The definition of travel is for something to ‘move in a constant and predictable way,’ yet travelling could not be any more different from this. I always knew that after sixth form I would take a year out and spend six months travelling around Australia and South East Asia and I can safely say it was the best experience of my life. I am a very strong advocate for travelling and all the possibilities and experiences it holds; the world is at our feet and it would be a great shame to waste that.
In a society where more and more students go through and graduate from university without knowing exactly what career industry they want to go into, it would seem that post-uni is the best time to take a gap year. Essentially, at this stage you have your entire life ahead of you, you have few commitments and are, arguably, at the best stage of life.
On the practical side of things, a gap year can be very CV-enhancing, from volunteering to merely even working a normal job but just in a different country. Having a university qualification is one thing but acquiring skills and experience is crucial in life; the opportunities that are presented in when travelling have great potential to improve both your CV and your traits as a person, such as a sense of independence.
Living away from home and being out of your comfort zone helps develop skills in not only budgeting and planning, but also in socialising. Being away from home, friends and comfortable surroundings almost forces you into social situations, which in the end really builds that confidence to approach people; something that can be hugely beneficial in a work environment.
On a more personal and self-indulgent note, after a minimum of 3 years in university and around 22 years in an institutional and educational system, it is definitely arguable that you deserve a break – a chance to take a breath and escape such a structured lifestyle. I would bet that a few months into a grad job you’ll be struck by itchy feet and be desperate to grab a one-way ticket to a tropical island. There’s definitely nothing wrong with just working a while to get your hands on some money and jetting off to explore the wide world.
Lastly, and more annoyingly in the eyes of your mates, is that you are entitled to boasting rights. It is a given that you will come back with a tonne of interesting, exciting and, most likely, embarrassing stories, but more importantly you will make friends from all over the world, probably pick up jobs on the way and maybe even discover a whole new career path whilst chatting to someone in a hostel.
The beauty of travelling is its spontaneity and the excitement you don’t realise it holds. Stories are what make life interesting and travelling creates those stories.
Edited by Tia Ralhan
Images all writer’s own