You don't have to be a 20-something to take a year off for self-exploration.

When you hear the words “gap year,” you probably picture a recent grad backpacking around the world before heading off to university or climbing the career ladder.

But students aren’t the only ones who can benefit from taking a year off for self-exploration. After all, it’s not like you stop evolving after your 20s - and that could be why a growing number of women over age 40 are stepping back from successful careers to refocus their goals, travel the world or pursue a passion.

We talked to four women to find out what inspired them to take an “adult gap year” and how the decision changed their lives.

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