If the past few years have shown us anything it’s that we need to focus on what makes us happy and fulfilled, whether that’s seeking out a new career, saying goodbye to unhealthy relationships or giving it all up and moving on to pastures new.
While the gap year was traditionally seen as something for pre or post university students to embrace before they set foot in the working world, the sabbatical is becoming ever more common for those who need a break from the 9 to 5 but are eager to have something solid to return to once their adventures are over.
Many companies will offer sabbaticals to their employees providing they can find cover, and value the fact that their employees may need to take some time away in order to come back with new experiences and a renewed sense of purpose. Some will even hire a new employee knowing that they are heading off on a gap year or understand that they need to gain some life experience before they start their career.
If you think that a sabbatical or gap year to travel might be on the cards for you this year, then read on for seven ways in which you can make the best of some time off.
You may wish to use up some of your travel time by taking part in a volunteering programme, or perhaps use this as the sole focus of your travel. Whether you are looking to assist with wildlife conservation, childcare projects, community development, medical volunteering, female empowerment or teaching English, there are a range of volunteering programmes in Asia, Europe, South America, Africa and more that you can become a part of.
Adventure might be calling, and in this case, there are plenty of ways in which you can use your free time to satiate your daring desires. Keen sailors might wish to set off on an exploratory sail, while there are many mountains to climb for those who love to scale great heights. Iceland, New Zealand and Costa Rica are great choices for adventure travel. Renting a car in Iceland is simple and enables you to travel around the island and discover the volcanoes, geysers, hot springs and lava fields that are in great supply here.
Taking off with the family
Do you want your children to be able to join you on your great travels? Taking children out of school for an extended period or utilising the long summer break for a family adventure is a great way to teach them about other cultures and the beauty of travel at a young age. You may have family abroad that you wish to spend quality time with or have a desire to take in a number of countries so that you can all gain some amazing experiences while you are a family unit.
There will certainly be the occasion when a sabbatical to simply rest, relax and rejuvenate will be on the cards and where better to head to than a blissful beach, a set of spa hotels or a private yacht? Think about what it is you really need on this sabbatical to help your worries dissipate and go for it.
Embracing new cultures
One of the many reasons people travel is to learn about the cultures of others across the globe. You might already have an idea of where you would like to go or maybe you’d like to incorporate as many countries as you possibly can into your trip. Cities offers a lot of information, while getting outside of the main hubs will allow you to experience a more authentic feel of a country.
Work on yourself
Perhaps you have a goal to work on yourself while you take some much-needed time away. Wellness holidays are a big deal at the moment and can provide you with a dedicated and detailed look at your overall health before sending you back out into the world with plenty of tools to keep you healthy.
Work on your career
You might be looking to take some time out of work to improve your skills so that you can come back a better worker. Whether it’s an overseas course you wish to complete, a language you’re looking to learn while immersing yourself in it, or some research you want to undertake in other countries and markets, a sabbatical is a great way to have the best of both worlds.