It’s been a busy time for Career Gappers lately. Not only were we the featured guests on an episode of the World Wanderers podcast, but Alex was also interviewed on BBC Radio to discuss taking a career break in later life. You can listen to the audio below.
The interview was on the Alan Clifford Show on BBC Radio Nottingham, a regional station of the British public service broadcaster.
Listen to the interview here:
Highlights from the interview
Here are a few of our favourite quotes and snippets from Alex’s interview on BBC Radio:
Discussing gap years with your employer
Alan: “Is it important to have your job waiting for you when you get back?”
Alex: “It certainly helps. One thing I would say is that the moment you make the decision you’re going to take a gap year, that’s immediately one of the things that lingers in the back of your mind – how are you going to bring up the situation at work? It’s very important to get it out into the open, but to think about it strategically as well. But more and more organisations are open to allowing people to take sabbaticals, so don’t be afraid to have the conversation at work.”
For more on this topic, check out our article on how to ask for a sabbatical from work.
Relationships on a travel career break
Alan: “Does it put some strain on a relationship though? When you leave what you know… you’ve got your day-to-day life, you’ve grown together, you’ve got your relationship… suddenly you’re facing the world!”
Alex: “There is certainly no bigger test for a relationship. Part of that is the sheer amount of time that you spend together. In our jobs we were very busy and we spent very little time together – we both overworked, I think. Travelling, you spend every minute of every day together. But you learn a lot more about each other, and you learn to give each other space, you learn about each other’s strengths and weaknesses. For us, it’s made us a lot stronger as a couple.”
Places to go on a career gap
Alan: “The world is a big place – you could go somewhere and miss out on something else. Do you have a list of places that people should always consider if they’re going to travel?”
Alex: “It depends a lot on what you want to get out of it. In our personal experience, we spent five months in South America, and we found new passions. We weren’t hikers before we went travelling. We did the Inca Trail, and then we became hugely enthusiastic about hiking. Then we spent a month in Patagonia on the southern tip of South America, and that was the most magical experience of the whole trip for us.”
To read more about our experiences and advice on travel and hiking in South America, take a look at our Inca Trail tour review, our Peru Trekking guide and our Patagonia travel itinerary.
Career break resources
If you’re feeling inspired, check out some of our articles on travel career breaks:
- The ultimate guide to taking a travel career break
- Your essential guide to saving money for a travel career break
- Eight powerful TED talks to inspire your travel career break
- Seven ways travelling will make you better at your job
- Finding a job after travelling the world: a winning strategy
- A woman’s perspective on taking a travel career break
- How to explain a career gap on your resume
Career break interview series
Our interview series tells the stories of inspirational people who have taken travel career breaks. Here are some of the most popular stories from the series:
- Overcoming burnout: the career break reflections of a higher education professional
- The NYC firefighter embracing van life after a travel career break
- How travel inspired a boiler salesman to start a career in politics
- From Siberia to Antarctica: reflecting on a travel career gap ten years on
- How a travel career break inspired a teacher to start her own business
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