epic quest, and further down the line, you will have plenty of anecdotes to draw on when you’re applying for jobs or running your own business.
You’ll inevitably find yourself missing your time traveling, so make sure you take a bit of life on the road back with you – learning how to cook your favorite meals can take you right back to your most memorable places and trigger those feel-good juices running. Take stock of the habits you picked up on your travels. Maybe you had breakfast and a coffee outside every day and that made you feel fantastic – there’s no reason you can’t carry that over to your home life and be more productive.
Hopefully, at this point, you’re feeling inspired and ready to start planning your grand adventure. Then you remember that, somehow, you’ve got to manage to study a full master’s alongside experiencing the items on your bucket list. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to make the process easier – keep reading to find out how or just leave and jump in at the deep end.
You don’t need telling, but a traditional master’s program won’t allow you to take time off on a whim to venture out and see your wonders. Therefore, you must find a course that fills your requirements and comes with just as much accreditation as a physical course. You will find no end of schools offering wonderful courses all around the world – just be sure to do your research to get off to a flying start.
When you’re traveling thousands of miles across the globe, you won’t be able to sit at your purpose-built workstation and plow away through your assignments. You will need to think smartly about what you take. Here are some pointers:
- Condense your reading list and invest in an e-reader
- Get yourself a Wi-Fi hotspot capable of global travel – you don’t want to be left in the dark at any time
- A secure portable hard drive will mean your assignments can stay backed up away from prying eyes
- You’re going to need a travel-savvy laptop to stay connected to the world and complete your assignments
Those are the absolute essentials, everything else you can make up as you go along depending on the experience you want to have.
Is That the Time?
Remember that when you’re on the opposite side of the world you will change time zones – so rushing to meet your 9 AM deadline, at 9 AM, might make you late. Luckily, any decent smartphone will come with a clock that can tap into any time zone, so you can set an alarm for your zone back home and never miss a beat.
Draw Up an Itinerary That Works
When you work out your travel itinerary, make sure you carefully consider your schedule. For example, if you have a full-on week of deadlines while you’re away, don’t have all of your heavy sightseeing destinations crammed into the same week. Instead, why not plan to visit somewhere calming where you can just vanish into the background? You will feel a lot more at ease with life knowing that you’re not losing valuable deadline time because you’re stuck seeing the pyramids and riding camels.
Virtual Private Network
There’s a good chance that when you’re traveling, there will be certain restrictions set by some countries to restrict internet access – meaning you could be left unable to access imperative research documents. A Virtual Private Network (VPN), allows you to hide your IP address by giving your device an encrypted network assigned to a country of your choosing. You will be able to access the work that you need and your data will be secure from potential hackers, meaning that your important assignments will be safe and sound.
Make sure that you read up on the different rules and limitations for the use of VPNs set by different countries.
Remember the Benefits
The greatest appeal to completing your masters while you tick off your bucket list is that you don’t have to sacrifice your ambitions to find fulfillment – keep this in mind if you find yourself feeling a little overwhelmed. You will be gaining new experiences all of the time which you can add to your resume. Given that you are doing a remote course and will be isolated from your peers, you may as well be doing something exciting and it will give you good grounds to make conversation.
Not to be a party pooper, but there are some obvious drawbacks to consider when it comes to traveling alongside a master’s – they might not be enough to put you off, but it’s important to understand both sides of a coin. When you’re busy traveling and surrounded by so much excitement, you might find it difficult to motivate yourself to study. After all, who wants to write a thesis when the bustling Peruvian markets are sitting on your doorstep? Making sure you have a sensible schedule that means you don’t feel like you are missing out while working will help with that.
Further, because you aren’t familiar with your surroundings and you can’t just head down to the local library to switch off, you might find it difficult to locate a place that is conducive to work. Before you embark on your exciting journey, it might be worth putting some time in to mark local coffee shops or hostels designed for students. Finally, the most obvious drawback is money, so unless you can benefit from the bank of mom and dad or you’re sat on an enormous trust fund, then some planning will be handy – when you work out your itinerary, make sure you calculate your total costs to the letter.
There’s no arguing that fulfilling your academic goals alongside ticking off your bucket list will be a challenge, but that’s part of the fun, isn’t it? By the time you’ve finished and returned home, you will be full of stories and fantastic experiences, that you’ll have forgotten about why you were worried in the first place. The most important thing to remember is how beneficial traveling will be to your studies – by increasing your overall cognition and productivity, as well as relieving stress. Your resume will stand out amongst your peers who have done nothing extra with their time. When you apply for future jobs, employers will be impressed that you managed to pull off the enormous task of traveling the world and getting a high-quality master’s under your belt at the same time.
Wherever you end up going, make sure you make lots of memories, learn new things, and have the best time ever.