If you’ve just graduated from high school but you don’t want to go straight to college, doing a gap year could be the perfect solution. A gap year abroad can build character, teach life valuable life skills, broaden your horizons…not to mention it’s loads of fun! If you’re thinking about packing up and setting off on an adventure this year, you’ll need some inspiration. Where should you go? What should you do? Here are some of the best ideas for this year’s travellers.
Set Yourself a Goal
Part of taking a gap year is to challenge yourself in new ways. Why not face your fear of heights or learn a new language? Did you know that you can significantly increase your chances of being employed in the future if you’re fluent in a second language? You could join a charity event and fulfil your goal of helping people by building homes or offering help in a medical centre. Perhaps you want to fundraise as you travel, getting people to sponsor you for your thrilling adventures. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you come back knowing you’ve achieved something.
Often times, you don’t have to plan a life changing experience; it just happens. So, if all you want to do is blow off some steam after working so hard, go for it. There are so many wonderful events happening all over the world at any given time. Gay pride events, festivals, cultural celebrations. Sometimes being in the midst of people who are celebrating who they are and where they come from can be some of the best lessons you ever learn. Don’t be afraid to just pack up, leave and get your party on.
Volunteering is so rewarding. Not only do you get to help different people in different countries, but you’re also likely to be on a team full of like-minded people that you get to share the experience with. Volunteering isn’t like being a tourist in many different places over the span of a year. You’ll often stay in the same country for a long period of time which gives you a chance to blend in with the locals and really experience what it is to live and work in their home. It’s the best option for getting an authentic experience that you can carry with you for a lifetime.
Use Your Passions
At some point during your gap year, you’ll probably find that you’ll need to get a job. It’s easier than ever to make money from your passions. Did you qualify as a surf instructor while you were in school? Perhaps you can offer full ski instructor courses? You could even sell your artwork on the streets. It’s a time to indulge in the things that make you happy.
One of the many advantages to experiencing different cultures is acquiring a taste for different foods. If you’re a bit of a foodie, make sure you visit places that have got cuisines entirely different to your own. Barbecued scorpion anyone?
Whatever you do and wherever you go, don’t hold back!