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Why take a gap year? - Life skills

Adventure. Self-discovery. Opportunity!

It’s never too late to go on a gap year, but it’s fairly common in your late teens or early 20s. You’ve got less worries, ties and you may not yet be stuck into a career you love.

You’ll learn about yourself along the way – cliché we know – but you may discover you’re a lot better at adapting to situations than you thought, coping under pressure or being resourceful in need. You’ll also probably be better at money management – something that’ll stand you in good stead later in life!

You’ll most definitely have something to talk about – and will be able to talk about experiences that others will only have dreamed of! Embrace it now and get out there, see the cultures, meet new people and eat different food. If not now, when?

Just because it’s commonly called a “gap year” does not mean it has to be a full year – it could be six weeks, three months or half a year – whatever suits you and your traveling bug.

Where you choose to go is entirely up to you – it could be a conservation project in Italy, working on the beach on Australia or teaching English in India. Just make sure you’re safe, let others know your plans, and ideally, have a travel buddy or group.

You never know – you may discover you catch the traveling bug and take note of a few other places of interest you’d like to visit later down the line!

Employers won’t necessarily look on you badly for having a gap year – particularly if you did something valuable with it, had a part-time job at the same time or taught in a foreign country!

As author Mark Twain said “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.”

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