Thinking about taking a gap year? Just finished your A levels or perhaps you’re just fed up of your job and ready for a change?
It is that time of year again when a new year begins, the September new year. I always think there are two main points in a calendar year when you start to prepare for a change, for new beginnings. One of course being January and the other being September.
Though I left school 15 years ago (OMG!) and education over 10 years ago September still seems a time to start rethinking things, setting new priorities, new goals and planning for the next few months and beyond.
If you’re thinking about taking a gap year, then here are a few more reasons why I think you should. I’ve taken two, one after school and another age 26 when I quit my job to travel the world for 9 months. I think it’s about time I took another maybe?! 😉
5 unusual things to do on your gap year
1. Set up a business
If you’ve always thought of going it alone and working for yourself then why not take a gap year to try it out. Save up like you would for a gap year travelling the world, but then go on a different adventure. One for your career.
The benefits could be exponential, you could end up with a successful business you love and the world really could become your oyster. Every year could seem like a gap year once you’re running your dream business right?
And hey if things don’t work out you will have learnt so much in the process and as they say it’s better to have tried and failed than not tried at all.
2. Go back to high school
This is how I spent my first gap year straight after school. I went back to school, but in America and it was incredible. I received a scholarship through the English Speaking Union to spend a year in a top private school in America.
The facilities were out of this world and alongside core subjects like Maths, history and English I got to take a few creative subjects too like film making, creating writing and a course all about Manhattan.
The experience of being at school in America was one of the best experiences of my life, I made so many lifelong friends and it barely cost me a penny as almost everything was covered by the scholarship! Wowee.
I also got lots of time in the holidays to visit more of America, with trips to New York City, Boston and Florida.
3. Road trip America
OK so this option is a bit pricier than the one above. However still one of the most incredible things you could do. I did a three and a half week road trip across America a few years ago and loved it. Though it wasn’t nearly long enough.
You can spent 3 months in the USA without needing a visa, which should give you enough time to get round most states. America really is like 50 countries in one, oh gosh excuse me while I go and book a trip to America!
Don’t forget to get your ESTA before your travel. It’s a kind of visa waiver for certain countries and means you can travel to the USA for up to 3 months in one go. The ESTA usually last a couple of years and only costs a few pounds to sort, but if you don’t have it they won’t let you fly so make sure you book it in advance.
Make sure you stay safe from any travel scams while you’re travelling too, as Lobke and Inge share.
4. Run the penguin post office
This has been my absolute dream and a few years ago I applied. Sadly I chose the year it got tonnes of media attention and thousands of applications so didn’t even come close.
If you’re an outdoorsy person, with experience of living remotely and a love of penguins then maybe you would be in with a chance. You spend 5 months running the post office in the Antarctic, surrounded by hundreds of noisy (and smelly) penguins and helping out with whatever might be needed in Port Lockrey.
Certainly something unusual that’s for sure!
5. Write a book
Another dream of mine, one day… I will write a book. But somehow life gets in the way. I often dream about moving to Scotland for a few months or a year to just sit and write, but alas life gets in the way.
What a cool way to spend a gap year whatever your age. Especially if you succeed and come out the end with a book, preferably a best selling book!
Can you think of any other crazy unusual things to do on a gap year? Have you done anything crazy? I’d love to hear!
This post was in partnership with ESTA form who help you go through the visa process before going to America, but all words my own 🙂
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- An itinerary for a weekend in Belgium