The Peter-Pan Syndrome: An Adult Gap Year Before 30

What makes you happy? The simplicity of the question often raises complicated answers. Well, that depends on the person answering the question. As a person that views the world beyond the mundane routine, in search of exciting, meaningful things in life, the answer isn’t as straightforward. Perhaps, I’m going through a quarter-life crisis due to the struggle of transitioning and adjusting to adulthood. I lust over freedom, trying at every turn to break away from the sudden responsibilities that awash on my doors beckoning to avoid slipping into the peter-pan syndrome. But, at the same time, I find myself mirroring the personality of Alice in the wonderland. My heart yearns for a new adventure out my comfort zone.

IMG_8332Stability isn’t a concept that’s familiar to me. Moving from place to place has been a reality of mine since birth. You can say I’m a traveller, not by choice, by financial struggles. It’s not a bad thing as change is necessary for growth. But at what cost am I willing to trade my adulthood for my freedom when the trading currency is money. That’s tricky about life, lack of doesn’t enable the lifestyle you want, and the lifestyle I want revolves working hard to get the trading currency. As you can see, its an endless cycle that doesn’t sound befitting to me.

IMG_8337Gap years are known as a pre-uni rite of passage that involves partying with friends at an unknown destination in another country. It’s a way of clearing your mind and deciding the best options for your life. Be it going to uni or seeking a different route to success, or happier life. However, like other definition in life, the term ‘Gap Year’ is fluid and more millennials like myself, are looking to take a break from the relentless nature of adulting in London. Over the last year, I travelled as much as I can, falling in love with Portugal and Disney Land. My need for adventure has lined up holidays in my calendars months apart from each other. But, I’m afraid my heart is yearning for a year away. I can’t explain my need for this break.

IMG_8328At this point in life, my age-mates are getting married, having kids and putting a down-payment on their mortgage, which is the complete opposite direction of my life. As I don’t remotely see myself getting into a serious relationship, or having kids, jet-setting into the world, climbing Kilimanjaro and The Great Wall of China while I’m still fit to do so, exploring southeast Asia and ticking off my bucket list seems perfect. That’s before my window of selfishness close. While I was on holiday last year, I learned ways to budget and experience the culture.

IMG_8343This time, I want to truly understand what it means to be dependent on myself without the comfort of my family and friends. Lately, I’ve been in a career rot, dreading every waking moment at my job, deciding what path in life I should explore and I’m hoping that this year break from the societal norm would help refresh, revive feeling with buzzing ideas for my next career venture. Maybe, I will get the chance to indulge myself in art and volunteer.

Have you considered taking a year gap? Have you had an adult year gap? What was your experience? How do you feel about your sabbatical journey?

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