If you’ve recently graduated high school or plan to graduate in the next 12 months, you may want to consider planning a gap year abroad. A gap year is a year spent abroad between graduating high school and enrolling in your first semester of college. It will give you the opportunity to explore the world and discover who you really are. Here are 7 reasons why that would be good for everyone young person:
1. Embarking On A Gap Year Will Force You To Become More Independent
Embarking on a year of solo travel will force you to learn how to take care of yourself as a full fledged adult. An example of this is learning financial skills, such as how to budget your spending money and how to fill out forms like visas, passports, etc. When you return home from your gap year with a smart phone full of photographs, you’ll also return as an independent adult who is ready to take on adult responsibilities such as moving away from home and enrolling in college.
2. Traveling Around The World Will Expand Your Horizons And Your World Views
You hold the opinions that you have due to your upbringing and the country that you were raised in. Should you choose to spend a fun filled year abroad, you’ll be exposed to different cultures and different ways of thinking that will no doubt reshape some of your world views. As a world traveler, you’ll also become a world citizen who thinks about the future of the planet instead of just the future of your own country. As an example, you may stop wasting your money on mass produced goods which are produced in sweat shops and start supporting small, locally run businesses.
3. You’ll Make Amazing Friends From Around The Globe
Not only might you make friends with the locals, you’ll meet those who will invite you to share a meal together and you’ll also bond with fellow travelers from around the world. After all, no one will understand the unique challenges that you’ll face like another gap year traveler. Better yet, when you finally fly home, you’ll have an address book full of friends you can visit on your next trip. And while it may be fun to stay in a luxurious hotel, nothing beats staying with locals who can show you a city’s real highlights.
4. You’ll Have More Time To Experience What Each Destination Has To Offer
On a typical vacation that only lasts a couple of weeks, you may only have a day or two to explore each destination that you visit. Whereas if you decide to travel as part of a gap year, you’ll be able to spend a week or longer in each destination. You’ll have the flexibility to change your itinerary at the drop of a hat. So if you fall in love with a beautiful Greek island or a beach town in Thailand, you’ll be able to extend your stay without any issues.
5. You’ll Have Time To Discover What You’re Passionate About
A large percentage of individuals who attend college immediately after their high school graduation end up changing their degree or major several times. After all, if you’ve spent your whole life sitting at a school desk, how are you meant to know what you’re passionate about? If you travel the world, you may find that you’re passionate about international cuisine after exploring a French marketplace, or be inspired to become a human rights lawyer after witnessing the struggles of individuals in developing nations.
6. You’ll Be Able To Share Your Culture With The Locals
Not everyone has the opportunity to travel the world. But if you do, you will be able to immerse yourself in a variety of different cultures and countries and share a small piece of your home country with the people you meet. For example, if you’re American, you may be able to share your Fourth of July stories and traditions with the locals that you meet, among other things.
7. You’ll Return Home A Different Person
After 12 months abroad, you’ll return home as a more confident, cultured version of yourself and you’ll be prepared for any challenge that comes your way. So what are you waiting for? The world’s waiting for you. All you need is a passport and a suitcase and you’re all set for the adventure of a life time. Just think about the stories that you’ll come home with!