Whether it’s a traditional ‘gap year’ fresh out of school or a year-long career break to go out and explore the world, there are more reasons for why you should travel the world to negate those that you shouldn’t. Here are the top 10 reasons to take a gap year and travel the world (so you can stop making excuses)…
Time isn’t on your side
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “there’s no time like the present”… but what if you took it in a more literal sense to really come to the realisation that there are no guarantees in life – all we have is right now.
Truth is, we’re only getting older. You will never be as young as you are right now. Before it’s too late, take the plunge. Go out and see the world, learn from different cultures, experience new traditions, speak another language, taste delicacies that you would never think twice about trying at home. Try new things. Change. Evolve. Live. Learn.
Travel will teach you what they don’t at school
If travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer, what exactly are you getting back from it?
Ever heard of a ‘worldly education’? Travel is an experience – a real life encounter that teaches you things you will never learn any other way – especially not in school. When we travel we appreciate what we have at home, we become more patient and understanding, we accept people the way they are and we allow ourselves to be better people because of it.
It can be cheaper than living at home
One of the biggest excuses for not travelling is because it is “too expensive”. Either you’re making an excuse for yourself, not prioritising your expenses, or are oblivious to the fact that travel isn’t nearly as expensive as it is thought to be. In this day and age travel is incredibly affordable and in many cases (think Nepal, Southeast Asia, Nicaragua… and many more), it is cheaper than living at home.
Being well-travelled has more benefits than you might think
Many people claim they can’t take a gap year or take a career break because it will tarnish their job prospects – but have you ever thought about how it will help not hinder them? At the very least you will have a more interesting life story than others, but travel also shows you are more worldly, educated in a hands-on sense, and have the ability to think outside of the box.
Free yourself of the emptiness attached to possessions
Earlier this year I sold all my things, packed everything I owned into a suitcase and set off to travel the world. It was the most refreshing and liberating thing to be able to pack all of my belongings in a suitcase and be completely freed of all material possessions. If you’re feeling bogged down in the day-to-day of life, this is without doubt the best way to completely free yourself of your old life and start a new one – even if it is only temporary.
Find your passion and you find your purpose
When you graduate fresh out of college or university, you’ll be surprised to learn that you have very little idea what the future holds – perhaps you’ll even less certain than when you began. It’s important to take this time to stop doing what is expected of you, what you expect of yourself, and instead take the time to try new things, explore, evolve, and find out what your passion is. There’s no better way to do that than to explore the world in search of it.
You really can live life like a dream
When you travel (especially solo) you decide everything. You decide when you wake up, when you go to bed, what you do that day, who you spend time with… it’s all on you. On the one hand this is an overwhelming sense of freedom, but on the other it also forces you to make better decisions.
Do what you want, when you want, without giving a reason
And then there’s also the fact that you don’t have to answer to anyone – that’s just an added bonus.
Everything at home will be right there when you get back
Many people use the excuse that they can’t or shouldn’t travel because they have commitments back home. Whether it’s a job, family, friends, a relationship or you just love your dog too much (I can relate), I can assure you they will be right there when you get back. I’ve now been travelling nonstop for 8 months and every so often when I do speak to my friends and family back home, nothing has changed.
Evolve. Learn. Grow. CHANGE your view on life
But the most important reason to travel is for yourself.
Travel changes you in a way that can’t be described. Everything that happens, whether good or bad, successfully arriving somewhere or catching a wrong train… all of it shapes you into being a more tolerant, patient, and understanding person. You’ll see things that would make you uncomfortable back home and suddenly realise that you walk right by without even flinching. You’ll start thinking about life in a complete different way and those pitiful little problems you once had from a breakup or the time you reversed into a parked car (yeah, I did) will start to become so trivial. Money stops having as strong a value because you stop valuing physical items and instead wish to spend it on experiences. You find yourself using less toilet paper, washing your hair less often, learning to make do with what you have instead of being indulgent. I could write a list the length of my arm about how travel changes you but the truth is you won’t know or understand it until you experience it yourself.