Gap Year Return Checklist: What You Need to Do When You Get Home
After spending a year travelling the world, it can be hard to get used to life back home. To help you make the adjustment as seamlessly as possible, we’ve put together these top tips for acclimatising to your return after your year abroad. So, read on to find out how to make the transition as painless as possible.
1. Reunite With Old Friends
Twelve months is a long time, and if you don’t make the time to reunite with your friends, you might drift out of touch with all but your nearest and dearest. While social media is a great way of keeping up with what your mates are up to during your gap year, it’s no comparison to catching up in person.
So, as soon as you get back, get in touch with all your friends and arrange a time to meet up with them. It’s so easy to fall out of touch with some of your closest mates when you take off on a year abroad, so make sure you proactively reach out to them on your return so you don’t grow apart.
2. Keep Busy
If you’ve just come back from a year of exploring a different city every few days or volunteering for a cause you really care about, returning home can be a shock to the system. Unless you can transition straight into a job or a university course, the fact is that it’s normal to be bored when you return to reality. If you’re not careful, this can lead to a serious case of the post-gap year blues.
So, it’s important to keep yourself busy. Think about volunteering for a local cause, as well as exploring the landmarks on your own doorstep. Start sprucing up your CV and keeping an eye out for jobs you like the sound of on sites like Reed and Indeed. A well-spent gap year can really enhance your CV, according to UCAS, so you might not be waiting long until you’re in a job that keeps you engaged and allows you to start building up your bank account.
3. Print Out Your Photos to Capture Your Memories
As any seasoned traveller can tell you, your gap year can quickly become a distant memory if you don’t savour it. If you want to make sure your favourite memories stay fresh in your mind, upload your favourite photos to a printing service like Snapfish to get them off your Instagram feed and onto your walls. Years from now, these photos are sure to still bring a smile to your face whenever they catch your eye.
4. Get Your Money Exchanged
When you return home from your gap year, your bank account isn’t likely to be in the best of shape. If you’re running low on funds, every little helps, so it’s important that you do everything you can to help your improve your balance.
With this in mind, make sure you get any leftover foreign currency changed back into pounds as soon as possible. This isn’t the most exciting task in the world, but there’s really no excuse to leave yourself out of pocket when you can get your currency exchanged online through companies like H&T. So, make sure you put getting your money turned back into pounds at the top of your to-do list when you get home from your gap year.
5. Start Planning Your Next Trip
Life is too short to stay in one place and after you have experienced true wanderlust you will be itching to get away again. Even if funds are low, you can always start researching ideas for your next break away. There are so many different options available from adventure tours, scuba diving or even booking a language course. If you are keen to boost your CV you might want to apply for paid internships or choose to study abroad. The hard part is deciding where to go.
Follow these steps when you return home from your gap year and you’re sure to hit the ground running.