In many countries employment gap is a big concern if it is for more than a year. Two to three years gap after high school is big no in these countries. For example in most of the Asian countries, people are stressed even if they are out of work for a year. In USA, perception of gap is not the same. It is interesting to know that here in USA, people deliberately take off after high school or graduate school to pursue their hobby or do things which they always dreamed of.
Employers don’t necessarily put it against you, if you are able to explain right and make them believe that the break between work was for personal reasons which were important or for pursuing your dreams and passion. On the other hand it gives you edge. Everybody loves a person who is always on the hunt to make himself/herself better and ready to take the plunge to add something valuable to his/her persona. Here in USA, employers look for skills and not the gap in your resume. Even if you have a gap and your skill matches their criteria they will hire you. We would not suggest you to sit idle and do nothing during those times.
There are various things you can pursue during those times. Volunteering is one way which helps in compensating the gap in your resume. Employers consider volunteer work as relevant work experience here. It also gives the impression that you are a good person who likes to give back to the society and will be committed for their company. If you are interested in enhancing your knowledge, you can surf various websites which offer free courses by prestigious universities. In Cousera.org, Edx.org, khanacademy.org and venture-lab.org courses are taught by famous professors from ivy league schools. They also offer certificate of completion duly signed by the concerned professor. It will certainly help in adding skills. One can also take vocational courses from local adult education centre for minimal price to improve the skills. Distance online courses can also be taken from Harvard extension, Northeastern University, University of Massachusetts, ed2go. There will not be visa issue if you go for certain certificate courses. You can always blog about your profession and showcase your knowledge. And yes, there is also an option of english classes for advanced speaking and pronunciation at low cost.
Just remember when God closes one door he opens another. Good Luck!!