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Why Traveling in Your Gap Year Is a Good Idea

Entering college does not mean that you give up your life to study. Neither does it mean that you will be forever locked in your dorm room like Rapunzel in her tower. But getting a degree is about learning. And learning takes time.

It is not just about learning chemistry, art, or political science. It is about understanding what your path to success is. What does the professor want? What is the essay marker searching for? If you learn to understand this, you will succeed both in college and in your career. You will easily understand what your boss wants or what your customer is searching for.

So it is okay if you do not write down every word spoken in the lectures. It is also fine if you use the college paper writing service EssayPro when you do not have time to write an essay. The main thing you are gaining in college is your skills. But imagine how much easier college years could be if you had a suitcase of skills when entering?

It may sound far-fetched. But there are ways of gaining experience before getting a degree. A gap year is number one on this list. But make sure you do not waste 365 days of your life. Make the most of them. If you are lucky, there will be 366.

There are as many good plans for the gap year as there are letters in the alphabet. For instance, you can make a reading list. You can enrich yourself with a piece of classical literature, an inspiring biography, or a selected journal article every day. Yet, plan A for your gap year is to travel.

Opening New Realms Through Traveling

Not only physically. Of course, you will explore new countries like Slovakia or new places in the countries you have been to. But you will also discover new dimensions of life by traveling. So what are the specific benefits?

A step outside your comfort zone

You leave everything familiar behind for a year. This includes your home, your family, and your friends. You are going to be in different countries, meet hundreds of people, and try various cuisines. Sometimes you will enjoy places, locals, and food. Sometimes not. That is the whole point. If you pass this exam now, exams in college will be a piece of cake for you.

A break from your everyday life will remind you that simple things are important. You will definitely appreciate what you have when you return home. And if you find leaving your comfort zone still comfortable enough, try out some extreme activities during your gap year.

Personal development

Go with the flow and enjoy every opportunity that life presents you with. Take up yoga if you go to India. Polish your fluency in the oriental language if you end up in the East. Learn how to cook frogs in Paris. Even if it does not become part of your career, you will be forever grateful to yourself for these skills.

Gaining work experience

Companies always hesitate when it comes to hiring young people. They weigh all pros and cons of employing students for their business. But you will be a desirable candidate if you gain related experience abroad. It means the company will have an interest in you. Because you do not only learn from them; you have your knowledge to share.

Of course, you can also gain experience in the US. But trust us: if you go abroad, you will feel more independent and self-confident. You will feel more inner potential to blossom in your job. 

Communicating with different people

Making new friends, establishing new connections – all of this is great. But you will learn how to communicate with people of different origins, nations, and backgrounds. This experience is extremely valuable. Every nation has its peculiarities. You will be able to find a common ground with any personality type:

  • the know-it-all

You will learn to be well-prepared and diplomatic with them.

  • the cry baby

Ignore them. This is the best policy.

  • the bossy-boots

The trick is to be calm and polite. This way, you will be able to stand up to them without a fight or an argument.

  • the loose cannon

Wait until you both calm down later before you discuss the situation again.

  • the wet blanket

You will learn how to show them the silver lining where they see the cloud.

  • the space cadet

There is nothing wrong with these intriguing people who seem to be in their own world. But do not rely on them.

If you live in several countries during your gap year, you will be communicating with people of different mentalities and tempers. You will master the skill of negotiation. It will be perfect for your college years and your future career.

Broadening your view of the world

New cultures, religions, and etiquettes. It is unbelievable how some people live. The best way to experience it is to do Couchsurfing. It means that you are renting a couch from a local and living together with them. This will give you a much better idea of their routine than staying in a hotel.


According to psychologists, doing something nice for someone else is one of the keys to happiness. Looking after pandas in China, taking care of elders in Italy, or protecting the environment in Nepal. Choose something that will bring you joy. It is extremely rewarding.

Disadvantages of Traveling During the Gap Year

Possible disadvantages, to be accurate. Everything depends on you – you can easily avoid them. But here are some cons you can experience:

  • It can be stressful
  • There is the potential to waste a lot of time
  • You might get homesick
  • It can be expensive

Advantages of Traveling during the Gap Year

Let us see if the number of pros can cover the cons.

  • You will meet new people and gain tolerance.
  • You will gain stories through new experiences.
  • You will leave your comfort zone and develop.
  • You will become more mature and independent.
  • You will master the art of communication.
  • You will not be shy to express your own opinion (besides, no need to steal the thoughts of others and submit them as your own)

Looks like it is worth it. Will you go for it?

Before You Go

Should you decide to take this exciting journey, do your homework.

  • Plan big and loose
  • Be ready for uncomfortable trips
  • Budget time and money
  • Learn the language
  • Pack light, even for longer trips

If you find the ideas in this article convincing but still don’t know where to start, we can help. Check out some specific ideas below:

  1. Work on a cruise ship
  2. Go backpacking
  3. Become a tour guide
  4. Live abroad in a warmer climate
  5. Interrail in Europe
  6. Become an au pair
  7. Teach English abroad
  8. Go on an epic road trip.