Why Should You Take a GAP Year?

Why Should You Take a GAP Year?

Calling all graduates! Why is this time the best time to take a GAP year? Bryan tells us why taking a GAP year is awesome and where exactly you should spend it.

Ever heard of a GAP year? That means taking a long period of time off whatever commitment you have, mainly school or work. I know that most of you feel pressured by your friends when you see them out there already working. You feel that you too should quickly get a job and start earning your keep to pay off your study loans.


GAP year or GAP years?

There are numerous articles over the internet explaining why you should take a GAP year and how it benefits you. They usually explained how GAP years allow you to experience the world and how it enhances you as a person, making you a better person for the next phase of your life. Those reasons are true and no doubt you should take a GAP year for that. However, I think that GAP years are about YOURSELF, not for reasons stated in those articles. Reach out deep within your inner self and discover what you really want in the next phase of your life. I am talking about graduates who are going to enter the harsh working world. This is the stage in life where there are many uncertainties going on.


Lares Trek in the andes mountains in Peru. We call it summer, but it was winter in the Southern hemisphere.

Most people take a GAP year after college/ university. Some people even do it in between school semesters; they just take a year off school. I personally think that it is harder to take time off work than to take time off school. Ask yourself, when will you get the time when you have a full-time job and a commitment to paying your bills and loans? The list can go on forever. You simply do not have the luxury of time to take a year off. How many people are willing to take a break in career to take a GAP year?

So what should you be doing for your GAP year? I would say do anything you want, just get out of your comfort zone. Here are a few choices I think is good. For wildlife lovers, you can do some wildlife volunteering projects in South Africa, maybe the big five conservation projects. You can go on a backpacking tour around Europe, try to stay longer rather than touch and go. Many people just go to a certain place, take pictures and get on with it. I believe in purpose travel; try to experience living like a local and even try to learn a language! That is going to be enriching for sure. You must be thinking that you need a lot of money for all this. Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe are cheaper alternatives, but that does not mean cheaper experiences. Leave the more expensive parts of Europe for next time.


Sunset at Santa Cruz, California

There are certain countries that have got the work and travel scheme where young adults or students can work and travel at the same time. This opportunity is perfect for people who need funding for their travels. I know that the jobs aren’t the best, probably some entry-level jobs, but just have fun and make some local friends while you are young. I worked myself off this summer in California and ended my summer with my virgin adventure to South America which was a bang! The wages are unable to completely fund your travels, but see it as a form of subsidy, you will be happier this way. There are also some online communities such as couchsurfing that help locals host travellers from all around the world. I see this opportunity as a very good chance to live it like the locals, and of course, it helps you save on accommodation costs. So who says a GAP year can be expensive? Remember, it is just about your willingness to take the big leap.



Contributed by The More I Travel.


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About Author

Bryan Lim
Bryan Lim

Bryan is the author of The More I Travel . He shares his travel writings and photography with individuals from all over the world. He travels for food, culture and view of the world. His favourite travel philosophy is 'Travel for the Journey, not the Destination'.