6 Reasons why you should travel on a gap year
Given that you are planning on doing further education after your GAP YEAR (I mean otherwise it isn’t really a GAP year) then the job is temporary. Yes, you will make some extra cash if you’re living at home while raking in the dough from scooping iced cream or trying your hand at commissions from a clothing store but there isn’t really that much growth in this job. With traveling you will learn! Yes, maybe said job will teach you a couple things here and there but with traveling you learn so much more!
Here are six reasons to change your life . . . I mean travel on a Gap Year – it is the same thing really 🙂
1. Budgeting– The skill of budgeting. This is a lifelong skill that anyone would be happy to master! Once you know how to manage your money and make sure that with whatever amount you have you can cover your priority items then you’re good to go. What I learned in my gap year was that this wasn’t going to happen by just buying tickets, staying in hotels and flying by the seat of my pants. I decided to work a little abroad to gain an additional experience as well as get paid a small stipend in order to fund excursions, tickets and any shopping I decided to do (which wasn’t much as I didn’t want to lug it around in my backpack the whole time.) So I was an au pair. With my monthly stipend I saved up in order to fund the rest of my trip! Budgeting will take you way past simply traveling. Once back in real life you will be pleased as to prioritize what you want to do without going into major debt. I word of caution though, once you are home you will forever compare any amount of money as to a portion of a flight cost 😛 ( Everyone has different priorities)
2. Time Management/Organization- When traveling, especially when your are going solo (which is what I did various times) you need to make sure you have back up plans, an idea of what you want to do and when, make sure you have tickets, snacks, passports, arrive on time and the list goes on. When you’re traveling solo you have to be you, your assistant and the adviser you wish you had with you all the time. If you forget something or get bored, it’s all on you. From this I feel I have learned to think ahead, organize myself, and time manage in order to not miss a train/plane/bus. ☺ This will be quite beneficial continuously in life!
3. Social Skills- Doesn’t matter if you are an extrovert, an introvert or a little of both, meeting new people and making new friends continuously is always a good idea. Going to hostels or meeting people around a city when you’re traveling is a great way improve social skills. I feel like when you are in your comfy environment and never have to be the first to say “hi” or try and determine who you’re going to climb the Eiffel tower with you can become complacent and never reach out. When traveling unless you want to be alone for X months you are going away for you’re going to have to reach out to other travelers, which is quite rewarding and normally you will share a couple drinks of the local poison and hear some fantastic travel stories.
4. Culture– This is one of my favorites! Food, religion, language, clothing, music, holidays, characteristics… All things that make up people of a place. I find it so fascinating to learn about people, it also helps you connect better with people at home. If you can see things through others eyes it is much easier to be empathetic. On top of that, culture is the lifeblood of what makes each place you visit unique. I would be lying if I have not said “I like being a sponge when I travel, soaking up cultures each time I travel”. All this said, you will feel fulfilled after learning about the way of life in a new place.
5. Better your chances of landing a useful internship in your chosen field– Back to said job you were thinking of taking in your GAP year, perhaps you feel the work experience will help you in the long run? I think having international experience will actually work to your benefit in the workplace. By showing you will adapt, put yourself out of your comfort zone and learn you are showing an employer you can do the same in a work environment. What employer wouldn’t want their staff to have those qualities! It is even better to then that you CHOSE to do it, there was no professor or boss saying that you had to as part of your job. You are showing your new employer that this is normal and comfortable to be continuously learning and adapting.
6. Contacts– After traveling during your GAP year you will have friends all over the world that you can travel and visit, they can visit you, and you can network with them if you choose to work abroad in the future. Having friends abroad will also challenge you continuously to stay in touch, work on your email etiquette (or snail mail if that is how you roll) and have a broad worldview by considering world events from your friends perspectives if they are closer than you geographically to the event.
Go enjoy ☺