I plan to apply for PhD programs in foreign policy this upcoming year. It's a field I'm passionate about and something that, after much deliberation, I am positive I want to pursue. With that said, I'm currently in a field unrelated to politics/policy - having studied business in college. I have been working in this field for several years.
I've always dreamed of traveling the world, experiencing other cultures, and having some time to myself to learn a new language/write a book. In the past, I've always been a working hard in school or work to do these things for myself - and I'm sure I won't have the time upon starting a PhD program.
Thus, in a perfect world, I would like to quit my job, travel the world, and have the experience of a lifetime as soon as possible - for as long as possible - until the start of my PhD program. My main worry is that, in approx. 8 months when I apply for PhD programs, I will have to put 'unemployed' and attempt to explain to admissions what I've been up to for almost a year (as opposed to putting down a very good, well respected job - albeit one in a different field).
I want this experience of a lifetime but, at the same time, I don't want to jeopardize my chances at top programs. Some people I have consulted have said that taking on such an experience can actually be seen as unique and increase my chances of admission (though I am skeptical of that).
I am extremely grateful for any tips/advice. If anyone has familiarity with the admissions process of top PhD programs and how they would view someone with a current 'unemployed' status, please provide any insight you can.
Thanks so much!