Pretty much all of us know what a gap year is.  The fresh faced, wide eyed 20 something graduates from college, isn’t quite ready to settle down into a career, and heads off on a whirlwind adventure, with nothing but a plane ticket, a backpack and a thirst for experience.

But Teaching English Abroad, and meaningful travel in general isn’t just for 20 somethings.  The concept of a career break is becoming more and more acceptable in Western culture.  And with good reason.  Employers and employees alike are realizing that taking an extended vacation can not only be good for the soul, but it can make us more productive too.

So if you’ve thought about leaving it all behind and traveling the world, it just might be more feasible than you’ve ever imagined.

Why You Should Take A Career Break 

1. Life Is Short

If you’ve spent 10 years working full time, that’s roughly 20,000 hours!  20,000 hours staring at a computer screen, or making phone calls, or working hard at whatever it is that you do.  We value hard work as much as anyone, but let’s be serious.  You deserve a break!  When you look back on your life, will you regret not spending more time at the office?

2. It will Help Your Career, Not Hurt It

In the US, we are in the midst of one of the toughest job markets in our nations history.  With experienced job seekers applying for work that is usually reserved for entry level candidates, diversifying your resume is not just a good idea, it’s a necessity.  Spending time teaching abroad is a great way to showcase your adaptability, willingness to try new things, international experience, leadership skills and coolness under pressure.  It will give you something interesting to talk about in your next job interview.  Stop worrying about a gap in your resume, and use a career break to your advantage!

3. It Makes Sense

What sounds more reasonable?  Working fifty hour weeks during the best years of your life and differing your bucket list until age sixty five, or taking periodic mini retirements throughout your career, enjoying the things that you want to enjoy along the way?

I would argue that the later makes more sense, and there is a growing community of people throughout the world that agree.  Google mini-retirement.  The results can be very inspiring.

4. Never Stop Learning

I don’t believe in the phrase “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”  Learning new things is one of the greatest privileges of being human.  Take advantage of it!  Teaching English Abroad provides innumerable opportunities to learn new things about yourself and the world, not to mention the new set of skills you will acquire by teaching English to speakers of other languages.  You will return to your daily life and your career more confident, with a stronger array of leadership and decision making skills.

5. You’re Stuck in a Rut

And you may not even know it!  But spending some time away from the day to day, living immersed in a different culture, has a way of opening us up to new ideas.  Perhaps your current career seems just fine, but you might quickly realize that it’s not what you are meant to be doing.  Traveling is a great way to gain a fresh prospective, and perhaps you will find out what your purpose REALLY is.

6. You Can!

Traveling is easier now than ever!  Maybe you felt like you didn’t have the time or money to see the world when you were fresh out of college.  Loans, relationships, plans, and a host of other details tend to get in the way.  But things are different now.  You’re a little more secure, you know a little bit more about life and yourself, and you have more resources at your disposal than ever!

Don’t think you can travel with your family?  Think again!  We’ve had many couples Teach English Abroad together.  It can be an excellent way to strengthen any relationship, and living abroad can be the perfect opportunity to begin widening your child’s view of the world.

7. Be Happy

Teaching English Abroad, or traveling in general, is not for everybody.  It takes some mental dexterity.  Be prepared for things to take longer than you’re used to.  Be prepared to live simply.

But, if you feel like you need something different, even if you’re not quite sure what, extended travel could very well be the answer. There is never going to be the perfect time.  There is always going to be an excuse not to, but sometimes you just have to ignore that little voice in your head and take action!  Teaching English Abroad is the perfect launch pad for a new adventure.  You will return to your daily life refreshed and with a new sense of gratitude.  Or who knows!?  You might just want to live abroad forever.

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