Thinking about a gap year? We've selected five of our favourite reasons why you should definitely go for it!
Five fab reasons to take a gap year t
14 May 2013
It's one of life's great debates. Whether or not we should take a gap year and what it will actually mean to us. While we're busy thinking about if we should go explore, experienced travellers have a wise response to our dilemma. It's a short, sharp saying which sums it all up in two words - ‘Just go!’ Yes, it may seem throwaway, but those who've travelled know that once you’re out there, you’ll never look back.
There are so just many reasons to get going. So, here are five of our favourites, which we hope will inspire you to take the plunge!
1. Meet new people
A travel trip or gap year gives you the opportunity to meet new people from all around the world. Often the buddies you make abroad can become lifelong friends due to the amazing experiences you've shared together. Exploring different countries also gives you the chance to interact with people from different cultures and backgrounds - interesting folks you would never have met otherwise!
2. Become humble
Travelling can affect everybody differently and one result for many travellers, especially for those who volunteer abroad can be that they become very humbled by their experience. Exploring developing nations less fortunate than your own will leave you feeling extremely fortunate. Suddenly priorities change and your eyes are opened to the bigger picture. This can have a positive effect on your studies, career and even your relationships.
3. Experience beautiful sights
When it comes to beautiful sights in the world, it's hard to know where to start! From the Great Wall of China to the Taj Mahal in Delhi, the Statue of Jesus in Brazil to the Garden Route in South Africa, to Machu Picchu in Peru….there are so, so many incredible places that will take your breath away. A gap year abroad will give you a fresh insight into the world and show you sights you never imagined.
4. Find out about yourself
‘I’m going to find myself’ is the classic cliché which surrounds gap years. Now, while this cheesy stereotype may well be an exaggeration of sorts, it also exists for a reason. Allowing yourself to venture into unknown territories with new sights, sounds and experiences undoubtedly forces you to see yourself in a new light. You'll face a range of fresh scenarios and have a new reaction to each and every one. It may sound daunting, but a gap year abroad provides lots of opportunity for personal growth and will teach you great things about both yourself and the world around you.
5. Taste new foods
Tasting new cuisines plays a huge part in travelling. Whether it’s chicken feet in China, durian fruit in Thailand, frog legs in France or something a little less adventurous, venturing into different countries will give you the opportunity to taste a variety of weird and wonderful dishes. You'll discover new likes and dislikes and your taste buds will embark on a culinary journey of their own. You'll also find that certain tastes and smells will stay with you long after you return, transporting you back to a specific time or place in a mouthful.
By Hannah Walton