Thinking back to my 18-year old self (which was 6 years ago… when did I get so old?), I was so driven to build a future for myself. We are often in this mindset to get a degree, transition into a career, get married, buy a house, and live the life of our dreams. Nothing wrong with that, it’s great to have goals and the ambition to achieve them! However, I think we all find ourselves saying, “I just want to travel” at some point in our lives. Why not do it when you’re most able to? A reader recently reached out to me about how she was interested to take a travel gap year between her studies. I support that idea so much that here I am writing an entire post about it!
This reader expressed to me how much she is inspired by my blog. She mentioned that she is interested to take a travel gap year before starting university; that it’s motivating to see that travel can be affordable through my cost of living breakdowns. After 5 minutes of being completely overwhelmed by her kind words, I thought to myself, “damn, why didn’t I take a travel gap year?!” Don’t get me wrong, I would never wish for things to be different, I love everything about where I am today. I just want to make it known that taking a year off to travel is an incredible idea. We get so caught up in our lives, always making moves for the next chapter, that we often forget the other possibilities.
Keep in mind that I wrote this post targeted towards those who are still in school, around the ages of 16-18. However, most people of any age will be able to take away something from reading this.
- You still live at home with your parents. While overseas, you don’t have to worry about finding storage for your things, selling them, or even continuing to pay rent.
- Because you live at home, your bills are still minor – I’m assuming a phone bill and maybe helping with the utilities here and there. Being able to save money to travel now is a hell of a lot easier than it will be when you have your own apartment.
- You are debt free! You don’t have to worry about credit card payments or repaying student loans while traveling.
- “Travel far enough, you find yourself.” Traveling allows you to grow in the most beautiful way. I guarantee when you come back home, you’ll have an entirely new perspective on life.
- To take a travel gap year is to go through the biggest responsibility test of your life. Time management, self-care, budgeting money, finding accommodation in unknown places, these are all examples of truly being an adult. Paying bills on time is nothing in comparison!
- Not all classrooms have four walls… traveling teaches you so many things that school won’t.
- You meet people from all sorts of different backgrounds and learning their culture can be life-changing.
- This one is targeted towards those who have already moved out of their parents home, but traveling can be cheaper than what it costs for you to live now. (I lived in Bali for an entire month for less than $600!)
- To be blunt, your life becomes much more interesting.
- You can really live a dream life, when you travel, you decide everything. You want to take a weekend trip to a neighboring country? No problem.
- Everything at home will be the same as you left it, don’t worry about missing out on anything.
- You won’t regret it. What you will regret is not taking the opportunity to go.
- Competitive colleges actually encourage taking a gap year – your extra year of life experience brings a highly valuable perspective to a classroom.
- You learn to appreciate more with less.
Part of traveling isn’t about the destination, it’s about the journey. Every experience shapes you to become more compassionate, patient, and understanding. What you thought were problems in your life will become so minor that you may even laugh about it. You learn the answer to the age-old question “what can’t you live without?” because you finally know your wants versus needs. I could write paragraph after paragraph about how travel changes you, but the truth is you will never be able to understand until you experience it for yourself.