The grown up gap year
Being a grown up involves quite few responsibilities. With most of them being practical (house, kids, marriage or career), I think many forget the most basic one of all. Being the best version of ourselves.
The thing about that though, is to allow ourselves to grow over time. Which rarely happens unless we allow time and perspective. I don’t mean just a holiday (where most of us rush around and tick travel and ‘experience boxes’ anyway). I mean real time off.
The grown up gap year is becoming a thing. Taking time off as an individual, couple or family and ‘checking out’ from normal for a while. Stefan Sagmeister talk about this from a creative and professional perspective in his excellent TED talk on the topic.
To know what needs to go, what we keep and what else needs to be added takes reflection, space and a bit of time.
Now, you might be thinking that you don’t have time or money for a whole year ‘off’. That’s fine. You then have 2 options.
- Get creative on how you can make passive income or boost your savings. Or sometimes even just downscale and live in a more basic way in a country that’s cheaper than your current one. Where there is a will there is always a way, so if you have a small part of you that’s waking up and getting excited by the idea of this – make sure to seek inspiration from the many people who have done this for you. (Google is your friend on this!)
- Take a shorter time off. In your mind though it has to be more than just a holiday and ideally more than 3 months of time. You also have to set the intention that this is your space and time to reflect on where you have been in life and where you’d like to go next.
There is a third option of course which involves much of staying the same. Let me clarify that there is absolutely nothing wrong with that if your current life makes you truly happy.
If you decide that a gap year (or whatever time off you can manage) is right for you, there is a high chance that after the initial break and calmer state of mind, you want to seek new information and inspiration. For some that is reading, education and learning about other cultures and values. For others it’s space and time to go inwards and listen to their own intuition more. And for some it’s to seek external teachers, coaches and mentors.
I’ve taken quite a few of these ‘grown up gap year’ individuals through my Transition Program and for them it helped open up so much more than their career choices. We got creative around their strengths, passions and set some really powerful goals and focus areas that would allow them to become even more of the person they always wanted to be.
If this sounds like something you’d like to talk more about, I’d love to have a complimentary chat with you.
And if nothing else, I hope the idea of the grown up gap year has got you googling exciting ideas about what you could choose to do for you!