5 Tips to Turn Your Gap Year into a CareerJohnny's Journey: city worker to established nomad

Johnny Colbert

2 years ago in Gap Year

Living in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the London scene, I always found myself escaping to the coast or the nearest patch of man-made greenery.

Quickly it became evident that following the societal norm of finding a career in the capital, was neither the right path, nor the only path for me, an ambitious and adventurous graduate.

So naturally, I handed in my notice and decided to go ‘find myself’ on a Gap Year. Classic.

Yet equipped with an actual plan (something I’d never really done before), I created a travel journey which lead to a full-time career based on my life passions; adventure sports, travel and people.

Photo by Gwilym Thomas. Diving into the blue after a day of island hopping in the Philppines

Here are my five tips on how to turn your gap year into a career:

  1. Make a year plan

Don’t just think of your Gap Year as a year of ‘holidaying’; think of the bigger picture and the number of people and opportunities you could come across or actively chase to set up your life post-travel. Remember you don’t have to return to the boring life you’re escaping from!

  1. Start your trip with an organised surf camp

I’d never travelled solo before, so booking a surf camp in the Philippines with Ticket to Ride was a no brainer. It meant I could get used to meeting new people and living in new environments before going it alone and it was also a great way to boost my surf confidence for onward travel.

Photo by Gwilym Thomas. Exploring Sugba Lagoon in the Philippines

  1. Explore the world and develop yourself

Once you’ve got to grips with backpacking get out there and push your boundaries, literally. The Philippines trip gave me the confidence I needed to venture across Indonesia solo. Arriving with just a few nights pre-booked accommodation, hopping from group to group, hostel to hostel and island to island just became a natural way of life. Trust me, it’s great fun, you’ll love it.

Photo by Gwilym Thomas. Going it alone and taking my surfing to the next level in Asia

  1. Say Yes

I’d organised everything up to Christmas and was then planning on ‘winging it’ in Bali, hoping to land some sort of bar work to support further travel. So when trip leader Gwil Thomas offered me a job as a Lodge Assistant in Meribel I said yes without hesitation (even though I’d never snowboarded before)… it was the best decision I ever made. Put yourself out there, you never know who you’re talking to.

  1. Don’t take no for an answer

After a very quick unscheduled pit stop home, swapping my boardies for some serious layers, I headed out to the mountains for my first Winter Season as a Ticket to Ride Seasonnaire (this deserves a blog in its own right). It was clear that there were opportunities available and that Ticket to Ride was the right company for me, so through passionate and positive energy I ploughed on and landed myself a Summer position as Digital Marketing Manager and a Winter promotion to Lodge Manager 2018/19.

Photo by Gwilym Thomas. Snowboarding on a sunny day Meribel.

Travelling doesn’t have to be a scary and it doesn’t have to be a holiday. With smart planning and an open approach you can make travelling a career and more importantly a lifestyle.

So, what if you have no previous experience to offer? Use your Gap Year to gain skills and qualifications, whether that be by becoming a Ski instructor, Snowboard Instructor or Surf Instructor there are plenty of opportunities out there.

See you in the Mountains!