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When Is the Right Time To Go on a 'Gap Year'?

By Vicky Lessen

Last updated: 24th January 2013

Gap years are known as the year between the end of your school life and the beginning of university. However for many people that is just not true. Gap years nowadays can come after university, whilst on a career break or even later on in life, when the roles have changed and the kids will be anxiously awaiting that all important reassurance email from their backpacking parent instead.

So how do we know exactly when to take one of these breaks? I believe there is no right or wrong time to have a gap year and there is definitely no correct age either. What I do know is you must research where you want to go first, make sure you have the funds or ability to raise funds and have an open mind. If you do not have a whole year to spare, there really isn’t a need to fret as you can indulge in a gap break instead. These breaks can consist of just two weeks or so volunteering, exploring or even learning something new. With a gap break you can fit it around your work and home life so you don’t need to put your commitments on hold. Once you know all this you have no option but to catch that travel bug.

When I was travelling I met a range of people all at different places in their lives, all out there experiencing new cultures and cuisines. Due to the novelty of these adventures you make friends very easily as you are all (and sometimes truly) stuck in the same boat.

There are so many benefits of taking time out to travel the world. To name just a few: it can help you find your career path, develop new skills (perfect to add to your CV and employers love this), increase your global knowledge of the world, expand your mind to different cultures and help you flourish as a person.

So why not take the plunge and jet off to the Andean Jungle of South America or the Great Outback of Australia. Purchase a travel brochure to decipher where you want to go first then all that is left to do is to scrape some money together and book that trip! There is even the option now to work abroad temporarily so you can earn whilst you work. In today’s society, there is nothing to stop you exploring the world any way you like.

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