Midlife Gap Years: Travelling around the World

Some of us headed straight into the world of work after college rather than even considering taking a year out to go travelling. Perhaps, in midlife, it might be the perfect time. You might even find yourself in a better position financially to do so. 


Some employers will allow members of their staff to take time out to go on a sabbatical. It is certainly worth asking the question as this could be the pivotal moment as to whether or not you are able to live out your dream. Knowing you have a job on your return is important as you will have essentially spent a significant period of time spending and not earning. 


Renting out your home while you are away could allow some form of income while you are seeing the sights all around the world. Consider using a letting agent to ensure that everything is done legally and you have someone to oversee everything while you are away. Keeping the main items of furniture in the house and renting it as furnished means that you don’t have to consider a huge storage unit. However, beyond the basics in terms of furniture, consider renting a unit, for example, Life Storage Chattanooga. Knowing that your belongings are safe and secure will be a real weight off your mind. 


This is another potential sticking point. If you do not have the funds to take your dream journey, how will you fund it? Perhaps, you can get a work visa to allow you to spend longer in one country than others. It is certainly worth investigating this option further. Alternatively, there may be voluntary work that you can undertake, for example, building an orphanage in a developing country. Grants are sometimes available for this and many people seek sponsorship. This could become a really rewarding part of your travels. 

Plan ahead

No one really ought to just head to the airport one day and pick somewhere at random to travel to. If you have an endless supply of money, that may be an option. For most people, however, it is vital to plan your journey well in advance. Perhaps, you want to go interrailing around Europe. If that is the case, there are many dedicated websites to help you plan your route. Alternatively, you may wish to hire a camper van or motorbike and take one mammoth road trip. There are so many options, but getting everything organized in advance is definitely the way to go.


As you have planned ahead and know exactly where you are going, you also ought to now know specific paperwork that you need for each country. Entry into certain countries is reliant on there being a minimum length of time remaining on your passport. Other countries require a visa, regardless of if you are planning to work or not. Make sure that you allow plenty of time to renew a passport or to apply for a visa. 


What do you think?


Written by Virily Editor

Years Of Membership


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  1. I did not have the opportunity to travel on my own during my midlife years although I was sent to London for a 4-month work assignment and after 2 years I found work in Los Angeles for 7 months. Later in life when I was nearing my senior years, my wife and I started traveling in 2012.

  2. I would love to travel, but I am worried about the effect on the environment of all that flying about. So far I have only been on a plane 11 times in my life – I am now 67 – and I really don’t want to increase that number if I can help it.

    I am going to Berlin next month – but by rail!

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