This is a guest post by NZ Muse, a mid-20s writer who just completed a six-month trip around the world and lived to tell the tale. I took NZ Muse and her husband out for lunch in San Francisco when they stopped by. A lot of folks want to travel more for an extended period of time, but don’t because they’re either afraid they won’t have a job when they get back, don’t have the funds, or just fear extended travel in general. I feared taking a sabbatical because I didn’t want to risk making less since so much of my compensation comprised of a year end bonus. I also feared getting fired! NZ Muse’s travel is why I really enjoy Australian and New Zealand culture. They are much more relaxed about work and everything seems to always turn out alright!
When you make a life-changing decision, you generally expect some measure of shock and awe when you announce it to everyone you know. But due to the collective wanderlust that courses through the veins of most New Zealanders, the news that I was taking off to travel around the world for half a year didn’t make much more than a gentle splash.
American round-the-world bloggers usually speak of encountering serious pushback when they announce their plans to friends and family. For us, it was more like “About time!” or “Six months? Will that be long enough?”
In your 20s, farewell parties for friends going on their gap years are just as common as parties for birthdays, engagements, and anniversaries. I have plenty of friends who’ve already done their ‘OE‘ (Overseas Experience) and returned to New Zealand, and others who left for their gap year and still abroad a few years later.
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