Contrary to the common perception that gap years are done between high school and university, gap years can actually be taken at any time of life.
As the idea of a gap year has spread throughout the world as a way to explore, rejuvenate, and invest in oneself, more people at different stages of life are interested in taking time off. Gap years can be taken after high school, after university, after a few years of being out in the working world, before getting married, after having kids, during mid-life career transitions, and during retirement. Actually, more people are realizing that any time is a good time to travel and invest in yourself. Heck, any time is a good time to travel and invest in yourself!
Nevertheless, many young professionals worry about derailing their careers by leaving a promising job and recent graduates worry about missing out on jobs if they take a year off instead of proceeding directly into the workforce.
Naturally, whether you've just graduated or already entered the workforce, taking time out for travel has to be balanced with your career ambitions.
As someone who took a gap year for the first time in her mid-20s (I left one job but then came home and was immediately hired into another one), I can vouch that taking a gap year does not have to derail your career. There are, however, ways to take a gap year that make it easier to integrate the time away with your promising professional life.