26 May, 2020
We've all heard of the Gap year, right? When students take a year off to head out and travel, get some life experience, and then come home to continue their studies. Gap years are brilliant. They help you grow as a person, learn about the world we live in, and give you a well-deserved rest from all of the education you’ve had since you were a child. Personally, I wanted a gap year after my high school but I could never convince my parents to allow me to have a year for self-growth and majorly to figure out what I want to do next in my life. We live in a society that is running all day and every day. This mundane routine of waking up, going for a job, and repeating it throughout your life was not something that I was ready for. But the societal norms did not permit me to have a year of my own.
The truth is, for many, that gap year is the last chance they will have to have a fantastic adventure on their own terms. Unfortunately, students don’t always have enough funds or life experience to make the most of this incredible opportunity. And that was probably the reason why my parents did not allow me to go for it as well. The first question they asked was “How are you going to survive without enough funds?”. And, I tell you, that was a genuine concern for any parent to have. This brought me to another question. So, why aren’t adults following in their footsteps and planning a year out of our everyday lives to rediscover who we are and make some memories of a lifetime? I mean they have the funds and the life experience. They can save for a year or so and very well plan for a gap year without worrying about funds. But still it seems like an impossible concept. Taking a year off work? No boss would allow you to do that. How would you pay for the house? However, with enough planning and the right environments around you, it is possible to give yourself a year and take the much-needed break you deserve.
If you own your home, then why not consider renting it out for a year. That way, the money coming in from rental will cover your essential bills such as the mortgage. Your tenant will be paying for electricity and daily running costs. This way you are allowing yourself to enjoy your gap year without worrying about your home and its maintenance. Also, this will help you earn some money while you are on the go. Now another thing that comes to our mind is, what am I gonna do with my furniture and appliances. Well you could rent it out furnished or, if you don’t like the idea of someone else using your possessions, you could consider using a self storage unit. Keep all your furniture in the self-storage unit until you are ready to come back. That way your furniture will remain in good shape and you do not have to worry a tiny bit about it.
Handling work on the job front is a little trickier. If you run your own business, then you could potentially still manage to oversee things anywhere in the world, although this does defeat the object slightly. You want to unwind entirely and focus on personal growth. But having a year where you can grow personally and still handle your business, is no more than a blessing. If you are employed, then discuss this option with your boss in detail. Tell your superiors why it is important for you and how this is going to help them in organizational growth as well. You may find they would give you a year of unpaid leave. Especially if you have been a loyal employee for a long time, consider how it could work before dropping the idea on your bosses desk though. Potential talk to your colleagues about the idea, would they be willing to cover the share of your workload until you get back? You may be surprised and how flexible your work will be. Though I could not convince my parents for it, I am sure that I would be able to convince my bosses and colleagues for it, as they are very supportive. People nowadays, are very much considerate about personal growth, mental well being and so they always support these decisions that help an individual to grow and be a better human.
You are also going to need to talk to your family and close friends. Even though, you might want to skip this entirely and would rather drop it without allowing them to process it thoroughly. If you are an adult, your parents might not be happy about it but will eventually come along with the idea and support you. I can see that my parents are slowly and steadily trying to fit in and trying their best to understand my viewpoint as well. Let them know your plans and where you are heading. They will be able to help support your life at home while you are off exploring the world. Most people will be supportive of this decision as many would love to head off into the great unknown and get to discover themselves again. You could even make arrangements for people to come and meet you for a week or so while you are on your trip.
If you have been feeling exhausted and like you are at a bit of a crossroads in your life, then taking a gap year could be just what you need to get your life back on track. This time will help you grow as a person and there are endless opportunities that might come your way while you are taking an offbeat path. You will never know until you give it a try. Tell me in the comments below if you are thinking of taking a gap year anytime soon. Also, what according to you is the most important thing to do before going on a gap year.
Until next time,
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