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Is It Too Late To Change? What The College Majors Of Travel Bloggers Can Teach Us

benjamin button3 Is It Too Late To Change? What The College Majors Of Travel Bloggers Can Teach UsFor what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.” – From The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button

“A year from now you may wish you had started today.” ― Karen Lamb

If only I could go back 5 years and do things a bit differently… Study something different in school. Study harder. Do an extra semester of travel. Get a job with a passionate entrepreneur who could teach me the ropes. If only…

“If only. Those must be the two saddest words in the world.”
- Mercedes Lackey

Your thoughts might be a little different than mine, but the idea of lost time and past regret sounds familiar… Right?

We all do it. But we shouldn’t.

Because the funny thing is, no matter when you come to the realization of what you want to be doing, it’s never too late.

I was thinking about this a few weeks ago when I sent out this tweet:

Travel Bloggers: What was your major?

I was curious to see what college majors travel bloggers studied in college because they definitely didn’t study travel blogging. Their responses are a great example of how it is never too late to change who you are, what you do, and who you surround yourself with.

So Steph, Ali, and Dave all studied English and now they all write for a living. They’re doing exactly what they studied for!

I highly doubt that :).

But what they did do was take what they studied and apply it to what they wanted to do. Instead of regretting studying English and how an English degree isn’t a free pass to travel, they forged their own careers combining what they know and what they wished.

In these tweets by Erin, Brooke, Melanie, and Melissa, you can definitely connect the dots between travel blogging and what they studied… but there is no direct correlation.

What ties them together is that they made their own path and probably even found some uses for their majors that they didn’t think of when they were getting their diploma’s.

This one is my favorite, because most of us would never think a teaching degree could lead to travel. But not Kate! She didn’t think that just because she studied teaching in Canada that she was stuck in one place. She took action and moved to New Zealand (!) and has taught primary school there for the past 4 years.

So let me ask you: What did you study in college and are you in a related career now? Is it what you want to be doing? Please share in the comments below!

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{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

Liz smith July 30, 2013 at 9:52 am

Love this post – so inspiring! I have an undergrad and graduate degree in Marketing. I’m lucky enough to work in my field, but I desire so much more! I have a passion for travel, history, art, and just learning about other cultures.

Right now I work for a big corporation, but I have always yearned to start my own business. Recently launched a travel blog with my husband and best friend (www.PeanutsOrPretzels.com) and we plan on taking a leap of faith next year to quit our jobs and lead the life we want! We need time to explore the world and explore different entrepreneurial opportunities (not just blogging) and we can’t do that with our current stressful jobs.

Thanks you again for the inspiration. It’s true, you can live the life you want, but it takes courage to forge your own path and not take the easy, well work path of everyone else.

Happy Travels!

Liz
http://Www.PeanutsOrPretzels.com

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Tony July 30, 2013 at 2:33 pm

I love everything about his comment, Liz!

Sounds like we were/are in the same boat as you! We were both in corporate jobs and just decided that it wasn’t the live we wanted to pursue. The travel blog has been incredible for us as far as meeting amazing people and experiencing some new things we couldn’t have had without it, but we are still interested in starting businesses outside the site as well. Working on those now!

Traveling was incredible, but definitely made it harder to start anything outside of the blog. We took our travel time to really think about what we wanted and to learn as much as we could about working online.

I checked out your site and I can’t believe you got to walk St. Andrews! Super jealous…..

Your marketing degree should definitely come in handy when trying to grow your audience and in whatever business you decide to start!

-Tony

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Beth July 30, 2013 at 9:55 am

I guess mine is a bit related, my majors were East Asian Languages and Cutlures and Photography!

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Tony July 30, 2013 at 2:36 pm

I love it, Beth!

You definitely took what you studied and put it to good use! Although I wonder how many other people with similar majors took your route… I would bet anything that you took what you know and created the life you wanted from it. So awesome!

-Tony

P.S. Having a delicious shot of ice cream on your homepage is just cheating… now I’m starving!

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ehalvey July 30, 2013 at 9:58 am

Thanks for including my tweet :)

There’s quite a few of us art history majors floating around. I’ve never regretted majoring in what I love, but I do wish I had taken some design or computer science classes in college. That would have opened up more doors earlier.

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Tony July 30, 2013 at 2:40 pm

Thanks for tweeting in the first place, Erin!

Art history as a major would seem to attract a certain type of person that might love travel, so that totally makes sense! But you definitely need to build on that foundation to have success in an online business.

Agree on taking design and CS classes… I wish I had to! But at least we’re learning now, right? Like the quote said… better to learn today instead of wishing we had a year from now :)

-Tony

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Mike July 30, 2013 at 12:18 pm

I was Political Science, Public Administration, and 3-D Art. The liberal education degree definitely helped prepare me for life. It’s great to see that so many other travel bloggers studied similar things that were not geared towards one specific field – engineering (what my dad wanted me to study)

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Tony July 30, 2013 at 2:43 pm

Love the variety in those majors, Mike. Super diverse.

The thing I’m seeing in all of the responses is that no matter you studied, you can apply certain aspects of it to anything. It just takes someone who is driven and doesn’t get boxed in by regret.

Love the name MaplessMike by the way. So perfect!

-Tony

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Jess July 30, 2013 at 2:04 pm

Graduated December 2012 with an Accounting major and minor in Mandarin! I love accounting, but I definitely am aiming to work part time/location independent to travel!

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Tony July 30, 2013 at 2:45 pm

I graduated with a business degree and went into finance, Jess… so I am right there with you!

I didn’t love accounting per se… but since I was in banking I only had to read the financial statements. Making them is a whole other beast!

That accounting degree will definitely come in handy in terms of budgeting. Best of luck on your work towards location independent travel and let us know how it goes! We’re working ourselves on trying to make this lifestyle permanent.

-Tony

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Christy July 30, 2013 at 2:55 pm

Interesting post. I studied photography and haven’t regretted it for a second. I knew what I wanted to do at a young age, so that’s what I put my time, energy and money into. In my twenties, I thought I should get a “real job” so I learned bookkeeping on the job and it has been a great way to work part time while also focusing on photography again in my early thirties. Haha. Funny how life works out.

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Tony July 30, 2013 at 3:03 pm

Thanks, Christy. I was really interested to see the backgrounds people started with and what they are doing now.

I love your example! You almost did it the reverse of others. Instead of getting a job in what you studied in order to finance what you really wanted to do, you studied what you really wanted to do and financed it with a good paying job. Smart!

-Tony

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Erik July 31, 2013 at 2:26 pm

Thought provoking post. I got my BFA in art/graphic design with a minor in Spanish. By day I design websites and by night I try to gallivant around the globe and blog. It took me forever to get a “real” job coming out of college a few years ago but that time also helped me to realize just how much I love travel and love to write about it. Great post!

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Tony July 31, 2013 at 8:35 pm

Great story, Erik! I’m glad to hear that you have been able to make your own career and not have to stay with a “real” job.

I saw from you site that you wrote about Zion national park… I have heard such amazing thigns! It is definitely on my top places in the US to visit. Thanks for making me even more intrigued…

-Tony

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Johnny August 1, 2013 at 12:35 am

I was an Educational Theater undergrad, English grad. I work in IT and have been trying to escape for 10 years. Your Ben Button quote cuts deep. This is the year that I start over though… well early next year. It takes planning sometimes.

It’s a peculiar thing, this college situation we have. I don’t regret the lessons learned in college at all. I majored in exactly what I wanted and it opened my mind in ways I was hoping it would… but it also left me with debt and the need to find a way to repay it, which led me to IT.

It isn’t a terrible. I find some joy in it at times and sometimes I’m decent at it. I’m not passionate about it though. I’m a firm believer in feeling passion for what you do. You’ll never be truly happy doing anything you don’t feel passionate about. At least I wouldn’t… I won’t… I don’t… I’m working on it.

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Tony August 1, 2013 at 12:19 pm

Glad that Ben Button quote resonated, Johnny! It did for me too.

Passion is always tricky. Even with things you love, if you try to make money off of them you can lose your desire. I think the key is doing something that makes you passionate about your future.

I felt the same way in my old career and had no passion to grow further in my job. I’m still trying to figure things out now, but am having way more fund doing it. All we can do is acknowledge where we are and continue to work on it… at least that’s what i’m doing.

Sounds like you’re on the right track too!

-Tony

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Adam August 1, 2013 at 6:07 am

Funny – I’ve been thinking of this recently as some close friends and family are starting new degrees. I’m pretty happy with my educational background because I think it’s made a good fit for what I’ve ended up doing. Started out studying Journalism but then went on to get my degrees in Communication/Advertising, Art History and worked professionally as a graphic designer for a publishing company! It does sort of feel like everything has led up to NOW. And I like it like that!

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Tony August 1, 2013 at 12:22 pm

What an awesome place to be in, Adam!

I bet too that if you went back in time and asked any of those earlier versions of yourself, they would be astonished to see what you have made for yourself. Says a lot about the power of continuing to push yourself, be curious, and learn new things.

Nowadays it is so easy to learn almost anything with online tools that are freely available. The harder part might be proving your talent to others, but that is not impossible. Really makes me think twice about going back for further formal education…

“It does sort of feel like everything has led up to NOW.”

Seriously… that is a great quote. What an amazing feeling and spot to be in. I think that’s the state we all strive to be in!

-Tony

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Ali August 4, 2013 at 7:25 am

International business with a concentration in insurance and a minor in Spanish. I never want to work in insurance again. I’m living in Germany, sadly not using my Spanish much. But I love traveling, and I’m currently trying to figure out what I want to do with myself, so who knows what I’ll come up with!

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Tony August 4, 2013 at 12:23 pm

A concentration in Insurance?!?! I didn’t know that was possible!

I got a general business degree, but focused a lot on finance and went into banking… and i’m right with you! Never again!

The figuring out process is tough… but also so fun! I’m doing the same thing now and need to start making some of these ideas a reality so that I don’t have to go back to the corporate life :)

Thanks for sharing, Ali!

-Tony

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Ali August 4, 2013 at 12:27 pm

The really sad thing is I picked insurance because it fit my schedule. It meant I only had classes 2 or 3 days a week that semester. Pathetic!

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Tony August 4, 2013 at 5:50 pm

HA! I chose my courses solely on stacking my schedule so that I could have a 4-5 day weekend… i like the way you think!

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magz August 11, 2013 at 4:32 pm

Love this post – always crazy to see what people studied, where their passions took them and how they paved the way for their career.

Studied communication with an emphasis in broadcast journalism and now work as a broadcaster – didn’t stray too far (yet!). Buuuuut would love to add some type of culinary/eating education in there as well… maybe some more ‘on the job’ experience as an eater?! This has GOT to be a thing.

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Tony August 12, 2013 at 8:20 am

Wow…. you nailed your major! Nice work :)

Some type of continuing education makes a lot of sense though. Doesn’t have to be paid either or fully formal. Maybe just sign up for a few week long cooking classes somewhere. You never know what opportunities lie ahead so it’s best to keep being curious and learn new things!

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Cat of Sunshine and Siestas August 13, 2013 at 5:58 am

Joining a bit late. I studied journalism with the intent of moving abroad for a year to become fluent in Spanish, and started my blog about my experiences. Since then, it’s certainly grown and changed form more than a few times, but I think my love for writing has helped me keep Sunshine and Siestas going. I learned a bit about web design, took an editing course, and learned to write for human interested stories, but my summer abroad in Spain really set the course.

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Tony August 13, 2013 at 9:17 am

Sometimes all it takes is that first step, Cat!

You could probably say it all started for me when I went and studied abroad in college as well… it just took me 5 years after I graduated to fully know what I wanted. Journalism is a great major for an online writer… definitely gives you the skills to find a good story and to know how to tell it.

Sounds like running the blog has also given you a lot of new skills… something I definitely encourage everyone to do!

Thanks for the great comment, Cat!

PS… did you ever become fluent in Spanish?

-Tony

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Cat of Sunshine and Siestas August 14, 2013 at 5:21 am

Sí señor! Helped meeting a Spanish guy right off the plane :)

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Tony August 14, 2013 at 9:55 am

Heyoooo!!! Love it!

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Tamara (@Turtlestravel) August 22, 2013 at 8:00 pm

My major was East Asian Language and Culture (Japanese) with a concentration in Anthropology. Not quite sure of the connection to what I do now, but it was what I loved to study. We (the other half of TurtlesTravel.com) and I work in mobile/experiential marketing. We work on contract, traveling both for the job and in between those contracts. We hope to break out and be entirely free and independent one of these days soon…still working on how to generate enough income to survive!

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Tony August 23, 2013 at 5:56 pm

It sounds like most of us our working on that independent income problem!

Sounds like maybe your majors and concentration fit in nicely with your love of travel…

Thanks for the great comment, Tamara! Love seeing what people studied and what they are doing now.

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Zaid November 11, 2013 at 5:04 pm

I studied Comp Science and Info Systems Honors.
Great to know the backgrounds of others in the community. Somehow I feel that specific university studies don’t make you more likely to be a blogger. I feel it’s something inside each person – a passion, curiosity, and desire for adventure and to socialise

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Tony November 12, 2013 at 1:14 pm

Well said, Zaid!

Part of my intention with this article was to show people that there is nothing you need to learn or study in order to try something new like travel blogging. It just takes the courage to think differently and the curiosity to explore all opprotunities!

Thanks for reading :)

-Tony

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Becky November 13, 2013 at 3:04 pm

I majored in Mathematics with a minor in Economics. Just a tad different from writing… :) But I started blogging about the value prospect of using frequent flyer miles and other travel rewards to help fund trips and once I realized how much I like to write (and what I like to write about), my topics of choice evolved to where my blog is today.

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Tony November 13, 2013 at 3:14 pm

oooo I love the connection of your major to blogging, Becky!

Kind of fitting how you used what you know, the study of value, and combined it with something that interested you… travel. What a great launching off point!

Really highlights that while what you study doesn’t necessarily lead to what you do in life, you can always be creative with how you use your degree :)

Thanks for sharing such a good one!

-Tony

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Steve C November 22, 2013 at 4:08 pm

Hi Tony, I’m new to your blog today and found this topic interesting. Although I’m at the other end of life, :) you might find a retired, fellow traveler’s point of view an addition to your college major research.

My degree was in construction technology, drafting with a minor in philosophy. I’m retired now, but totally enjoyed 34 years as a general engineering construction estimator and project manager. My connection with you would be that I took a midlife retirement for four years to travel, backpacking around the world when I was 38. With that and other vacations, I’ve been to 58 countries over the years. As my first job quickly diverted me from drawing engineering plans and into estimating such diverse projects as water treatment plants, bridges and even a football stadium, my passion has always been visit, observe and photograph all things that man has constructed over thousands of years. Yes, I’m a ruin freak.

Now for the blog connection; As my RTW trip was 25 years ago, (pre- computer era), I did keep detailed diaries of the whole trip. Now that I’m retired and the kids have grown, I’m off again to travel the world, only to quit when either my mind or body give out. I’m thinking of doing a blog this time but as I don’t need any type of income that a blog might generate, it would be only for my own (and daughters) edification, a new-age diary or sorts. I’m much more inclined to just enjoy traveling and not so much tying myself down to pecking away on a laptop. Most of my working life was in front of a computer screen, trekking my way through technical software.

As my life has taken many turns and bounces, take it from one who’s been there and done that; Always allow for Serendipity!

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Tony November 24, 2013 at 1:27 pm

Always allow for serendipity…

What great advice, Steve!

So great that you were able to take 4 years to travel in your late 30′s and even cooler that you’re heading out to travel again! Definitely hear you about blogging this time around, although it is a great way to preserve some of your memories.

At the very least, be sure to stay active on social media as we have made a ton of friends traveling by connecting on Twitter & Facebook!

Thanks for the great comment and inspiration.

-Tony

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