Backpackers welcome a new generation: stressed-out executives


They are gap-year backpackers who trek through the Andes and lounge on idyllic beaches in Thailand to satisfy their wanderlust. But they are not seeing the sights of the world before starting on a career – they are taking a break from one.

A new wave of senior backpackers has joined pre-university students who frequent the world’s youth hostels on limited budgets to see some of the planet’s most beautiful sights.

Unlike the undergraduate in waiting, the older traveller is seeking to escape a 14-hour day at the office and hoping to reassess his or her life.

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A YouGov of 2,013 people aged 26 to 34 found that gap years were no longer the preserve of students in search of golden sands and holiday adventures. Many regarded their gap year as a chance to reflect on life as well as a final fling before they settled down to a life of children and domesticity.

The research found that in particular, jaded executives in their late twenties and early thirties were quitting their high-salaried jobs and selling their homes to re-examine their lives on extended trips abroad.

From Backpackers welcome a new generation: stressed-out executives

There is a shock. Nick to know they have a study to back up what many people have been noticing for quite awhile.