The options for what you can do on a gap year are endless.  That’s not meant to scare you.  This is a formidable opportunity to explore without judgement or expectation.

So how do you build your ultimate gap year?

Let’s start with thinking about the stuff you’d love to do.  Maybe it’s something you’re already doing, maybe you’ve thought about it, maybe it’s just an idea.  It doesn’t matter how viable you think an option is.  Put them all on a list.

Now it’s time to start talking to people you know.  Friends, family (including parents), teachers, colleagues, team members etc. Forget working out how to make your list of options happen.  Instead, learn about what other people would do, if they could do anything.  Some of the people you know will have incredible ideas that you haven’t even considered.  Or they may have heard about something that isn’t on your radar.  Update your list with anything you learn and like the sound of.

Now we’re getting somewhere.  But don’t mess about with your list just yet.  It should still be a list of options.  No categories, no crossings-out, no question marks.

OK, it’s time for a few more ideas.  So, let’s take things a bit further.  Remember you’re still compiling your list of options.  Have a look online, gapyear.com is a great option to get you started.  Also, are there any gap year fairs you can attend?  Keep updating that list.

Breathe.  Now the fun really starts.

Go through the list.  Mark-up the ones you really love.  Not just those that may be good or those that could be good because people you know are doing them.  Go with your gut instinct.  Trust yourself to choose the options that are best for you.

Now make them happen.

Sorry were you expecting me to tell you how?  It’s a little tricky when I haven’t got a clue what’s on your list.

You’re more than capable of doing this.  Anything you’ve come up with is absolutely possible.  Start exploring online how others have done the same.  If it’s completely new, ask for guidance from any one of those websites (or contact me).  Create a plan of when in the year you’d want to do things and how much they would cost (if there is a cost).  Are there any special dates that you need to be mindful of?  How are you going to fund this?  Could you get paid for a blog?  Does it make sense to get jobs along the way?  Would someone sponsor you?

What’s stopping you now?  Who can help you past this?  Contact them.  Have a conversation.

Just remember.  Gap years are about more than travel.  You can work, build a business, take short courses, be a global volunteer, explore careers through work experience, be a carer, learn a new skill, work on your mental health, get a qualification, and a whole lot more.

Time to crack on!  Enjoy!

PS: If you come up with too many options to fit into a year, who said you couldn’t have more than one gap year?