So you've graduated from college and gotten that "real world" job that you've been chasing after for so long. You're a few years into it and are starting to realize that the 14 days of vacation that you're allotted, quickly get filled up with wedding weekends, baby showers, birthdays, wisdom teeth removals and things that you necessarily didn't think would fill up your free time for the year. Maybe in college you took a few months and traveled abroad, maybe you joined AmeriCorps or PeaceCorps and traveled the world for a year and had the ability to take in the worlds glory at no real expense.
You're life is not over, don't worry. Here are some tips to help you get through the transition of "total freedom" and what people in their early twenties like to call "the real world".
1. You now have an income that you probably didn't have before. Although year long excursions across the world may not be in the cards for you, take a weekend trip and treat yourself to the finer things (dinner, a massage, a nicer hotel) and take pride in the fact that you aren't sharing a room with 20 other people in a hostel you found online, only to find that your passport was stolen over night.
2. Find a few friends that are at a similar point in there life. It helps to find one or two friends that have created their independence, have a job and understand that the 14 day vacation day threshold you're under is serious business. Make these people your travel buddies.
3. Once you have your travel buddies, start every year out by sending them a group email to go ahead and hammer out dates for your next destination before your time gets filled with other things and it's too late.
4. Alternate between bigger trips and smaller trips. If you go big and fly out to NYC and stay in a hotel in downtown Manhattan, attend a Broadway show and eat on roof tops, the next year find a more modest, eclectic adventure to scratch your travel itch.
5. The United States has a lot to offer, don't fall into the trap of thinking that traveling doesn't count unless your on a plane for 15+ hours headed for Europe!
We're only a few days into 2014, if you haven't already put in your vacation schedule to the boss man, maybe it's time to reconnect with your college roommates (or whoever you have in mind) and make things happen for yourself.