Stop slagging off ‘Gap Yah’s’ when you didn’t take one

We all know you’re just jealous

I always knew that I wanted to take a year out between A-Levels and Uni and that I wanted to travel. It was something that excited me.

But it seems that gap years have a bad rep, particularly from those who haven’t taken one. To them, people who take a gap year are rich, do a lot of drugs, get drunk at full moon parties or on a ‘Thailash’,  whilst telling people that they are ‘finding themselves’ or that they are helping to change the world through volunteering.

We get a lot of stick from those who have not travelled to South East Asia, or South America or Australia or New Zealand, but I can tell you that while you skipped the step to see the wonders of the world, (like Angkor Wat) we were doing just that and loving every minute of it.

We were immersing ourselves in new cultures – not to brag, but I can count up to 29 in Khmer. You learn fun facts – did you know that elephants can swim and can only carry 10% of their body weight on their back so it’s bad to ride on them? No, you probably didn’t if you haven’t been there. Those who give you grief about it are merely just envious.

Not everyone travels on their gap years, but if they do, most work for part of the year or throughout the year to fund it and have been saving over a number of years just so they can go and enjoy themselves. Its a real chance to seize the opportunity of exploration whilst having no commitments to anything for one whole year: no kids, work, debts, marriage or worries. The world is your oyster. If you don’t, you go straight to uni, or work experience, or a career and are unlikely to be able to take a full year out to do exactly what you want until you have retired.

Instead of rushing into doing a degree I wasn’t sure I wanted to do and getting into debt, I mulled over the idea and had the opportunity to change. I didn’t know if I might even realise my passion or dream whilst on my gap year because you might come across an opportunity to try something you never normally could, like diving or bungee jumping.

Travelling broadens the mind and does help you to grow up a little bit. It’s great for learning valuable life skills, becoming more independent and having an early experience of how to budget.

People who take a ‘gap yah’ are the definition of ‘carpe diem’ and ‘yolo’ and all the other stereotypes and yes, we love acting up to them because we have some great stories to tell.

I was in Asia, taking full advantage of backwards wearing caps, chilling on hammocks on a beach with crystal clear water, sipping on a coconut in elephant patterned trousers, a tie-dye top and flip-flops in the sun abroad whilst you were in England with no sun and becoming even more depressed every day that you did not take the chance to discover.

We all know you are just jealous so stop hating on the fact you didn’t take the chance when you had it.