What My Gap Year Did for Me & How It’ll Benefit You

Gap year travel is a lesson in confidence building, problem solving, skills acquisition and self-knowledge. Here, nomads share why a gap year is an investment in yourself.


Photo © iStock/Joel Carillet

Still tossing up between university, work and travel? If all the inspirational articles out there aren’t convincing enough, here are a few testimonials from travelers that were once thinking the same thing.

Travel Will Open Your Mind

"It opens my mind to different people and cultures. It’s easy to think that your way of viewing things is the right way or the only way, but once you spend any amount of time with other people and cultures, you begin to appreciate more differences around the world.

This perspective gained through travel has helped me in my personal and business relationships, to be more understanding and accommodating, as I interact with people each day." – Brock Weaver, World Nomads.

Work Opportunities Will Appear

"I combined my gap year with an unpaid internship. It grew from a two-week stint emptying the rubbish to a three-month opportunity working on a brand catalogue, then onto a two-year role as a press officer – which included organizing the new season launch shows and being a part of London Fashion Week.

I don’t think any of it would have happened if the role wasn’t away from home. When I’m traveling, I'm more open-minded, and am more willing to try new experiences. It was this mentality that made me more open to learn new skills and grow as the role developed.

Today I’ve moved away from PR, but those early years in London taught me to never be afraid to learn on the job, and helped get me to where I am today. " – Martin Hong, World Nomads.

"Don't worry that you'll be behind in the career hunt or the college path. During your gap year, you will learn so much about yourself and the world, much more than you can learn in a classroom. And, when you do go back for uni, you'll have a much better idea of what you want to do with your life.

Ignore the naysayers, and do it now." - Terry Ward, World Nomads ocntributor.

You’ll Make Life-long Friends

"On my travels, I made friends in all different parts of the world. I recently went to Japan and visited an old friend, who introduced us to tiny cars, and his son taught us how to play robot laser tag – I wouldn't have ever been able to try this, because you can't test them out in toy stores.

My travels have taught me to have no fear in asking questions or talking to strangers. Even after teaching for six years, it was travel that made me feel comfortable striking up a conversation with a stranger." – Veronica Mercado, World Nomads.

So, if you’ve got the urge to travel, we say do it! The only regret you’ll have, is if you don’t go.

What did your gap year do for you? Share your story with us in the comments below!

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