“So… I’m going to Japan in July before I start med school.”
My brother told me this while I was on the phone driving back from OSCEs several weeks ago. I have to admit, I was slightly upset but immediately word vomited all of the amazing sights he should see and things he should do in his short stay there. I’ve been dreaming of going to Japan since I was in the 7th grade but every chance I had the time to take a trip, my studious side would always say, “but you need to work so you can go to med school.” Every summer and winter break, I remember working either a full-time job or sitting in a small room spending hours on Excel, working on research. I’d always tell myself, “next year will be the year you can take a vacation.” I think I’ve told myself this for eight straight years!
Part of me also feels extremely guilty spending money on big trips or things for myself but as I’m entering my fourth year of medical school, I’ve come to realize I haven’t done as much with my life that I’ve wanted to because of my aspirations. My parents were the type to teach us to be extremely cautious with our money so we didn’t take many trips growing up. But I believe that there can be a balance of being smart with your money and also enjoying life. This will be the only time in my life where I will be single, childless, and unattached so I might as well take advantage of it!
So, I have decided to make a checklist of things I want to do and places I want to see during my fourth year in between rotations. In the past year, I’ve traveled more than I ever have to various cities in the states, with my most recent trip to Disney World. It took nearly 27 years of my life to allow myself to make a trip there and I think that was just what I needed to combat the stress of med school. With budgeting, use of some savings, and strategic rotation scheduling, I’m hoping to see more of this world this year. Japan? Europe? Hawaii? Who knows! I’m very excited for what the 2017-2018 year will hold.