Hello wanderer, I guess you are either taking a gap year or dreaming about it. If you are in doubt and don’t know whether it is worth taking a year off or not, here are my thoughts about it.
As some of you might know, in less than two years, I finish my college degree. And while most of my classmates are thinking which Master they will enroll, I don’t know with certainty what to do with my life, but explore the world. So I have decided not to make a choice yet. Not before traveling and taking every opportunity and alternative the world brings. I will explore first. I will try to get to figure myself out.
Some people have told me it is an unwise decision. That it is going to be a problem to get a job if I don’t jump quickly into the workforce. That I will be one year delayed with respect to my classmates. That my salary will be less because of the time lost.
But my point of view is completely different. I don’t think it is a year lost. It is a year earn. That is a year you will be living at its fullest, not just merely existing. Companies won’t think I have lost a year of working career, at least the good ones, I want to work with. I think they will consider how much experience I have gotten through my trips. All the amazing and unexpected serendipity and issues along the way. They will value all the courage it takes, the pro-activity and the decision making skills I got. Keeping in mind that you are curious, open-minded. Furthermore, they will realize you are willing to try new things and work with other people, because of all the socializing you had to do.
Secondly, money can be an issue. But don’t worry about that, there are so many ways you can save money to travel. I am working part-time to save up money for all the adventures that are waiting for me, while I study. Once I finish my degree I will spend wisely that money. I see it as an investment. Traveling is the only thing you buy that makes you richer, even if it sounds cliché. Doing things you are not used to, stepping out of your comfort zone, going on adventures is definitely worth the money. Plus, you can always work and travel at the same time. I will post about this if you want, tell me in the comment section below.
This is the main issue for me. Missing my friends and family is going to be arduous. I am very close with my mom and my sister, my closest friends that I have known since kindergarten, friends who turned into family. There is not a solution for this. If you are traveling solo to the other part of Earth, there is going to be distance between you, but remember we live in the 21st Century and you can always Skype or Facetime them, post pictures on Instagram so they know what you’re up to, call them,… It won’t be the same as drinking some beers and talk for hours. But imagine, once you come back, all the stories you could share with them, all the experiences you had, how much everything would have changed.
On the other hand, you will get to know tons of people, travelers, locals, strangers who will become friends, people who you won’t stand, maybe even the love of your life 🙂
RISK AND OVERWHELMING
You won’t know what to do or where to go in many cases. This is a pro and con at the same time. Being lost makes you more willing to find yourself and other marvelous things along the way. But the stress will arise at some points. My advice, get yourself a travel insurance. It will save your life, literally, so many times.
And remember, being out of your comfort zone is one of the main reasons people take a gap year.
And remember it doesn’t have to be a gap year, it could be a semester, trimester, 2 years or a lifetime! It is up to you!
-Time of your life
-Learn new skills
-Meet tons of people
-You will be more mature
-Doesn’t have to be a year
-Missing friends and family