Should You Take a Year Out to Go Travelling? Top Bloggers Weigh In

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Should You Take a Year Out to Go Travelling? Top Bloggers Weigh In

15 March 2018

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by aparto admin

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Author
aparto admin

It’s a debate that’s raged for decades – should students take a year out to go travelling? Those in favour see it as an enriching rite of passage, helping students experience new cultures, languages and traditions which will influence the decisions they make in later life. Those against, however, see it as an ill-advised and expensive distraction, and one that could leave young people with an unmanageable burden of debt. To settle the score on sabbaticals, and guide students in their decision on whether or not to take a year out, we asked a selection of bloggers to share their experiences of travelling, and the impact it had on their life. Read what the blogging community has to say about taking a year out to travel below.

“Don’t take a year off for travel. It will ruin your life.”


Multiethnic group of friends, backpack travelers, or college students using generic local map navigation together at train station platform. Asia tourism activity or railroad trip travelling concept
But not literally. This advice comes from Crystal, author of travel blog, Castaway with Crystal. Crystal believes that travelling showcases an exciting and fulfilling side of life that most young people will have never previously encountered, and that this can make readjusting to normality difficult. She said: “You’ll never want to get a normal job again. You’ll make friends from all over the world that you will miss and remember every day. Life will be duller. Less exciting. More boring. You’ll never be satisfied. It will change you. You’ll thirst for the next trip, the next adventure, the next stamp on your passport. You’ll crave more and more and wonder if any trip will ever satisfy the craving. When will it end? “Don’t take a year off for travel. Otherwise, this will happen to you. How do I know? It happened to me.”

“Don’t listen to the naysayers!”


Girlfriends on viewpoint enjoying in nature
Speak to anyone who’s travelled long-term, and the majority will tell you how much they learned while backpacking overseas. This is certainly true of Alex of solo travel blog, Lost With Purpose, who said: “I learned more about the world in one year of travel than I learned in all 12 years of my primary education. People may try to convince you that taking a year off from your studies to travel is a foolish or wasteful decision (they sure did in my case) –  but don’t listen to the naysayers! “In our increasingly globalized world, it’s more important than ever to have a basic understanding of foreign cultures and countries. Sure, you can learn about Dutch history in a lecture hall or practice your Mandarin with a virtual teacher, but I assure you – you’ll learn far more from exploring Amsterdam’s historic canals on your own two feet, or using your Mandarin to order a second plate of dumplings in a hole-in-the-wall restaurant in Beijing. And unlike traditional studying, you’ll actually retain what you learn, too!”

“Travelling gave me time to think about what I wanted to do with my life”


Mother and daughter tourists buying souvenirs on local flea market in Andalusia, Spain. Some clothes catched eye of mother and daughter while the son in the background is looking for something more interesting.
Life beyond the school gate is a daunting reality for many young people, and there’s a lot of pressure to make decisions that could have a big impact on the life they lead. Should I go to uni? Can I get a job? What about an apprenticeship? Students are asked to make decisions very early in life, and this can prove overbearing. Monica of The Travel Hack believes that taking a sabbatical was instrumental in helping her find a place in the world, and not being rushed into making decisions she’d come to regret. She says: “I took a year out to travel – which turned into two years – and it was the best decision I ever made for so many reasons, but mostly because I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. “Travelling gave me some valuable time to really think about what I wanted to do with my life. During my time abroad, I pursued hobbies I genuinely loved for no other reason than to have fun – and these hobbies turned into my full-time career. “You’ll meet people you’d never normally socialise with at home, and they’ll open your eyes to a whole new world. Travelling might take your life on a completely unexpected journey, or it might make you realise how lucky you are to have the life you have at home and how much you appreciate going back to normality. Either way, it will change you for the better – and will be an experience you won’t regret.”

“Don’t think you have to take a full year, or that you’ve missed your chance”


                            While the relatively limited responsibilities of being a student make it easier to jet off on a grand voyage of self-discovery, that doesn’t mean you should feel pressured to do it during your studies, or that you’ve missed your chance. Abi of luxury travel blog, Inside the Travel Lab, is a firm believer in travelling at a time that suits you – be it when you’re a fledgeling student or a work-hardened thirtysomething. She said: "Taking time out to travel can be one of the best things you’ll ever do. Travel gives you the gift of time, it challenges almost everything you take for granted and it leaves you with a healthy habit of questioning how your own culture does things that can bring benefits for generations to come. That’s if you do it right. “Try to challenge yourself in some way, try to travel somewhere that’s different from the world you know. Try to find meaning and try to contribute but also remember to enjoy it, that is the point of life too, of course. “Don’t think you have to take a full year or that if you missed your chance to travel as a student that you’ll never have the chance again. In many ways, you can contribute and learn more when you’re older and have more skills to offer. “But don’t put it off forever. Commit yourself to something that’s difficult to undo. Buy the ticket. Apply for the programme. Build up your funds. And go. Best of luck!”

“Follow the adventures as they come and see where the world takes you”


Young woman relaxing outdoor travel freedom lifestyle with mountains on background. Fashionable girl in the Mangart is a mountain in the Julian Alps, located between Italy and Slovenia.
After the confines of school and college, it’s natural for young people to seek independence and new experiences. Settling straight into further study or a permanent job can feel too structured for some, so a year out to travel can be a refreshing break. Jenny of travel and adventure blog She Gets Around agrees, saying: “Travelling for a long period is something I recommend to anyone. In nine months backpacking across Asia, I had some of the most incredible experiences of my life – memories that still make me laugh and smile today six years on. Whether it was the terrifying late-night bus rides, sleeping on a bed made of straw, or partying until the sun comes up in Thailand. My advice would be to plan but not too much, follow the adventures as they come up and see where the world takes you. There are so many places to visit, people to meet and food to eat – so book that one-way ticket and go for it!”

“You’ll learn so much about yourself”


                            ‘Broaden your horizons’ is a buzz term used often by holiday firms and travel agents, but in the case of gap years, we think it rings true. Even after study, young people have a lot left to learn and experience, and travelling can help you attain invaluable life lessons and experiences that reveal the real you. Amar of Gap Year Escape believes that travelling can be hugely beneficial for people of any age. He says: "You should take a year out without question! Whether you do it pre or post-university is open to debate but regardless of when, it's one of the most invaluable life experiences you can have. “Taking a year out has so many benefits. Firstly, travel attracts all sorts and the sphere of people you'll meet will really broaden your horizons. It’s also a great time to reset and reflect, and you’ll be surprised how many epiphanies you have on the road. “You'll also learn so much about yourself, realise you love things you didn't know existed, and push your boundaries in such a positive way.”

“Travelling has become more accessible and cheaper”


golden summer evening
While travelling the world was traditionally reserved for wealthy jet-setters and hardened backpackers, an emergence of budget airlines, price comparison websites and student-focused travel agents now means that just about anyone can plan their own overseas adventure – provided they can commit to saving money. Stefan and Sebastian of specialist gay travel blog, Nomadic Boys, believe that technology has played a big part in making travel more accessible. They said: “Travelling has become more accessible and cheaper, with a revolution in technology and greater availability of budget airlines across Asia, Europe and the Americas. Southeast Asia is a great starting point for first-time, long-term travellers as it’s very affordable. "After several years of planning and saving money, we left our lives and jobs in London in 2014 to travel Asia for 18 months. One of the best tips we give to aspirant long-term travellers is the importance of maintaining a spreadsheet throughout your travels. It allows you to keep track of your spending and will give you an idea of how long you can afford to continue. We had an incredible experience during these 18 months in Asia, learning a lot, meeting many LGBTQ locals and most importantly, turning our blog into a business – which is our livelihood today.”

Our Verdict

Taking a year out to travel will bring life-changing and invaluable experiences, helping you grow as an individual while discovering new cultures and building lifelong friendships. However, if you’re uneasy about the impact it could have on your studies or on your prospects of getting a job, remember that you’re free to travel at any point in your life, and not just before, during or shortly after your studies. We’d love to hear your thoughts on travelling as a student, so head to our Facebook page to tell us about your experiences. In the meantime, head to the homepage to find out about our contemporary student homes or visit the contact page to get in touch.
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