Does the very thought of writing one more Shakespeare essay enough to push you into despair? Perhaps it’s time to make your own adventure…gap year style!
If you’re tired of spending your days in front of a screen or find yourself staring longingly outside while half-heartedly listen to your morning lecture, perhaps it’s time for a change. Forget late nights spent in the library—it’s time for an adventurous exploration in a new and foreign land instead!
Gap years offer students a much-needed break from college that provides learning in a more experiential way. After all, you can’t keep your mojo flowing when the workload of your classes keeps you down. If you want to keep learning, but without sitting in the classroom, why not go for a gap year that will expand your mind?
Avoid the burnout and take a much needed, spirit-enhancing journey instead. Here are eight revitalizing gap year destinations that are sure to take your learning from the classroom to an entirely different level.
If you want to travel to a country that ignites all the senses, India won’t disappoint. From the fantastic view of the grand Taj Mahal to the exotic flavors that define the land, there’s never a dull moment in this wondrous haven. Many travelers refer to India as the land of festivals due to the numerous celebratory events scattered throughout the year. You’re guaranteed to fulfill your adventurous cravings with a year spent traversing this diverse cultural land.
It’s no wonder Rome was recently named the number one travel destination for the upcoming year. There’s just something mystical about the ruins left behind from the past mixed into the modernity of the bustling cities. Enjoy a bite of world-renowned delicious cuisine and explore the historic sites that transformed the entire history of the nation. It’s time to make Rome one of your future go-to travel destinations.
You haven’t experienced pure serenity until you’ve seen the jaw-dropping view of freshly bloomed Japanese cherry blossom for yourself. Visit the trend-setting and influential city of Tokyo or one of the captivating gardens scattered throughout the nation. You’ll be so thankful that you had the opportunity to immerse yourself in Japanese culture. You’ll definitely enhance your Japanese speaking skills. Maybe you’ll even impress your classmates with your newfound bilingual capacity when you return to the classroom!
Italy isn’t a country you can fully experience within a matter of days. That being said, be sure to spend time in the spectacular landscapes that help define this European nation. If you’re a history junkie, you’ll love exploring the ancient monuments and ruins that serve as the backbone for cultural movements like the Gothic periods and the Italian Renaissance. Obviously, you need a taste of authentic Italian pizza while in Italy. The pizza is reason enough to plan your gap year in Italy!
5. Costa Rica
Zipline through the green lands of the Nicoya peninsula while taking in the rich biodiversity of the surrounding forest. A quick trip through the terrain quickly proves why Costa Rica is the birthplace of ecotourism. The healthy land and varied wildlife will leave you in awe! If you’re not one for thrill-seeking adventures, you’ll love relaxing on some of the world’s best beaches instead. Plus, you may just pick up a bit of Spanish along the way—a skill you certainly won’t mind showing off when you finally return to college.
There’s a reason why Spain heads the list of top travel destinations to visit in Europe. From the world class architectural designs of the country’s capital in Madrid to the vibrant cultural ambiance of Seville, there’s no shortage of sights to see or experiences to have in this gorgeous land. If immersing yourself in this culture isn’t enough to sell you, perhaps the weather will. Spain boasts an astonishing 300 days of sunshine every year, making it the ideal climate for anyone desiring a little extra sunshine during their stay.
7. South Africa
The promise of wilderness exploration is enough to make travelers want to spend a gap year in South Africa. Break out your safari gear and witness the majestic cheetahs, elephants and giraffes that define these unique grasslands. Animal lovers and avid backpackers alike will enjoy exploring these terrains. South Africa isn’t all wild terrain, however. Make time to explore the major cities to enjoy best of both worlds in one beautiful land.
Explore the lands that helped shape world leaders such as the revolutionary reformist Che Guevara and Pope Francis of the Catholic church. These notable figures helped transform South America and the world at large. Immerse yourself in the rich Argentinian culture with a sip of authentic Mate tea and a ride alongside gauchos in the breathtaking Rio Negro and Andes mountains for a completely immersive experience.
Time To Plan Your Gap Year…
Put down the textbooks and pick up those travel brochures instead. You have dedicated enough time to exams, labs and group project assignments. It’s time to finally reward yourself for your hard work with an enriching trip full of adventures and experiences.
Be sure to check out a list of the best volunteer programs available abroad or join different organizations in your new gap year country to leave a lasting impression in the land—even after your adventure draws to an end.