The gap year. The, at times, mythical concept that you always hear about, but barely ever legitimately consider. And you’d have to guess that overall, the majority of university and school-leavers like us don’t take a gap year. But even academics think we should be taking some time off to travel and explore.
There’s plenty of real-life experience you get out of them, and let’s be real, it doesn’t have to be overseas. It can be locally, interstate or even just a change from your usual life/routine. There are plenty of free gap year programs out there, and we’ve got some little tips to help you pack your bags and start planning.
Well.. You’re Not Getting Any Younger
Don’t be that person that regrets being too lazy to organise traveling after school, then finds themselves with a full-time job straight out of uni. That lifestyle doesn’t sound too bad I’m sure, but a gap year is precisely the time that you won’t mind enduring overnight trains, an abundance of two-minute noodles and sharing a room with nine other people. Think about it, the older you get, the more different the experience.
And let’s face it, traveling as a reckless teen or in your early 20s will more than likely give you some of the craziest stories to tell ‘ya grandkids. Book it now before you get into a settled routine.
Travelling Is Cheaper When You’re Young
There’s nothing better than cheap travel. And being fresh out of school means you probably haven’t got cash to burn. I certainly didn’t for my gap year. From discounted Europe interrail passes for under 27’s, to discounts on Contiki and Intrepid Travel tours, you’re bound to catch one heck of a deal. Perfect for a student on a budget.
After 18 Odd Years At Home, It’ll Be Refreshing To Get Away
A gap year will give both you and your parents a chance to breathe and do your own thing for once. No nagging for you. No messy bedroom or cooking for them. Time away will give you the chance to get away from it all, make (and learn from) those mistakes and attempt to fend for yourself. A valuable life lesson if there ever was one.
Traveling forces encourages you to develop independence and more importantly, freedom.
You Don’t Have To Visit 1652793 Places
Or thereabouts. If a 30L backpack and $500 cash to travel the world in a tent isn’t your thing, that’s perfectly fine. There are so many other ways to make the most of a gap year. It’s easy to grab a working holiday visa in Canada or the UK, and really immerse yourself in another culture. Not your cup of tea? Sign up to volunteer on a safari in Africa, or become part of the crew on a yacht in the Caribbean. There are so many things you can do, so make sure you research it all before you set off.
New Friends, New Skills And A Fresh Outlook On Life
Taking a gap year gives you the opportunity to make memories that will last a lifetime. It’s guaranteed you’ll make some friends for life from all over the globe. Which also means you have the excuse to travel again to visit them. It’s a win-win. New skills will be developed. And whether it be organisation or money management, it’s perfect training for transitioning into adulthood. Travelling may even make you re-evaluate your life and what you want out of it, whether it be deciding on going back to uni, or the new career you want to pursue. Either way, go and get it.
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