7 Reasons Why You Should Take a Gap Year To Travel

By Renuka Shahane on Jul 29, 2015
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Life is what happens to you when you were busy making plans!

John Lennon was probably right. It didn't strike me at first; an obsessive compulsive planner that I am, I had all things chalked out. Journals filled with plans, chats with friends that went like "I know what I am doing with my life" and ambitions tightly tucked under the pillow where I rested to visualize my dreams.

Ironically, a spin of life events later, I was lost. With no plans in my kitty, a failed project that I had pursued all the way and the despising glances people threw at me was something I couldn't handle. And then travel happened. While the story of how, what, where is pretty fascinating, the highlight of that entire sojourn was life-changing. And a back-pack, truck-ride, budget hotel-stays later, I could figure out (at least I think I do) what a splendid, beautiful and merry poem life was.

Here are 7 things on what I learned in that electrifying experience of taking a gap year to travel:

1. You finally get the "me time"

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No leave applications, no waiting for vacations or academic breaks; you finally get the me time you were waiting for. Haven't you always wanted to pack your bag and go somewhere you could finally listen to your thoughts, read a book in the mountains, figure out what you want to do and how to do it! This is the best chance to do all those things. There are even gap year travel programs to help you out!

Want to grab this chance? Plan your Trip Now

 2. You meet new people

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As you travel, you not only meet new people and get to make new friends. Its like the refresh button and you learn a lot from these new associations. An interesting painter from a land far away or an enthusiastic social worker toiling for kids in a foreign country, there are stories that enthral and inspire and you wouldn't have possibly known them being a couch potato. I mean you'll learn years worth of experience with one gap year to travel to Europe!

 3. You start appreciating little comforts

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That cup of coffee in the morning brought straight to your room, the spacious apartment that you once thought was tiny and the modest pocket-money now seems like a treat. Sleeping under a tree in your bag in the middle of nowhere makes you appreciate the comforts back home!

4. You are exposed to new cultures

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Tasting a Moroccan meal in Fez, trying out a few steps of Salsa in Brazil, learning a new language in India; Travelling introduces you to a totally uncharted world full of surprises. It enriches your thought process and fills you with a dynamic spirit of life.

5. You realise there is life beyond scores, report cards and cut-throat competition

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So what if you wouldn't top Math, so what if you are not the best at everything; travelling makes you realise the life beyond score cards. It unleashes the inner talent in you which is buried under the pressure of academics. You can be a chef, a writer, a photographer, a lion-tamer- the world is your canvas now.

6. You realise the value of everything around you

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Those nagging, not-so-cool peers were probably preparing you for the big bad world out there. Travelling makes you realise, your life isnt that bad after-all! There are highs and lows, sure. But you are still happier than most of the people in the world. and not to mention a gap year to travel around the world is something you don't want to give up, because who knows if you'll have the chance later?

7. You return with a bunch of memories that will last for a lifetime

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No, not just in pictures and journals, you have them intact in your heart. That stranger extended a helping hand to pick your luggage, that tour guide who taught you more about your life than your textbooks ever did, that kind inn-keeper who made sure you are warm, the sunset by the beach when you were all alone- places and people are now permanent in your mind and bring a smile on your face every time you think of them!

*fb cover pic: flickr/frontierofficial

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