5 Things That Make Your Gap Year Rock

It’ll be nigh-impossible to make long-term travel arrangements anytime soon, but nevertheless, if you’re planning a gap year between school and university or a midlife radical sabattical to reassess your priorities, it’s never too early to start tentatively planning.

And like any endeavour in life, the more you put into a long term trip, the greater your potential returns – conversely, if you maintain the same habits and routine while you hit the road, with only the scenery changing, you’ll learn very little.

Want to make your extended break truly transformational? Take a look at these five things that make your gap year rock.

  1. Exotic locations

You can certainly learn something new wherever you travel – even if it’s only to the shop at the end of the road!

However, arguably you’ll challenge yourself most if you visit places with cultures that are radically different from your own. For instance, if you’re based in Scotland, you might learn more from a trip to Thailand than to England. Take a look at these exotic places to travel from Rough Guides for inspiration!

2. Music & culture

Wherever you’re headed, embracing everything from the cuisine to nightlife and art and design to architecture and music will afford you a much more immersive and enriching travel experience.

So instead of opting for fast food from your favourite franchise, try that exotic, authentic dish and when locals ask you to join in traditional singing and dancing, seize the moment and have as much fun as possible.

3. Language

Learning the local lingo is definitely crucial if you want to have as fulfilling an experience as possible in any destination.

You don’t need to achieve fluency, but if you learn the basics of any tongue, you can then polish and expand your vocabulary by conversing with locals – most of whom will be very happy to help once they see you’re making the effort. Learn the most useful words and phrases of your adopted tongue with an app like Duolingo and then keep progressing once you get there!

4. Work

Working (whether on a voluntary or paid basis) is an excellent way to integrate into a local community, make even more friends and get a little taste of what it’s like to be a full-time resident.

One warning though: in order to work legitimately, many nations require that you secure an appropriate visa first – find out more about this by Googling the consulate services or embassy for your destination nation in your home location.

5. Learning

If you’re on the road for 6 months, a year or more, it’s possible to study online part-time for a qualification in anything from digital marketing to psychology and longstanding, trusted providers like ARU Distance Learning offer degrees that employers and entrepreneurs find very desirable.

If you have a laptop, tablet or decent phone, and a decent internet connection, you can have a top-notch qualification in no time at all that lets you switch or enhance your career.

Follow these five tips for a gap year that changes your life for the better!

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