If you have found your way to this page there’s a good chance you are finishing University, College, High School, in a job you don’t like, need a change or simply want to travel more. No matter what the reason this is an excellent starting point and hopefully I can answer some of the questions you have?
Who the heck is this guy and why should I listen to him?
My name is Brock and if you’ve yet to sift around my site allow me to give you a quick intro to what I’m all about and why you can trust what I have to say.
In 2010 I had just finished my university degree, the world was knee deep in a recession and there were no jobs. I took the chance to take a ‘Gap Year‘. I set off on a 1 year, 36 country, 6 continent trip around the world and started this blog. Now, 5 years later, I’ve visited 73 countries and turned my passion for travel into my job – sharing my adventures and helping others get out and see the world. I literally travel for a living.
Trust me? Sort of? I hope so because we’re moving on.
The questions I’ll answer below
If you’re anything like me when I first hatched the idea to travel and heard the term ‘Gap Year’ you probably have a lot of questions. Allow me to try and simplify this a little bit and clarify a few things. Below, I am going to answer a few of those questions (they’re in bold) and point you in the right direction so you can take those next steps. Ready?
What is a Gap Year?
A good place to start I’d say. While there are a variety of descriptions, a ‘Gap Year’ is an extended trip usually taken in the form of a break. The term was popularized in Great Britain by young people who would do some travelling between high school and university. It was seen as a chance to travel as a means to becoming more independent and responsible before university. Over time the concept has evolved to include those taking a break between university and starting their career and even those wanting to take a break from their career. While still most popular in Great Britain, many countries and cultures around the world are encouraging the idea. Except Denmark, they actively discourage it. Come on Denmark, why so closed minded?
Do I have to travel for an entire year?
Nope! Not at all! I realize it’s called a gap year but the name is a bit misleading. It originally referred to essentially deferring a school year but not necessarily travelling for that full period of time. Now, if you want to travel for an entire year, go for it! I did and was incredible. BUT, if a few months for even a few weeks is more what you’re thinking, well, that’s ok to! Do what works best for you.
Where should I go?
There isn’t really a wrong answer here. The beauty of travelling and a gap year is that you can go wherever you want. The world is your oyster. A good way to narrow it down is to consider your interests and budget. If you love museums and pasta, go to Italy. Rice and beaches? Thailand. Snow and maple syrup? Canada! Ok, you get the idea. As for budget, if it’s really tight, than forgo expensive destinations like western Europe and head to the more inexpensive regions of Asia. In any case, keep a list handy and write down places as they come to mind. You’ll have no shortage of people suggesting where places to consider.
What if I’m scared to go alone?
You’re not alone in this question. (See what I did just there.) Some people travel alone, some prefer to travel with friends. You may be uneasy about going it alone, and if you can’t find someone to travel with you, it might be your only option. Please, don’t let this hold you back. I am so thankful I set out on my trip alone as it taught me how to be alone. Sure, there were days that I was a bit lonely but to be honest, I was hardly every alone. There are SO many people travelling that you can always find someone to explore with for the day or even weeks at a time. Some of my best friends were made travelling. As for safety, it’s a lot safer out there than they tell you it is. Combine that with some common sense and the right destinations and you are good to go!
How much money do I need?
There is no perfect answer here and it really is different for everyone. The longer the trip, the more you will need. As mentioned above, certain destinations will cost more than others so a little research and maybe even an excel spreadsheet might help resolve this question.
There is so much to plan, where do I even start?
My first suggestion would be to get a note pad or open a word document and simply start brainstorming. Think about where you might want to go, the kind of things and activities you’d like to do. There are plenty of blogs and websites like mine that are filled with ideas and places for you to adventure to. You can put together the whole trip, one day at a time by yourself. It’s doable. You can chat to friends or family who have travelled abroad. You can also enlist the help of someone who’s done it before to help you put your gap year together. For example, I offer Gap Year Advising. I don’t plan the trip for you but instead taking you through the process of putting it all together. If you want to know more about this you can check out my Gap Year Advising page or simply shoot me an email and I’ll send you a questionnaire I find helps people like you get started!
Over time, I plan to update this page to and fine tune the answers to the many questions you likely have beyond ‘What is a gap year?’ If you have a question you’d like answered, please, take a minute and send it to me! You can do that here.
Now that you know you can go anywhere and that the only thing stopping you is you…where are you going to go?