Why Taking a Break Makes You Awesome with these Extraordinary Tips
Before I went to Japan I spent a lot of my time being jealous.
I was jealous of anyone who had the courage to put on a backpack and just go out into the unknown. I was also certain that if I did that I’d fall behind in school and screw up my chances to get a job in the ‘real world’. I was so dead wrong. Travelers actually are attractive job candidates because so much of traveling forces you to get out of your comfort zone. You learn how to adapt and deal with difficult situations and people, making you much more successful when you return to life on the other side. Use these extraordinary tips.
As for missing out on school, the majority of universities allow gap years and taking one is far more common than you think. Leaving school to travel has been common in Europe for decades and is finally starting to catch up in the United States. It’s becoming so popular that there are organizations devoted to helping you plan and execute your gap year.
Convinced yet? Here are some things to consider when you’re ready to hit the road.
Have A Goal
Chilling on the beaches of Goa for a whole year sounds mighty appealing, but you’ll get far more out of your travels if you have a goal in mind. Depending on where you’re going, volunteering is a great way to spend your time and put your skills to use. Find what’s best for you. Full disclosure, I did not volunteer while I was in Japan. My objective was to visit as many holy places as possible and also pay my respects at Hiroshima. It doesn’t matter what your goal is, just that you have one.
Join A Tour Package
Tour Packages aren’t just for your nana. When you’re abroad, these extraordinary tips are a great way to meet cool people and see a lot of the country without a ton of hassle. I’d heard rave reviews from other travelers about Thailand, South Korea, and Vietnam Tours so I decided to give it a try myself. I was surprised by how many Japanese tour packages I found, something for everyone. I went with a tour package of Mount Koya and was impressed. Tour Packages are great especially when you don’t speak the language. I would have spent half my time wandering around trying to find someone who spoke English. With the Tour Package, I got the full experience and didn’t get stressed out or waste any time.
Unsure of how to pick your Tour Package? Here are some tips for finding the best one for you. Also, you can ask around at your hotel or hostel and join a Facebook group to see what people recommend.
My five top travel tips are what I used to see the best of Japan, but they’re pretty universal to any country.
- Go with a group tour- I can’t stress this enough. Tour Packages will cut your stress level by 90%, you’ll meet awesome fellow travelers and you’ll see more of the country.
- Learn some of the local languages- At least be able to greet people, thank them and say ‘yes’ and ‘no’. If you’re traveling to Japan, check out these handy video tutorials
- Step outside your comfort zone- That octopus ice cream (yep, that’s a real thing in Japan) might look disgusting but when are you ever going to try it again? You’ve already made the leap this far. Don’t limit yourself. There are huge benefits to stepping outside your comfort zone.
- Leave your judgment at the door- Respect local customs and rules.
- Do your homework- Japan has so much to offer from spectacular beaches (love you Okinawa!) to fantastic Buddhist shrines. Also, don’t miss a visit to Tokyo. Plan accordingly so you can see everything.
- Hope you enjoyed these extraordinary tips.