On Wednesday, I woke up and opened the Facebook app on my phone. I was presented with a screen which said ‘One Year Ago’ and the following picture from my Gap Year:
Wednesday marked exactly 365 days since I landed after my lengthy travels last year. One whole year. That’s crazy.
Reflecting on my Gap Year
Looking back and reflecting on the past year: in some ways, I can see just how much further I’ve grown and developed as a person; in other ways, I can see how I’ve almost taken a step back. Inevitably, returning back home after a prolonged amount of time, with friends and family who are most likely in the same (or similar) situation as you last left them, means you end up feeling lost. I found that I very easily slipped back into old habits; I very quickly became comfortable again; I was almost acting in the same way I had done before I left. And I didn’t like it. I longed to
break free have full independence again. I wanted to go and explore. I wanted to travel, and I wanted to see more of the world.
At the same time, I knew that I was about to start an entirely new chapter of my life. I was excited for what university would bring: new friendships and a wealth of opportunities. I’ve said before how surprised I was (or was I really?) with how university seemed to be a lot like school (again, another step back). Despite this, I definitely think that I’ve managed to cope a lot better with such an intensive environment because I took a year out. I’ve definitely utilised some of the skills I developed while away.
Where has the time gone?!
It still seems crazy to me that it’s been just over a year. I had such a crazy, whirlwind of a time during my travels – and Alice can certainly testify – and to think that time has continued to whizz by so fast scares me. University this past year has been incredible, but nothing beats travelling and feeling so free. I miss that, and I think I’ll only get that back each time I travel. It’s therefore fitting that I spent Wednesday exploring Riga in Latvia 😉
How have you changed over the past year?
Keep up with the adventures…
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6 thoughts on “One Year Ago: Reflections | Gap Year Travel”
I am approaching 4 years since my time living abroad, and honestly I have felt in limbo ever since returning home. I am not sure if this is healthy, but I have a strong feeling that this at home time is temporary and the world is simply waiting for me to return. As you said, everything seems to be the way you left it, and it is so easy to slip back into old routines and habits, as if you had never left… except that nothing is ever the same again. My view on the word changed so much while traveling that I still struggle to understand “my own” culture sometimes. I guess it can be surprising that reverse culture shock never completely goes away. Though sometimes I feel like I’ve lost a sense of belonging, at the same time I see things other people don’t notice, I worry less about things I can’t control, and I leap at opportunity where other people hesitate. Sometimes I wonder if “limbo” is such a terrible place to be. I hope you find enjoyment in your “limbo” time, and I know one day your feet will find the trail again.
Thank you so much for reading, Lingyun. You’ve put it perfectly: I am definitely in some kind of “limbo” state. I hope you’ll find your feet again soon, and I look forward to reading about it when you do! 🙂
WOAH, this seems like such a cool decision! I’m so sorry for your homeless night! But it’s nice to hear that you’ve grown during your travels!
Have an awesome day!
Thank you for reading Kris! I’m glad you enjoyed it 🙂
I wish I had had a gap year, to be able to travel and explore the world a bit more. I guess I’m not having gap summers! My first year at uni was so tough, I had only just turned 18 when I went and had never been independent at all so it was a massive step! However, having just finished my second year I feel a lot more suited to it! Ox
I can imagine going straight to university from school being really hard, but you got through it and now you’re travelling around the world! Xx