A gap year is when you take a break from work or studying and often go travelling. It provides the perfect time to have experiences that may be harder to have later in life, as well as travel and see more of the world. If you’ve been considering a gap year (or maybe have never thought of it), then keep reading. Here are reasons why you should take a gap year and travel.
A break from work or studies
A gap year can be taken at any time, but are often taken before university, after university, or even a break during your career. A gap year provides a great opportunity to have a break allowing you to think about your future, gather your thoughts and hopefully return back to work or your studies feeling sharper and more focused. You may then have a clearer idea on the path you want to follow in life and make better and more thought out decisions.
Good use of time
Once you get into full-time employment it gets so much harder to travel. You’ll be restricted by holiday/vacation allowance which in some countries can be really low. If you’re lucky you may work for a company that allows sabbaticals. This is where you get time off from your job for around one month to a year, but your job doesn’t disappear and you can then go back to it afterwards. Unfortunately, only select companies offer this benefit so if travelling and taking a gap year is something you are keen to do, then you should either do this before university, after university or even between jobs.
Volunteering and giving back
Going on a gap year can be a great way to spend your time giving back. You’ll find tons of volunteering opportunities on sites such as Workaway, and these can be for destinations all over the world. You don’t need to volunteer for a whole year either, instead, you could volunteer for a few weeks, have a break, travel, and then volunteer somewhere else.
Learn new skills
Going on a gap year may allow you to learn new skills, or gain experiences that’ll help you in your career. For example, you could learn new languages, get experience working with animals and so much more. Some of these things you may be able to put on your resume, which might make you stand out against other candidates.
See more of the world
Of course, taking a gap year and travelling will provide lots of incredible travel opportunities. As a result, you’ll get to see so much more of the world, which results in a great understanding of different people and cultures and the opportunity to have experiences of a lifetime. These are just some of the benefits of travelling but there are many more.
Make great friends along the way
Many people who travel for long periods of time will stay in budget accommodation such as hostels, or even get involved in tours and social events. This allows you to meet other travellers and as a result, you sometimes meet people who you’ll share fantastic experiences with and you may end up being friends for life.
It’s important to save before you travel on a gap year. If you are a student then one way of doing this is to get a temp job over the summer straight after graduating, or getting a part-time job while you are studying. If you are working then this makes it a bit easier and you’ll have a lot more regular income that you can save towards your travels.