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The Best Destinations For Black Travelers Seeking To Take An Adult Gap Year
Gone are the days when a gap year is associated with high school graduates and people in their early twenties who are trying to figure out their next steps as they enter adulthood.
After the year we’ve had in 2020, many people are using this time to refocus by taking a career break or a sabbatical to find purpose. A gap year is a great time to pursue a passion, immerse yourself in another culture, volunteer, reduce burnout, explore a new career … the list goes on.
Here are the best destinations for Black travelers looking to take an adult gap year:
Tanzania has a large expat community. In its capital city, Dar es Salaam is an economic and social hub.
The country is home to some of Africa’s largest national parks and most beautiful beaches in the world. It has the perfect blend of adventure, hospitality, a slower pace of life, and wildlife for your gap year.
If you’re looking for community among other expats, then consider Dar es Salaam or Arusha.
Australia is a popular adult gap year destination for travelers because the government offers what they call “working skilled visas,” which essentially means travelers have an opportunity to work during their gap year.
This is a great time to try something new or make some extra money to offset the costs if you plan to take a year off.
Canada is a great option for people looking for a culturally rich experience but not interested in going too far. The reason? Canada is ranked high for being one of the most multicultural countries in the world.
If you’re not sure where to start in Canada, consider Montreal as it truly offers what many cities in North America cannot as it has an old European-city vibe mixed with a modern and creative flair.
Many people see Montreal as a place where you experience the joy of living because you can explore the city in so many ways without getting bored.
You can also challenge your mind during your gap year to learn French as Montreal is the second-largest French-speaking city in the developed world.
Mexico became the popular kid on the block in 2020 as it was one of the first destinations to reopen to tourism amid the pandemic. But the truth is, Black expats knew that Mexico was a hidden gem pre-pandemic.
From the nature to the vibrant culture and even the sense of community you will find as there are tons of Black expats living in Mexico, this is a great destination to reset and refocus during your gap year.
You will get a better quality of life in Mexico as the cost of living is reasonable compared to other countries.
Mexico ranked 119th out of 135 countries surveyed in a recent survey of low-cost living countries. By comparison, the U.S. ranked 21st and Canada 31st.
Mexico is another great place to expand your skills by brushing up on your Spanish.
If you’re planning to unplug and not work during your gap year, Thailand is a great place because it’s an affordable option. A one-bedroom can cost around $450 per month and even cheaper in some cases if you are okay with living outside the city.
Thailand is also a safe place where you don’t have to worry about your safety as a Black traveler. You will have access to some of the most beautiful white-sand beaches, breathtaking scenery, mouth-watering cuisine, and more.
It is the perfect destination if you’re looking to reconnect and find your purpose. There are tons of spiritual and wellness retreats happening throughout the year – which aim to help you find inner peace.
Spain is popular for those seeking an adult gap year mainly because it’s an affordable option for Europe with Barcelona consistently ranked as the most attractive.
People mainly spend their gap year in Spain focusing on language, art, or volunteering.
The country is home to many important cultural sites and a world-renowned culinary scene, so you certainly won’t be bored during your gap year.
Bordered by Costa Rica and the Caribbean, Panama is considered one of the best destinations for relocation – even if it’s temporary. The cost of living is cheaper compared to bigger cities in the U.S. where you can get by with $900 per month and sometimes as low as $700 if you can stay disciplined during your gap year.
The proximity to the U.S. is also attractive for long-haul travelers who are not ready to venture too far.
If you’re not confident in your ability to learn another language or shy away from countries because of possible language barriers, then that’s another reason to consider Panama.
Though Spanish is the official language, English is considered the second language of Panama, and most of the residents can speak English fluently.
8. Turks and Caicos
Surrounded by brilliant turquoise blue water, Turks and Caicos offer some of the most stunning white-sand beaches in the Caribbean.
It’s a great destination for those who want to spend a majority of their gap year unplugged, in paradise, and most importantly, outside.
There is already a well-established ex-pat community in Providenciales, Turks, and Caicos, which means this could make your transition easier.
9. Costa Rica
Spending an adult gap year in Costa Rica will be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life.
You can spend your time becoming fluent in Spanish all while exploring its diverse scenery with its rainforests, beaches, and volcanoes.
Costa Rica is known to be one of Latin America’s most peaceful countries so, you don’t have to worry about your safety.
The government and residents have been welcoming international visitors and expats.
A single person can live comfortably between $1,400 and $1,800 in Costa Rica.
10. Getting the Most Out Of An Adult Gap Year
Walking away from your daily routine will present both some exciting adventures and challenges during your gap year, but you will find it to be a rewarding experience by keeping an open mind.
Your gap year should allow you to challenge yourself to grow, learn, and expand your perspective for your next venture in life.