There is growing trend for adults to take a gap year at any point in their life. Often called sabbaticals or career breaks, these are essentially gap years traditionally embarked upon by the 18 year-olds of yesteryear.
Sure, if you head to the usual backpacking trails around Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia you are likely to come across hordes of bright young things fresh from A-levels and ready to take on there world.
But, more and more us grown-ups are happy and brave enough to jack it all in, break free from the conventional path and take a wander around the world.
These days, all you need to do is have a google and mosey around some travel blogs to realise that so many people are doing it. It’s now ok to be a traveller. It is perfectly acceptable to put the career on hold, or hell… even switch it, to hit the travel trail.
And you know what’s awesome about taking a gap year as an adult? You have so much more appreciation for experiences and places, you have more skills to share and you are probably (hopefully) a little more adept at life (I know I am!).
The first time I went backpacking I had just turned 20. I probably would’ve gone at 18 but my logic was to get education over and done with in one go. By 18 it was really doing my nut in (education that is). However, as life (and my brain) would have it, I needed to spread my wings, find some courage and go on an adventure. I then took another break at 25 years old to embark on another solo backpacking trip to Southeast Asia. What is interesting, on reflection, is how different the experiences were not just because of location but my age and previous life experience.
Traditionally the idea was to take your ‘gap year’ either at the beginning or the end of your working life. Yet, I’ve found that increasingly more folk realise this just isn’t necessary, nor desirable, anymore.
Think about it: at the beginning of your career you are pretty fresh, naive and (possibly) with different priorities (hello hormones!), and at the end of your career you are much more likely to have creaking bones and all the fun stuff that comes with an ageing body.
So why not take a gap year right now?
I’m sure some will argue that kids, homes, job and various responsibilities stand in the way. But for every excuse there is a great example of somebody who still went ahead despite (or in spite?) of those responsibilities. Just take a look at YTravelBlog… they’re a family of four with two young children who have spent a year travelling around Australia mainly living out of a caravan/trailer. Or Travel with Bender, a family of four who have been travelling around the world since 2012.
If you want to make travel happen, you can find a way.
Gap years aren’t just for teens. If you have itchy feet, the wanderlust in your heart and the desire to see the world then find a way to make it happen. Your life won’t be a complete disaster if you don’t follow the conventional path.