Many young people consider taking a travel-filled “gap year” between studies or before starting a job to widen their horizons before life gets too complicated. Not only is it a great chance to see the world, it’s also a valuable opportunity to get out of one’s comfort zone and try something completely different. Some learn a new language or skill, contribute to a philanthropic cause or even earn money through international work. This is a popular rite of passage for European, Canadian and Australian budget travelers, but Americans are starting to warm up to the idea, too. It’s not just for young adults, either. People of all ages and stages are finding these extended global adventures to be a wonderful way to get out of their midlife ruts and put their priorities in perspective. Spending meaningful time abroad is an excellent opportunity for personal growth can be a life-changing experience you’ll never regret. Here are 10 cool ideas for a gap year adventure somewhere out in the big wide world.
1. Extend Your Budget in Southeast Asia
If your primary goal is to spend your gap year globetrotting, but your funds are limited, Southeast Asia is a great place to start. Whether you’re looking for some urban excitement in a lively city such as Bangkok or an island paradise in Indonesia, your dollars can go a long way in much of the region. There are also many volunteering opportunities for those who want to contribute to various causes and projects. Among the most popular and cheapest countries to visit in this shoestring travelers’ paradise are are Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.