Life is full of decisions. The chicken or the steak? A glass of red or white? If only the big decision of your formative years was as easily made as your vino preference — or come to think of it, as cheap.

The big decision I speak of is neither cheap, nor easy to make and unlike the ability to end up ‘double parked’ with a glass of both red and white, society says you can pick and one only. So the choice is yours. Do you A) travel the world on a one-way ticket or B) buy yourself a house?

When you look at facts, it’s nothing more than a simple numbers game. Sure, I almost failed year 10 general maths but even I can get my head around this one without a cheat sheet. Statistically, the average person on the average wage simply won’t have enough coin to do both before they’re 30. Unless of course you dipped into the family trust fund early or were an overachieving teenage app inventor (annoying), the truth is, money is bloody hard to come by in your 20s.

One in three gen Y’s have themselves a university degree, so for a lot of us, the capacity to work early on has only ever been on a part-time basis. Regardless of how many Sunday shifts you haul your hung-over backside out of bed for, or the amount tips you get from creeps, it’ll never be enough to wipe clean the tens of thousands you’ll owe the government post-degree (happy graduation).

For those who were able to dive straight into the workforce without the 30 grand piece of paper or the funny graduation hat, minimum wages are exactly that — minimum. And climbing the industry ladder takes time and hardcore budgeting to even consider saving.

So how is the great Australian dream of owning your own home complete with Hills hoist and a barbecue fit for shrimp-throwing remotely possible with such astronomical property prices?

The security of your own bricks and mortar is something that’s instilled in us from day dot. But I don’t recall the Simpsons or the Brady Bunch ever mentioning a landlord or rental inspections. Society says that if you don’t own you own place by a certain age you’ve failed, as if owning 13% of the roof over your head rather than paying a stranger to live under theirs somehow validates you.

At times, I’ve felt ashamed for renting BUT THE LIGHT GLOBES GET REPLACED FOR FREE SO IT’S ALL GOOD! I rest my case.

To choose between the great Australian dream of homeownership and an Australian rite of passage in seeing the world, it’s near impossible to decide. Travelling the globe expands horizons and provides invaluable life skills since you’re constantly out of your comfort zone. It teaches you strength, resilience, social skills and gives you self-confidence.

Seeing the world on a one-way ticket changes people, inspires them, challenges them and their savings account. Plus it’s the perfect opportunity for a new Facebook profile pic. Hello classic ‘pushing over the leaning tower of Pisa’ shot!

No matter what you decide — to either see the world or create your own behind a white picket fence, there should be no judgment from those around you. The expectations of what we ‘should’ have seen by this age or ‘should’ have bought by the next is ludicrous.

Each person is unique and so is the value they place on what’s important and when.

As for me, I’ll keep coughing up cash to a landlord until I feel good and ready to knock down the bank man’s door (especially since I hear he can be real prick).

Author Kristie Mercer

Kristie Mercer is one half of The Thinkergirls — who love to chat on their podcast about all the thoughts you’re thinking but not saying. Find the girls on Facebook or Youtube.

More posts by Kristie Mercer

Leave a Reply