Gap year. Two magical words that are increasingly heard amongst backpackers and travellers. So, what the hell does it mean? Who can do it? And where can I go?

What the hell is a Gap year?

Well, a gap year is a 12-month period when you can take a break from work or study to experience something new. It’s a time where you can forget about all the trials and tribulations of your daily life and it doesn’t matter whether you’re 18 or 50, a gap year is for anyone with an open mind.

Argentina Gap Year


What can I do on my Gap year?

It could mean dedicating yourself to a hobby or an interest you previously never found time for. You could learn the guitar, take that course in coding, or even try and become the Master Sushi chef you’ve always aspired to be. But for many people, a gap year is about stepping outside of your comfort zone and embarking on a journey of self-discovery. And that means travelling.

Sushi Chef on your gap year


Now, when we say travel – in gap year terms – we’re talking about travelling for a sustained period of time. We’re not talking about a quick weekend break or last minute holiday. After all, there’s a big difference between going somewhere for 2 weeks and planning for an adventure that could last for up to 12 months.

A gap year is the chance for you to really explore the world on your own terms. It’s a unique time in your life where you are the master of your own destiny. The world is your blank canvas and you are the artist. You can go anywhere and everywhere.


Brazil on Gap Year

Where can I go on my Gap year?

You may be someone who has grown up in a sprawling, modern city metropolis, yet you’re curious about experiencing the quieter, simpler life. You’re intrigued by the thought of visiting somewhere remote and untouched by modernity, like the Amazon tropics in South America. Maybe you’re from the USA or Europe, where rules and regulations are the norm, but you feel inhibited. Such inhibition has inspired dreams of a month long trip to a chaotic, unruly city or town that that is as exciting as it is dangerous. Perhaps a city like Nigeria would be an epic adventure, the closest you’ll get to the 21st century Wild West? You might even like to know what it feels like stepping foot in a country where you don’t speak the language or understand the local culture. You’re curious to see how you would react, what you could learn and how others live.

And a gap year gives you that opportunity to visit different countries, understand other cultures, learn a new language and make long lasting friendships.

At Worldpackers we live by the saying that travel changes people and people change the world’. A gap year will transform you, and for the better. You’ll become more open minded, enlightened, focused, and sociable. You’ll return home energized, with a new zest for life and more often than not, the victim of an incurable disease, known as Wanderlust.


Amazon on Gap Year

As Worldpackers continues to grow, helping people from all walks of life achieve their dreams of travel and being part of meaningful experiences, so too will this blog. And that means we want to hear from you!

If you’re an ex, current or aspiring traveller with a story to tell, please email us. No story should go untold so, we’d love to publish your stories and welcome you into our community.

Go Volunteer


Leave a Reply