eheathOp I don't have an answer for you but it could be an issue.
That being said, I don't advocate the whole gap year thing. Go to school while you're young, get it done then fuck around. Just personal opinion based on personal experiences.
I'm only a senior in HS right now and am not seriously considering a gap year, but I don't agree with this.
The thing is, when you graduate college, you are either (1) looking for serious employment or (more likely) (2) looking for serious employment and in a shitlode of debt.
You are 21-22 when you graduate college and all on your own. You have to support yourself financially. The year after HS however, is the only time in your life you have a specific type of freedom: one of socially acceptable bummness and financial support from parents. Sure, you should work to an extent, but the money you make is no where near as important as the necessity of getting a job after college graduation.
After HS, you can travel, work, volunteer, etc., and not worry about the repercussions of not making a living wage for 12 months. I'm sure this isn't the case for every person, many have actual jobs and save for post-college, but for the most part, people do what OP is suggesting; do something they love without too much financial worry.
Just my 2 cents.