Media,  Travel

The Essential Guide to Taking a Gap Year

The Infamous Gap Year Break


This term gets thrown around a lot and as the name suggests, its a break away from something, to do something different. It can be a break away from education, or work, to chase down those dreams.Whether that is traveling the world, working abroad or trying something new.

It doesn’t even have to last a year which is the brilliant part about it!

Who Can Take One?

the essential guide to taking a gap year

When you think of people taking a gap year the image that first pops into your head is a student and more often than not this is the case.

However! They are not the only ones.

It is anyone’s game. People of all ages take gap years as circumstances change and opportunities arise allowing you to take that leap travelling. It allows you to do something different, something that you may have secretly deep down have always wanted to do. Whether you have just finished education, or in a current job/career the world is calling to you to explore it. BUT! You’re not quite ready to drop everything and leave.

That’s OK as well. Why not take a gap year? Or half a gap year? Or even a gap month.

Whatever age you are its still possible to fulfill those dreams. You are still young enough and good looking to try something new and leave the daily grind at home.

Why a Gap Year?

the essential guide to taking a gap year

Why not? Would be a better question to be honest.

Personal Adventure – Its a great way to find yourself (cliche I know, but its true) and its a lot more fun doing it whilst travelling rather than sat at your 9-5 job looking out at the gloomy grey weather as the rain beats against the glass. Its a person adventure, one which broadens your horizons and will have a huge impact on your future.

Skill Sets –You will get to meet new people and develop your communication skills which is a big requirement for future jobs as this is primarily what they seek in a individual. You will also get to meet like minded people who will more often than not share the same interests/hobbies/beliefs as you.

Get more from life

Unique experience – One which cannot be replicated by anyone else. Each traveler will have their own personal experience and one is individual to them. Its not often people get to say that they have spent the past year living the life of their dreams. One of the main reasons being they haven’t had the motivation, guts or determination to plan it and go, unlike you. But can you imagine once you’ve returned from your gap year, just how great you’ll feel? You’d have done something that very few people around you have done, you’ll stand out from the crowd.

Refreshed – As well as feeling great upon your return, you’ll also feel refreshed and focused, making it much easier to think about what you want to do with your life. You’ll have a new perspective on life, and when this is combined with your new ‘found’ self, you’ll be determined to reach that next ‘goal’ of yours. Be it going into further education, or getting a new job – both of which, by the way, will become easier once you add your unique experience to your CV/application.

Test yourself

Leaving Your Comfort Zone – it will change your life for the better. You will come away realising that at some point, we all take what we have for granted. And however bad you think you have it, there is someone out there who has it worse and would much prefer your life to their own. And when you realise something like that, you gain a whole new (hopefully better) perspective on life.

Discovering New Cultures – There are so many out there in the world that are different from our own. It is really important that we take the time to learn and understand the ways and beliefs of other people to become a better person.

I cant just up and leave education or work for a year…

taking a gap year

I hear what you’re saying. I have said it to myself loads before as well.

Universities – Here in the UK, if students take a useful period of ‘time out’ before university, it is recognised that they gain personally and academically. The university application service actually promotes taking a gap year, so long as the time is put to good use, with tutors also recognising that better results are achieved by those student who come back more mature and balanced.

It’s also becoming more widely recognised for American students to take a gap year too. Some colleges are even offering cash incentives to those students who chose to take a gap year before starting their course.

Working World – I have touched on this briefly above, but it adds skills and experience to your CV making you a unique individual. Employers will see that you have more confidence and life experience, as well as the determination to go out and do something that some people will class as quite intimidating.

Do It For You

how to take a gap year

Its important to remember that, whilst yes OK you are gaining all these things for a work or education purpose you are also doing it for yourself. There wont be many times in your life where you will be able to say that you have done something you have always wanted to do.

So when the time is right, I highly suggest that you grab this opportunity with both hands and go for it!

Hey! Im Lee, AKA Explorewithlee and Taketheleaptravel and I am from the UK. I am a full time travel blogger for and brand ambassador for Kathmandu and STA Travel while living and travelling in New Zealand. I love photography, videography, writing, blogging and exploring new destinations. These are my adventures, tips and everything you need to know about travelling the world.

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