If you are undecided about what to do in your gap year, you’re not alone. It’s a big decision, and it can make a huge difference in your life when you do make that choice. Although your initial thoughts might be that it will be useful to add to your CV (especially if you are volunteering abroad or will work when you arrive), it might also be that it is good for your mental and physical health in general.
Traveling in your gap year can really help to ground you, and to set you on a path for life that not only suits you, but that you’re happy with. Jumping straight into work or university life after school can work for some people, but others need that special time out to find themselves and the direction they should go in. Traveling is good for you, and here are the reasons why.
It’s extremely easy to become stressed in life. It doesn’t matter how old or young you might be, once we start to think about all the things we need to do, stress can start to mount. This can happen at any stage, but during exam time it is an obvious issue, and before choosing which courses to take at university, or even whether to go at all.
Stress makes people mentally unwell, but also causes physical ailments such as heart problems, high blood pressure, ulcers, obesity, insomnia, and more. So all in all, stress is something to be avoided at all times.
Traveling, whether on Greece vacation packages or into the depths of the rainforest, can reduce or even eliminate that stress. You are, quite literally, getting away from it all, and from the things that have been causing you trouble. You can concentrate on the here and now and be present in your life when you travel, and when you return your mind will be clearer and you will have a better idea of what to do next.
The idea of finding yourself might seem rather ‘new age’ and strange, but don’t let that put you off. Finding out who you really are and having the time to think that discovery through is crucial for a happy, healthy life. When you’re at home, surrounded by people who are trying to push you in one direction or another — or who are happy for you to do whatever you want but keep trying to find out what that is — you just don’t have the chance to step away and think, even for a short while.
If you go traveling, you can find out just what it is that makes you happy. It might be something you never even thought of before, but that you get to experience while you are away. Or it could be something you’ve always known you wanted, but never understood how to get it — now is your chance to take some time to think.
What is better in life than being happy? It doesn’t matter what kind of car you drive, what job you have, where your live, who you live with, what you wear, or anything else as long as you are happy. If you have happiness, everything else is incidental, and you will move along the path of life in a much more contented way.
Travelling can show you this truth and help you to be happy. You will be open to new experiences, you’ll see how other people live and work, you’ll understand what makes you smile, and you’ll be able to take that happiness home with you and work on making it a permanent thing.