We’ve all felt that pang of wanderlust when we see a plane in the sky and wish we could be off on an adventure.
Some of us are lucky enough to travel to exotic places for short periods of time on our holidays, to get a taste of life in another country.
And some, like Amar Hussain, are lucky enough to have turned travelling into a successful career.
Amar is editor-in-chief of Gap Year Escape, a site that offers a one-stop shop for those wishing to spend time abroad.
Amar has travelled all seven continents in his eight years of travelling.
He graduated during the recession, in 2009, and graduation opportunities were looking hard to come by.
He thought the best thing to do would be to take a year out and see how things looked when he returned.
Gap Year Escape was a bit of a pipe dream cooked up in my friend’s kitchen whilst we contemplated The Four Hour Work Week and ate feta cheese.
I enjoyed writing and had read that people were starting to make money from blogging. Back then the term “influencer” wasn’t even in use and only a handful were making blogging work so I thought why not start a blog?
So I embarked on my gap year having miscalculated my budget and ended up in Australia with not much. With the thought of farm work looming I plugged away at the blog until it started to make money.
Eight years on I’ve been to all seven continents with my blog, ticked off a whole bunch of bucket list items and had a great time doing it!
Of course, Gap Year Escape only started as a small blog, but he’s developed it into a company that allows him to go wherever he wants and try new experiences. He really is living the dream.
It’s a lot of hard work, but it’s definitely worth it.
Amar is trying to convince everyone to go on a gap year, he said it’s something that everyone should be doing.
He told UNILAD:
Taking a gap year gives you a much needed break from education and allows you to re-charge and re-focus giving you a better and more rounded perspective on what you want to do. Final year is already stressful enough without also having to look for a graduate job.
If you decide to work during your gap year, you will not only gain work experience but improve your finances lessening the burden of uni fees.
Purely from a recruitment point of view, any extra curricular activities such as volunteering or work abroad will look great on any application which will set you apart from others.
More broadly, my gap year was still one of the best years of my life where I really grew, learnt a lot about myself and made friends I still have today. I also loved it that much that I just kept going. I think that says a lot.
We asked Amar what advice he would give to people looking to make the most out of their own gap year adventure, and he said the most crucial thing to do is to put themselves out of their comfort zone.
On Amar’s gap year, he cage dived with Great White Sharks, explored Sri Lanka by rail, and even explored an Ice Age coral reef in a submarine.
The only limits to a gap year are the ones you place on yourself, he says.
You see it quite often on the backpacker trail of people squandering the opportunity they have. Sitting on a beach on Thailand getting wasted every day isn’t going to broaden your horizons or be fulfilling. If you’ve got a year to travel make it count!
Gap Year Escape offers loads of advice and info on how best to go about your gap year, or can even provide inspiration for your next wanderlust daydream.
Be right back, just booking a one-way ticket.