The two main types of reactions I get are:
A) 'Oh that's so cool, I'd LOVE to do that!' and the rather more pessimistic:
B) 'I see. You're planning to leave your permanent job in this economy? Right....Good luck then!'
A case in point is my mother who fits firmly into category B. She has seen the news, she's talked to her friends, she's heard the horror stories of young people who can't get work in this country because the economy is so bad. She fears if I leave my current job and go to Australia for a year, that I won't be able to find a job when I get back. This is not an unreasonable fear by any means. The statistics are bad- there's a 15% unemployment rate in Ireland. But I'm fortunate enough to work in a sector where there are always jobs to be found: healthcare. I fully accept the fact that when I return after a year out of the country, it may be difficult to find a job. I will more than likely have to work some shitty temporary locum jobs for a while until something better turns up. That's if I even want to live in Ireland again (I have this notion that I'm going to give London a go for a while see if I like living there as much as I think I will.)
Besides, there will never be a perfect time to go take a year out of your career. I chose to look at it as a positive thing. Future employers will hopefully like that I have international experience and that I appear to have gotten the travel thing out of my system.
Bottom line, I'm 24, healthy, single, I have no commitments and a decent amount of savings. There will never be a better time to travel. So roll on June 2013!