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Why it's okay not to travel constantly on your gap year


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On this gap year of mine, I have done a lot of sitting around.

People often say that they love to be busy and can't bear to sit in idleness, etc. This is certainly true of me - and lately on a very consuming and menacing scale. Throughout the duration so far of this gap year of not doing a whole lot, I have become infatuated with the idea of being busy. I've yearned to have a busy, full life and to constantly be doing something of value or to constantly be travelling and if not, booking to go travelling. I have longed to say 'I can't, I just don't have the time' instead of always being available.

I don't know if I am and indeed hope not to be the only one who has suffered this ailment from taking a gap year but I'm sure there are others, hopefully reading, who have too. If you are restrained in the inactivity of a small town as I am and are funding a gap year yourself as I am, then you are most likely to face this dissapointing ratio between travelling and not travelling that forms.

Take solace, however. I recently came to a nice way of thinking about this. We are all too busy, far too busy. This is because the timespan of our lives is always too short and we must, all of us, dash and scuttle before we are told that we have to leave the party.

Now, this may sound like a morbid and deep reflection to have about a gap year but it's a wonderful cure and mantra to soothe the ailment I just summarised for you. This epiphany that I am in as dire poverty of time as anyone else has freed me from the harrassment of the periodic quietness and stagnancy of my gap year. It has spurred me instead to set about planning more travels and to get on with doing the things that are important to me because I, like everyone else, just 'don't have the time' to waste.

Not travelling has taught me how best to consider and spend my time but also to feel comfortable with the restrictions I may face in doing so, and not to be disheartened that I maybe spend more time on my settee wishing I was somewhere else than, say, Christopher Columbus might have done.

So if you find yourself wallowing at a FunForLouis vlog and it sends you into a spiral of panic and guilt about having just spent three hours lying down and eating, try to remember that you needn't compare yourself to others. This is particularly true of travel. Don't let the false reality that the intimate, showy world of social media has created for us bug you because you think that everyone else is doing better things and having more fun and being more cool than you. To travel is a privilege as much as it is a principle, in my opinion, and any travel is marvellous. So do it as much as you can but don't feel tormented when you aren't travelling.  

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