You’ve been in school all your life and all of a sudden, you’re done. You can do literally anything you want and you definitely deserve a break between the constant schooling you’ve had since you were 5 years old and a grown-up job. It’s time to travel, and here are 12 destinations I highly recommend going to as a recent college graduate, and I have pretty solid reasons why too.
I haven’t been here yet, but it’s #1 on my list. Ever heard the term “Pura Vida” (pure life)? It’s basically one of the chillest of the chill phrases and is pretty much the slogan of the country. I know many people who have been to Costa Rica, whether it’s just for a vacation, to live and work there, or the most popular option, to get a *TEFL certificate!
This country is definitely on the list of top five places I need to go. I have been to a few countries in Southeast Asia and there’s a few reasons it’s such a popular backpacking destination amongst today’s youth: it’s generally cheap and safe. I know even more people who got their TEFL in Thailand and there are programs that give you a guaranteed teaching job placement after you complete your TEFL Course, such as “TEFL Heaven”. https://www.teflheaven.com
I was in Israel for 3 whole weeks this past summer. I did a program called “Birthright” and every Jew between the ages of 18-26 is eligible (with some restrictions) for this 10-day completely FREE program! I couldn’t believe it was real until I actually did it. Hotel accommodation and two meals per day are 100% paid for and most importantly, YOU GET A FREE ROUNDTRIP FLIGHT TO ISRAEL! There’s no better time to do it than right after you graduate because you have absolutely no commitments. ALSO, you can “extend your stay” for up to 3 months so my brother and I backpacked to 7 OTHER countries, then casually headed back to Israel 2 months later for our free flight back. Unreal. If you ain’t Jewish though, sorry, you’re not cool enough for the program! Learn more about Birthright here: http://www.birthrightisrael.com
Yet another country that’s on the “top five places I need to go” list. I WILL go to Australia before I turn 30, hopefully way sooner than that. I say 30 because there’s a thing called a “Work and Holiday Visa” that Americans can get where they can legally work and travel in Australia for up to a year, and you can only obtain one if you are between the ages of 18-30. The biggest restriction is you cannot work at one set place for over 6 months, so technically you can get 2 jobs within the year that you’re there (or if you want to stay for a shorter amount of time that’s cool too). I know some people who got the visa and are living the life and I myself am eager to go down undah to Oz and find myself a cute Aussie boy. For more info: https://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1/462-
Same schpiel as Australia. Many people obtain both an Australia and New Zealand visa at the same time to take full advantage of being on that side of the earth where all the criminals and deadly stuff are. I definitely would not miss out on going here because going to the shire and seeing a real live Hobbit hole is definitely on my bucket list.
The third country where you can get a working holiday visa. You must have attended a university that is on some list that states the top 200 universities for overall academic performance (mine isn’t on there so I angrily closed the computer tab when I saw that). Lucky for me, I’ve already been to Singapore and it’s a huge melting pot and an insanely cool place, but the alcohol is so pricey: I ordered 1 mimosa and it turned out being $35. FML.
Fourth country you can get a work and holiday visa, but hurry, because you are only eligible if you are enrolled in college or have graduated up to 1 year ago. I just took a 20 minute break typing this up because I realized I only have one more month until I am no longer eligible, so maybe I’ll suddenly pop up in Ireland next week. Who knows? I’ve been to Ireland before and it’s a beautiful, green and loud country that I absolutely loved. I highly recommend going. Even just sitting in the pub listening to old drunk men talk is so much fun.
This is the last place you can get a working holiday visa. This is also a great place to go after you graduate because South Korea is in need of many teachers! You can skip the whole TEFL course and go straight into teaching, they’re that desperate. I almost applied to a program at the beginning of 2016 but realized I didn’t really care about being in South Korea for a long period of time. But to each his own; I heard that place is pretty cool! Here’s info about the visa’s for these past 5 countries: https://www.gooverseas.com/blog/americans-guide-working-holiday-visas
ROAD TRIP AROUND THE USA:
One of my friends plans on taking a solo road trip around the US soon. I mean, if you have a car, some money and no prior commitments, might as well go for it! You might never feel so free again.
BACKPACK SOUTH AMERICA:
This is such a popular thing to do for people who have just finished college! I also talked to many IDF soldiers while in Israel and a lot of them are planning on (or are currently) backpacking South America to celebrate completing their mandatory couple years of service in the Israeli army. There are many hostels scattered about and it is very youth friendly, so might as well go while you’re still young. This is definitely something I would love to do in my life because the vast majority of countries are Spanish-speaking and I WILL be fluent in Spanish…eventually. Also, there’s just something about Argentina that’s calling to me…
“My house in Budapest, my hidden treasure chest”. George Ezra was right when he sang about this hidden treasure chest. I didn’t know what to expect from Budapest when I went there this past summer. I was with family in Croatia and had a friend who was in Budapest at the time, so I decided to go. Such.an.underrated.place. Beautiful, big gold buildings, a river separating the older “Buda” and younger “Pest” side, thermal baths, and crazy nightlife. I stayed at a party hostel called “Retox Party Hostel” which I HIGHLY recommend, and met amazing people there who were mostly in their mid-20s. Thermal bath light parties, river cruises, and amazing food…it’s a must before turning 30. I wish I made it to other places in Hungary but I only had a few days so next time!
Last and definitely not least, Spain has my heart. This is on the list as a personal opinion that everyone should try to make it to Spain someday if you haven’t been already. I’m lucky enough to have been 3 times within the past 4 years, and every time I am awestruck. The food, the culture, the people, the language, the landscape, the architecture…everything is breathtaking. I’ve been to Seville, Madrid and Barcelona, and I love all the cities but Barcelona is my #1 favorite city in the entire world.
So those are 12 ideas for where to go for your post-grad travels if you have the time and money! I feel like I’ve learned more from traveling than what I’ve learned in school so I encourage everyone to get out there and see the world! Where did you go, plan to go, or wish you went after graduating college?
*TEFL=“Teaching English as a Foreign Language”. You can take courses in many countries and it usually takes about a month of an intensive class to become certified to teach.