The So Called 'Gap Year'

So, earlier this month, well last month now, in the shower, it suddenly dawned on me that I'm coming to the end of my gap year! I was just thinking about how many times family and friends have asked me 'what I'm doing', and now, instead of getting annoyed (mostly at myself for not having a good answer), I find it a funny question because I was doing stuff! I started my blog, I was taking time to explore who I was and who I wanted to be, I was growing as an individual and figuring out what I wanted in life and defining what 'life' actually meant to me. I was taking time to think and grow and just, be. But that's too long an answer. So, back to in the shower - which seems to be the best place for such thoughts - I asked the question in my head to myself, 'What are you doing then?' and I replied, 'er, gap year-ing?!'... the simplest of answers, but alas! Said gap year has come to an end...

A 'gap year' is a year long break, free from responsibilities, if you like, i.e. from education or from work. Time taken to explore the world and to explore yourself. It's the year people use to 'find themselves', to figure out what they want to do in life. And it's usually taken before going or just after finishing university.

It's extremely popular to spend this time traveling, but really you can do whatever the fuck you want. 

I knew I was going to take a gap year when I realised back in 2013, that university wasn't for me. It wasn't till January 2014 when I started to look into how I could spend my year. I knew I wanted to travel, to find myself and to feel free.


I decided to start the gap year working in France, so September 1st 2014, I got a flight to the South of France, to work as an au pair for the next four months. I learned so much there, I started practicing yoga regularly, met great people, It really felt like my second home. And I got to explore loads too! It was an amazing experience and even with all the ups and downs, I wouldn't change one bit.

On the way back home, after paying an annoying amount of my wages to get my hand luggage checked in because it was suddenly too big (still a tad salty about that one, can you tell?), I felt so free and pretty proud of myself. It was about five days until my parents were to go on holiday, leaving my brother and I alone for three weeks. I was enjoying my new sense of freedom with lots of trips to London and, well anywhere I felt really, getting into the Christmas spirit as well as working on my blog in the evenings. By the end of January though, I started to feel a bit of post-holiday blues I guess. I felt so incredible when I first got back, but now, what was I doing? I hadn't found myself like I thought I did because the feeling was gone. My confidence wasn't the same, all the things that were clear to me back in France, no longer seemed to apply here. It was as if by coming home I had automatically started to turn into who I was before I left, or at least, was facing the problems I'd left behind..


So, instead of getting down about the fact I was feeling down, I started to consciously apply things I'd learned in France. I officially launched Purely in March and that was a great motivator to further explore myself.

If you read my post about my nineteenth birthday, you'll know what a significant age that was for me. I felt that, for the first time in a long time, I was the age I was supposed to be - because my beliefs and what I was doing matched the expectations people have of someone of that age. I carried on enjoying my freedom, trying my best to ignore those anxiety-inducing 'what you doing with yo life?!' questions, working on my blog and working on me.

It was the end of June the universe led me to a particular book, (The Ancient Secret of the Flower of Life), which in turn led me to awaken in a huge way to spiritually and so once again, I found myself. Or at least, what I felt was another big part of myself.

So by this point, I'd pretty much ticked off everything I wanted to achieve in terms of what I wanted to learn, now all that was left was trying to put that into practise e.g changing thought patterns, breaking habits and building my confidence. 

Each day I reminded myself of my beliefs (kind of like the concept of telling yourself you're beautiful everyday when trying to raise your self esteem). I dressed how I felt - major help, it's like wearing your heart on your sleeve in a more literal sense plus it really boosts your confidence. I cleared out my room, got rid of (a lot) of unnecessary stuff that was kept for sentimentality's sake but now was just annoying to have it there. I became more mindful in what I was doing and I started to practise what I preached.
  Now, I like who I am and I feel excited about the life I'm living and in the process of creating. I'm still learning, we all are, every single day, but I'm trying my best to do so whilst being the current truest version of me.

The funny thing is, I never had any intention of going to university when I started my gap year, which is why I always referred to it with the quotation marks. Now though, university still isn't for me, but I've realised just how much I love astronomy, its always been a part of me (literally, ooooh), and I still want to study it. So I've found an alternative course to get my fix and that fits my life better as it leaves me free to spend the majority of my time doing whatever else I want to do/pursue in life!

And if a few years down the line how I currently spend my time no longer appeals to me, that's cool too - the things that bring me happiness evolve as I do. All I want is to live in a way that embodies my personal values, because living authentically brings you a sense of freedom. I'm striving to feel that freedom everyday.



  1. Dear Vanisha! I'm so proud of you in every way. You made such a progress through this gap year and I'm glad you've find yourself and the way you wanna go. It's not self-evident at that age, I tell you. :) So well done!! Btw, I also get an enlightenment often in the shower of after sleeping. Lots of luck with the online course, sweetheart! Hugs!

    xoxo Ira

    1. Aww thank you so much, Ira! ❤️❤️ What is it with showers?! Haha ,have a great week, my lovely Xx

  2. Of course, Vanisha! <3 <3 Haha, yeah! Guess it's the water which is falling on us... just kidding LOL Thank you for your replies, sweetie!