Covid 19: How Losing My Grad Trip Made Me Rethink My Priorities

Losing a grad trip I longed for

Two days before headlines started hitting the news about how Covid-19 was ravaging Italy, I booked plane tickets for my one-month grad trip across Europe which included two weeks in Italy. In the weeks that followed, I quickly realized that the trip was not going to happen. However, the disappointment was delayed because I was grappling with the even more intense disappointment of losing my last two months of senior year.  

While I’ll never get those last moments of college back, I’ve been able to have a more optimistic view regarding my trip. Travel will always be an option to me. This experience has taught me two things.

1. You can’t dwell on something that didn’t happen. You must work towards something that can happen. 

2. Exploration and adventure can happen at home and it can be just as fulfilling—if not more—as travel.  

Putting things into perspective because of the pandemic

The pandemic has shown me more than anything that travel really is and will be a priority in my life. I haven’t yet had the chance to travel a lot. There were some opportunities that I’ve passed up on, and I somewhat regret that. The fact that I still have that dogged desire to go places is proof that this should be something I prioritize in my life going forward.

One of the main things I’m worried about as I enter the work world is that I will get so busy that I will always push off my travel dreams until a “better time”. I’ve made the promise to myself that I will keep international travel a priority.  

In the meantime, I’ve been spending my days doing things that have made me more fulfilled and excited. I’ve miraculously been able to gain the feelings I expected from my trip abroad at home. The first thing I’m doing is developing some graphic design skills from online tutorials and through experimentation on my iPad.

Prioritising what’s important

It feels amazing just to freely play again—something I haven’t done since I was a child. The other thing I’m doing is creating and growing my new blog, Two Cents with Julia. This has given me a feeling of purpose that’s easy to lose in this period of isolation. 

For example, I recently wrote an article where I discussed what I am going to do with the funds for my trip. There are also some great budgeting tips on there—even ones that relate to travelling. My blog has given me such a feeling of purpose that’s easy to lose in this period of isolation.

For anyone else struggling with feelings of loss whether it be from the cancellation of a trip, event, or even the deeper loss of a job or loved one, I encourage you to seek those things that spur life and energy in you. Travel is all about reaching new horizons and gaining new experiences. In a time when travel is impossible, it is important to remember that we can do these at home. It just may take some time to find it. 

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Julia Reyes

“Adulting can be hard. I want to help twenty-something’s figure it out so that we can focus on following our dreams and having fun.”

A recent college grad who enjoys writing about all things personal finance and adulting. My favorite thing to do is crunching numbers so you don’t have to!