If you have decided to take a year out and see a bit of the world, then congratulations! It’s safe to say that I have learned more on my travels than I ever could have hoped for, and I can recommend it. It will be a life-changing experience.

But, what exactly are you going to do while you are away? You have – quite literally – a world of opportunities available to you. There is too many to list in the one place, but if you are stuck for ideas then read on. Here are some thoughts about making your gap year – or however long you go for – the trip of a lifetime.

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Teach

Teaching English in a foreign country is a rewarding experience. Don’t get me wrong, though; it can be very tough, especially if you are teaching young kids in Bali! Not only do you have to deal with the general rowdiness of youngsters, but you have to deal with the language barrier, too. It’s advisable to get a few phrases together if you plan on teaching. ‘Quiet please’ might come in handy at some point!

Meet

The world is an incredibly populated place, but there will be times when you feel lonely. Add a touch of homesickness and the fact you are on the other side of the planet from your loved ones, and you can guess there will be tough times ahead. Luckily, you will meet many people in the same situation. And if you don’t, there’s still some help. There are plenty of online services that offer the chance to hook up with a travel buddy. However, one bit of advice that I will give you is that you should meet as many locals as you possibly can. I have managed to build up some fantastic relationships with people all over the world, and you can get a better insight into who – and what – human beings are.

Give

Many charities around the world are always on the lookout for volunteers to work with them. There are some incredible opportunities out there to do valuable work that helps people in far greater need than you could imagine. If you have any heart, expect it to be broken. And I don’t mean in a sad way. Sure, there will be occasions when you see situations that can be upsetting, but more than anything it’s the gratitude you will receive and the friends you will make. If you have the opportunity to do good things for people, I recommend you do it. You won’t be the same again.

And there you have it. Three ideas for you to mull over while you are planning your trip away. But before I finish, don’t forget to take some time out for yourself. Helping people and meeting people is amazing, of that there is no doubt. But there is something about sitting on a beach halfway across the world, at night, on your own, and listening to the sea, that helps you understand your place in the world.

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