Learnings from a gap year

A few random thoughts after taking a gap year as a 38 year old, for those who are not 21 and are thinking about giving it a go. 

The hardest moment will be the day you quit your job, and the day after that. It took me three goes to finally resign, and the next day I had a meltdown. 12 months later I think it is the most necessary thing I have done in my life to this point. 

Take all the time you need. It takes time to realise that the things you thought were absolutes are nothing more than choices. 

It will definitely take a long time to get something new started. It took me 6 months to allow myself to hear what I really wanted to do, and to then trust myself to give it a go. It took another 6 months to get them started. And I think it will take at least 6 more months to get them earning revenue. I don't think this means it is too long - I am grateful to be heading in a direction congruent with who I am. 

Talk, move, think. I spent time connecting in a new way with my old friends, and making new friends. I found out what I needed to get me into the physical condition I wanted. And I spent time writing, reading and pondering. 

Give random things a go, like menial jobs, morning rituals, going to meet ups, travelling to bizzarrre places. I did some contracting work, travelled to Costa Rica, and learnt improv comedy. Anything new and out of our comfort zones can stimulate amazing ideas. 

Have some kind of framework in place to help structure the year. For me this was a 7 month, low contact hours entrepreneurial course.  

You don't need as much income as you think. Of course it helps to have some money saved up to give your gap year flexibility and remove financial pressures. One of the good things I have learnt is that I need much less stuff than I thought I did, and I actually feel happier without them.