A gap year: it does what it says on the tin!
Some people do ask if there is something positive in taking a year off to go across the globe - rather than finishing all studies , which already cost a lot.
Here are some reasons why such a break can be a good decision:
1/ A personal adventure & lifetime experience
Twelve months off to travel the world then either work or be a volunteer abroad. Some decide to go really far and in a rather remote location such as Tibet, Peru or pick a green project such as panda conservation. It is probably just after your return home that you realise what you have achieved and it should have a big impact on your future life and at the way you see things.
2/ Discover exciting new cultures
Living a different life for up to a year is something interesting. Forget your daily routine and comfy bedroom, soft sofa and wide screen television. Raw locations, unusual experiences, new type of food and why not learn a new language at the same time. Going off the beaten track is the point. Being not time restricted, will give you the opportunity to know each place much better than a tourist, who can only access so many attractions and premises. It is also about stepping outside your comfort zone.
3/ Meet new people and friends for life
A real social experience too. Meet backpackers, you will see that all of them are in the same situation. Going from one place to the other, this means that you will meet like-minded people during your itinerary. That specific time will bring you incredible satisfaction by communicating and blending with individuals having the same goals. Making something from their lives. It is also about facing daily problems whether it is just feeling ill or requesting a type of advice for some legal and/or administrative procedures. Having a travel insurance for your gap year is that (little) detail which could improve everything, especially when facing a case of emergency: cover for mugging or just health worries. Thinking of unexpected scenario is how to prepare these 12 months.
4/ Add a uniqueness to your CV
There is not one similar gap year. It will bring changes to your attitude to life. Some people will come back more mature with a sense of being less selfish. This is what lacks in the traditional education maybe? Sharing a personal space, a meal, a seat or just a map is going to give a real feeling of collaboration. This is what it is all about. Taking a gap year without caring for others would be pointless. You can only learn from others to improve your already acquired skills.