Plymouth woman follows dreams and takes gap year at 31

India Jolly from Plymouth is taking a solo gap year at the age of 31
-Credit: (Image: India Jolly / SWNS)

A Plymouth woman is proving that it is never too late to follow your dreams by taking a solo gap year at the age of 31. India Jolly wants to "break" the "expectation" that it's too late to take a leap of faith and travel the world.

India has always wanted to travel around south east Asia, but every time she had the savings to go she ended up going back to university to study instead. She realised her short attention span was a symptom of ADHD, after seeing other women talking about it on TikTok, and was officially diagnosed in August 2022.

After taking a fixed term maternity cover job as a curator at a museum she used the opportunity to save to travel and booked her flights before she could change her mind. India saved £11,000 for the trip and jetted off to Bangkok, Thailand, in June 2024.

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She hopes to spend four months travelling round Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam before heading to Australia for a year on a working visa. India said: "It's something I have wanted to do since I was 20.

"It something that's always been in the back of my mind. Whenever I have had the opportunity to save to go travelling I have gone back to university. It still feels quite surreal."

India got the bug for travelling after spending five weeks in America after graduating from her history undergrad in 2016. After spotting an elephant sanctuary on social media she had her heart set on travelling to Asia.

But India struggled to save - which she now links to her ADHD diagnosis. She said: "I was getting bored really quick.

"I started my masters degree in history and finished in 2019. Then it was the pandemic. I wasn't having a good time so I went back to university again. I did a masters in heritage in 2020."

India was diagnosed with ADHD at aged 30. She said: "I was seeing loads of videos with women with ADHD. I thought 'I think I have that'."

India's diagnosis was "validating" and helped her understand why she is compulsive, experiences burnout easily and why she feels emotions strongly. After securing a job for a year she knew she had to take the plunge and booked a flight before she could change her mind.

She spent the year planning and saving and set off on her travels in June 2024. India hasn't booked anything past the first few weeks in case she makes friends on her way and changes her route slightly.

She said: "I'm excited to go to Chiang Rai to see the temples. In Cambodia I want to do Angkor Wat.

"And they have these giant rats that are trained to find unexploded bombs. I have a big list of museums. I just love learning things."

Plymouth woman travelling during her gap year at 31
Plymouth woman travelling during her gap year at 31 -Credit:India Jolly / SWNS

India wants to inspire people to go travelling no matter their age. She said: "There are so many assumptions. It's assumed people with ADHD can't get degrees.

"It's assumed at 30 you have to be married with children not travelling around. I'm trying to break those expectations. Societal pressures are in our head."

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