Making the decision to take a gap year
Deciding on whether to take a gap year can be a difficult and drawn out decision. There are so many factors to take into account depending on where you are in life and what commitments you have ranging from being a student without any major commitments to a person in work with a mortgage and family. Other gap year considerations include raising enough money to finance the trip, deciding on whether to travel or work abroad and making flexible plans on what to do once the gap year is over.
There are also other people to consider such as parents & even friends who may be worried about how you would cope travelling the world & the hazards you may face.
Parents may feel more reassured if you plan well, take out good travel insurance and make a commitment to keep in regular contact while travelling via email, phone calls or text messages. Most regions of the world have good communications networks these days with internet cafes and international phones becoming more widely available than ever before.
The world has been portrayed as a very dangerous place with disease, crime and the war on terror frequently in the news. Although there are a few places in the world which are dangerous, most places are no more dangerous than the city you live in now whether it is London, New York or Sydney.
With good planning and a well trod backpackers trail, most countries are now relatively easy to travel around and hotspots or areas to be avoided are well known. Thousands of men and women travel during their gap year and have an amazing experience without any major problems.
Many people travelling for the first time may be worried about loneliness, coping alone and dealing with language problems in a new country. Meeting people and making friends is part of the experience and is easier than at home as many people are travelling alone, or for the first time, and are in the same boat as you are. People quickly adapt to new environments and learning a few words of the local language will go a long way.