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What to Do During a Gap Year

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Nicole Adams

Whether you’re a recent high school graduate transitioning between academic programs, or simply seeking a break from the classroom, a well-planned gap year can be an enriching and transformative experience. Let’s explore some exciting ideas and opportunities to ensure you make the most of your gap year. Get ready to let go of the familiar, and embark on an incredible journey of self-discovery and personal growth!

Senegal Travel Abroad

Things to Do During a Gap Year

There are countless things to do during a gap year depending on the experience you’re hoping to have. Volunteering your time is a fantastic way to have a positive impact on others during your gap year. There are numerous organizations around the globe that welcome volunteers for a range of projects from wildlife conservation to community development. Whether you choose to focus on a local community or venture abroad, volunteering and service learning allows you the opportunity to contribute to meaningful causes while gaining valuable skills and experiences.

One of the most popular ways to spend a gap year is traveling abroad to experience different countries and cultures. Exploring new territory and immersing yourself in other cultures can be an eye-opening and inspirational experience. From backpacking across Europe, to volunteering in rural communities, or even teaching English in a foreign country, traveling not only broadens your horizons but also helps you develop adaptability, cross-cultural communication skills, and a global perspective.

A common gap year goal is learning a new language, and there’s no better way to do it than to be immersed in the culture and communication of that language. Look for a program with a homestay, so you can have the support you’ll need to gain fluency. If it’s not a language, you may be interested in learning about a specific culture, time period, art form, country, or visiting historic or religious monuments, all of which can offer a truly unique perspective into the history of a culture and its traditions.

Things to Experience During Your Gap Year

If you’re going to travel, ditch the comfort of hotels and experience the freedom of backpacking or camping. Explore national parks, hike through scenic trails, or sleep under the stars. It’s a great way to connect with nature, build resilience, and appreciate the simple pleasures in life. A gap year is also the perfect time to indulge in a new activity, try skydiving, rock climbing, surfing, or trekking in different landscapes. Pushing your limits and conquering fears will build confidence and create unforgettable memories.

Sometimes a gap year is not about achieving tangible goals but rather about self-reflection, self-care and personal growth. Take this time to invest in your physical, mental and emotional well-being while you explore your passions. Engage in activities like yoga, meditation, writing, painting, or any other hobby that brings you joy. Reflect on your values, interests, and aspirations, and use this self-discovery to shape your future endeavors.

Taking a gap year presents you with a remarkable opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and explore new avenues. Whether you choose to travel, volunteer, intern, start a business, or focus on personal well-being or growth, it’s essential to plan your gap year wisely and make the most of the time you have. Embrace the unknown, challenges, and the incredible journey of self-discovery and personal development that awaits you during your gap year. Bon voyage!

Where There Be Dragons curates trips in the United States and all over the world! We’d love to answer questions and get you on your way to an incredible summer or gap year adventure. Call 800.982.9203 or contact us today! 

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