7 Hard Lessons any Gap Year Traveller will have Learned

Theoretically, gap years are supposed to provide you with a better understanding and deeper knowledge of the world. Sometimes, those lessons are taught the hard way. Here are seven such examples.

1.Not everything lives up to your expectations

After dreaming about certain locations for years, it’s perhaps not a shock they don’t always live up to the high standard you’ve set for them in your mind.

Sometimes it’s possible to be totally underwhelmed by famous locations – and that’s okay. Not everything is as perfect as it seems on paper.

2.Not everyone will stay in your life

When travelling it’s common to meet people and form strong bonds, only for either you or them to move on a few weeks later.

Life is much like this, with people always coming and going, so it’s important you make the most of the time you have with loved ones.

3.Nowhere is as good as home

Whether it’s a small grotto in Scandinavia or a hostel in Beirut, nowhere you find will ever feel as comfortable (both physically and mentally) as home.

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that, especially when you feel a bit trapped. However, as the old saying goes, home is where the heart is.

4.Not everyone will like you

Some people learn this at school, but others don’t find out their personality isn’t unanimously loved until they travel.

It’s nothing personal. In fact, natural things about your manner or the way you carry yourself could rub people up the wrong way. Accept it and move on with your life.

5.It’s important not to get caught in your own bubble

While home is always lovely, it’s also important you don’t find yourself getting trapped in your own little comfort zone.
Pushing yourself is crucial to personal development – and sometimes on a gap year you’ll be forced into situations you aren’t comfortable with. It’s a good thing, trust me.

6.You won’t be sure where your life is going (yet)

A lot of people think a gap year will help give them a clearer picture of who they are and exactly where they’re going.

In truth, very few people will actually discover this. You’re still young and don’t have to think seriously about your future just yet. In reality, the far more ‘standard’ environment of university will give you a much better picture of this.

7.Putting on your adult hat

While you never want to grow up too quickly, a gap year can throw you into positions which force you to act as a responsible member of society for the first time.

Whether it’s dealing with a difficult situation for the first time without mum and dad, or simply taking care of yourself for an extended period of time, the independence gained helps you take that step from being a kid to a fully functioning adult.

Not all lessons are fun to learn, but they are all important. You will no doubt encounter most of these, as well as many others, on your year out from the real world.

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