Taking a gap year is not only a good idea, but it is also an increasingly popular option among young people around the world. Think about it: a year between your studies and the start of your career, or maybe you have been working for a while and want to stop and, in this case, a sabbatical year seems phenomenal. A sabbatical year to get to know you better, experiment, pamper yourself, discover, travel, learn, think carefully about what you want to do, gain momentum and continue to fight more than ever for your dreams and your goals.
Whatever the reason, if you want to take a sabbatical, do it. Your life, your rules. There is none left. Now, before choosing your destination for your gap year, ask yourself these questions:
Do I want to go to a country where my language is spoken or is it better to take a sabbatical year in a country that has another language to take advantage of it and learn another language?
What is my budget and how much does it cost me to live in the country or countries where I want to spend my sabbatical year?
Is this the right time to take a sabbatical leave in this particular country or is there a security, health, etc. problem?
What do I want to do during my gap year (traveling, volunteering, working, etc.)?
When you have clear answers or at least answers to these questions or to most of them, read on. The top five destinations for a gap year. Let’s go?
Currently, Thailand and Southeast Asia in general are two of the most popular destinations for taking a gap year. The land of smiles has it all: cheap flights (flying from Spain to Bangkok or from anywhere in the world to Bangkok is almost always very affordable or, directly, cheap), a very high standard of living economic (you can live with very little and you can live very well at very reasonable prices), dreamy beaches, scandalous parties, places of maximum relaxation and delicious cuisine. It is generally safe and the hygienic conditions are more than acceptable.
Thailand also offers many options for a sabbatical: learning to dive or improve your technique if you already know it, volunteering in an elephant sanctuary or teaching English in a rural school in a remote area. If you are still not sure what you want to do during your gap year, do something, lend a hand, help someone, for example by volunteering!
If you decide to take a gap year in Australia, you will almost certainly land in Sydney or Melbourne, two big cities where you can find a part-time job to pay for your stay in a kangaroo country. The standard of living in Australia is expensive, but there are also many hourly jobs where the hour is much better paid than in Spain. You pay more for everything, but they also pay more for your work. Now, if you decide to spend a gap year in Australia, work, and travel!
With its deserts, coral reefs and water sports, rural and coastal Australia offers many alternatives to the big cities where you can have a good time and where life is faster and more expensive. Learn or improve your English while surfing, working on a ranch, or collaborating in a koala shelter. All of this and much more is what you can do if you take a gap year in Australia.
Hong Kong is a curious place, a place where East and West meet in their own way. This vibrant and lively city can be a very interesting place to spend a sabbatical year, or at least to start. In general, Hong Kong is very well connected with the whole world, so you can find cheap plane flights almost anytime. In terms of travel, another positive point, there are always cheap flights from Hong Kong to somewhere!
The city of Hong Kong is amazing, as are neighboring islands like Lantau, perfect for a weekend getaway. Another interesting escape from Hong Kong is Macao, the Asian gambling capital in which, in addition to gambling, you can do colonial tourism, as the site still retains a bit of Portuguese air. Hong Kong is also a good place to spend a sabbatical year, but also to find new opportunities in sectors such as finance or tourism. If you are thinking about a life-changing gap year, Hong Kong may be your destination!
If you want a gap year that comes with a radical change, your destiny maybe China. China is immense, it is ancient, it is modern, it is everything. The Asian giant is a country unique in the world, for better and for worse. Discover the modern China of the city and let yourself be surprised by the austerity of the countryside.
If you are interested in volunteering, there are many opportunities in China as a language teacher (English, French, Spanish, etc.). Or maybe you would like to learn Mandarin Chinese? In this case, there is nothing better than being in China to make learning as fast as possible! Walk along the Great Wall, go to Tiananmen Square, visit the Forbidden City, get lost in its markets night and day … In China, it is impossible to miss a sabbatical year, China is so immense that it is worth taking a sabbatical life, dare you?
5. United States
But, without a doubt, one of the destinations that many young people dream of for their gap year in the United States, which has it all. On the one hand, in the United States, you can learn, speak or improve English or, if you are not interested in English, use Spanish! The Latin community is so powerful that you are almost certain to find someone who speaks Spanish on the most lost site. On the other hand, although it is not the cheapest destination in the world, there are many relatively inexpensive states and many opportunities for part-time work that earn extra money to keep traveling.
Because it is another, there is a lot to see! New York, Route 66, Arizona, Oregon, Louisiana, Miami, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Las Vegas, 59 national parks… Everything you want, you have it in the United States… Don’t wait any longer, buy a van and retrace this immense country, a complete plan for a year off!
The top five destinations for a gap year. Did you choose yours? However, do not forget that it is up to you to decide, your gap year can be wherever you want, take advantage of it!