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Making the most of your gap year as an adult

Article by GVI


Posted: March 17, 2023

The thought of taking an adult gap year or sabbatical is becoming increasingly popular. Taking time away from your life to explore, learn, and experience something different. But how do you make the most of your time off? In this article, we’ll cover all the important steps you need to take to make the most of your adult gap year. From understanding the benefits to planning your gap year adventures and financing your experience, you can make the most of your time off and come back refreshed, energised and ready to get back into real life.

The Main Benefits

Before jumping straight into the details of planning and financing your gap year, it’s important to understand why taking a gap year can be such a rewarding experience. One of the biggest benefits of an adult gap year is that it gives you the chance to step away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and explore something new. Whether it’s a new city, country, culture or cuisine, you can gain a renewed appreciation for the world around you.

Another benefit of an adult gap year is that it allows you to take some time to focus on yourself. We all get bogged down in our day-to-day lives and forget to make time for ourselves. With a gap year, you can take some time to focus on your own mental, physical, and emotional health. You can take part in activities that spark joy and make you feel more grounded and connected to yourself.

Finally, taking a gap year can help you figure out what direction you want to take in life. If you’re feeling stuck or uninspired, taking some time away from your usual routine can help you gain a fresh perspective and make more informed decisions about your future.

Planning Your Adventures

Once you have determined the reasons why you’re taking a gap year, the next step is to start planning your adventures. Start by making a list of places you’d like to visit and activities you’d like to do. Then, start researching different destinations and narrowing down your list of choices. Consider factors such as climate, cost of living and visa requirements when making your decision.

When deciding the specifics of your trip, it’s important to remember that there is no wrong or right way to go about it. You can either stick to one region for an extended period of time or travel between several places over the course of your gap year. Figure out what works best for you, and create a timeline that allows you to get the most out of your experience.

You also need to ask yourself what you’d like to achieve during this time. Is it merely for adventure and fun experiences, would you like to get work experience, or would you like to give back and make a meaningful difference through a community development or nature conservation volunteer program with a company like GVI?

If Your Budget is Tight

Finances are often one of the most daunting aspects of planning a gap year. Fortunately, there are numerous ways to finance your trip. Consider setting up a crowdfunding page to raise funds from friends and family, or apply for scholarships and grants specifically designed for gap years. You could also look into work exchange opportunities at hostels or housesitting services, which could give you an opportunity to work in exchange for accommodation.

If you’re planning on taking a paid job during your gap year, make sure to research the labour laws in the countries where you plan to work so that you can make sure you are following all applicable regulations.

Stay Connected

Staying connected during your year off is another important component when it comes to making the most out of your experience. Make sure to let your family and friends know where you are going and how they can contact you while you are away. Consider setting up an email address specifically for your gap year so that all your correspondence is in one place.

You should also look into international roaming plans for your phone so that you can use it abroad as needed. There are plenty of service providers offering affordable packages for using data abroad, or consider using services like Skype for making calls.

Rear view of young man looking out over Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

Document Your Experiences

A great way to remember your gap year is through documentation. Scrapbooking, blogging, photography and videography are all great ways to capture and share your journey with others. Not only will documenting your experiences help bring back fond memories once you’re back home, but it can also serve as inspiration for others who are considering taking a gap year.

Adjusting to Life After Your Gap Year

Once you’ve returned from your gap year, it is normal to feel a bit out of place. After all, you have just spent months living differently than everyone else! The key is not to rush into re-integrating into your old life. Instead, give yourself some time and space to process all that happened and figure out where you stand.

Gap years come with an inevitable sense of wanderlust so don’t be afraid to keep travelling if that’s what you desire. Just remember to follow responsible tourism principles so that you are still as respectful and mindful of the places you go and the people you meet.

Planning Your Year

Taking time off for a gap year is an exciting experience, but it can be overwhelming when trying to figure out all the details. There are plenty of great resources available both online and off that can help make the process easier. Consider reaching out to friends who have taken a gap year in the past or join forums and Facebook groups which are dedicated to sharing advice and stories from adult gap year students. You can also find plenty of great resources on websites such as GVI, which provide helpful tips on financing and planning your gap year.

Tips for Making the Most of Your Gap Year

Now that you have all the information you need about planning and financing a gap year, here are some tips on making sure that you get the most out of your experience:

  • Be open-minded: Not everything will go as planned — so be open-minded and flexible.
  • Set goals: Make sure that your goals are both realistic and attainable.
  • Challenge yourself: Get out of your comfort zone but don’t be reckless.
  • Pack light: Consider only packing the necessities so that you aren’t weighed down by too much luggage.
  • Say yes: Take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way — you never know what could come out of it.

Taking an adult gap year is an incredibly rewarding experience. It gives you the opportunity to explore yourself and the world around you in unique and exciting ways. But it’s important to plan and finance your trip responsibly so that you get the most out of it. With our tips and resources, we hope that we have empowered you to make the most out of your adult gap year.

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