A few weeks ago, I applied for a six-month copywriter intern position in a company based in Peru. I passed the first screening and got interviewed. A few days after the interview, I was told I didn’t get the position. A week after that, I received another e-mail from their HR department saying, I can have the job if I am still interested. I got excited but then I asked how much they were paying. They said it was only enough to cover my food and transportation costs monthly. The company do, however, pay for my accommodations including utilities, internet, a maid that cleans the house bi-weekly, as well as Spanish lessons.
I wanted to go. Like everyone else I thought that it might be a once in a lifetime opportunity. The amount of posts advising young adults like me to quit my job and travel the world sounds very tempting.
It took me a lot of time figuring out the pros and cons of going. I also talked to family and friends to listen to what they think.
In the end, I decided not to take it and here are my reasons why:
- I don’t want to worry about money – Money is not everything but money does put food on the table, pays your bills, and allows you to splurge and spoil yourself from time to time. If I went to Peru, I would have to use up all my savings to pay for my bills back in Canada for six months as my monthly salary in Peru is just enough to cover my expenses in Peru. I would also need to borrow money from my Dad to buy a ticket to Peru. I was not ready to use all my pennies and come back to Canada in July with no money and more debt. It’s just not a good idea financially, at the moment.
- I had to give up my job – Ever since I was little I have always wanted to be a journalist. I went to school for journalism, took me a year after graduation to finally get my first job as a reporter (which was in a super small town 8 hours away from family/friends/city life), and it took me six months after that to find a company close enough to Calgary where my family and friends are. I like my job. My work place/job is not perfect but I like it. I like it enough that I am not ready to quit it. Looking back and realizing how it was not easy to get to where I am now made me decide it just isn’t time for me to go. I don’t dread going to work and I think I am one of those lucky people who don’t feel like work is something I need escaping from. Plus, my current job pays for my bills, puts dollar bills in my savings account, and still have enough money that allows me to travel.
- I took it as a challenge to prove that having a 9 to 5 job and traveling is possible – Yes, us 9-to-5ers may have to travel in shorter periods of time and may have to spend much more money at a time compared to those people who travel full time, but it is possible. I can be a “responsible” adult who has a stable job, with a steady income and who can also be “carefree” for two weeks a year in some foreign land :P. Yes, I can have it all. There is no need to give one up for the other. You want to have both? Have both!
- The timing isn’t right – Like they say, there is a right time for everything. Maybe this isn’t my time. I don’t know.
Despite everything mentioned above, if the opportunity like this comes along again and the circumstances changed, then yes, I would choose to go. But right now, having weighed all the risks/consequences/rewards of both options, this seems like the “better” choice for me. I can sleep better at night with this decision of not going than if I have chosen to go.
With that being said, don’t fret! I will find my way to Peru some day! Macchu Pichu and llamas? Yes, please!