A gap year can be defined as a period of time where you take a break from your normal day to day life and explore something new and exciting. So, why canâ€™t anyone do it? For a long time, the term gap year has been synonymous with young students but there is no reason why a gap year cannot be enjoyed at any age.
A quick look on the Pinterest page of McCarthy & Stone will throw up a whole host of ideas that will make you thirst to travel!
Here are five reasons ANYONE can take a gap year:
1. There will never be a right time
Many of us harbour dreams to escape and find an adventure while sitting at our desks but feel that life is keeping this dream at bay. Yet there will never be a perfect time, admittedly some times are better than others, and if you are waiting for life to stand still before you go, you will be waiting forever. So take the plunge!
2. We all need time to reflect
Many students take a gap year before leaping into the next phase of their lives to try and figure out what they want to do next. However, this experience is not only valuable for the young and a gap year can give people of all ages the time to reflect on their lives and where they are heading. You might just find the inspiration youâ€™re looking for watching a beach sunset or at the top of a mountain!
3. A gap year doesnâ€™t have to be a year
One aspect that stops older people taking a gap year is they donâ€™t feel they can afford to spend an entire year away from their lives. Yet there is no set formula of how you structure your gap year, and if you can only take a few months it can still be a greatly beneficial experience. You could try taking a gap year where you still have a â€˜home baseâ€™ but use that to travel to and from places rather than spending a year on the road.
4. Many programmes relish having older volunteers
There are so many gap year programmes looking for volunteers over a wide range of countries, and many relish working with people who have life experience and can provide a unique insight to the project they become involved with. Gap Years for Grown Ups provide a service for people of all ages and tailor to all needs. You donâ€™t have to be young to give back and sometimes you can give back more using the skills youâ€™ve picked up in a career or general life.
5. Broaden your horizons
It is even more essential as we get older to keep things fresh. A gap year is the perfect way to learn something new while giving back to others at the same time. Michael Lowe, a retired Managing Director, said of his gap year in Tanzania that â€˜there is so much opportunity to help and get involvedâ€™.