So you have made it this far in life; well done to you. High school was the most challenging and influential part of your life so far. You have worked, and played, hard and hopefully gained the qualifications that you need to enter your preferred field of further education or employment.
You may find yourself as a bit of a square peg in a round hole at the moment. That is perfectly understandable, and you are among hundreds of thousands of others who are in exactly the same boat as you.
This is a good time to think about taking a gap year!
You have the rest of your life to study and work. A gap year adventure is well deserved and may help you mature and gain valuable life experience. That is the argument you should put to your parents anyway when asking them to fund your trip. Many people use the trip as an excuse to go away with their friends and soak up some sun while meeting interesting members of the opposite sex. Of course, those aren’t the reasons you are looking for an adventure i’m sure.
Your gap year may not include travel at all. It may just be a year off that you could use to earn some money in preparation for your first year at university, or just time to chill and play video games, if you have understanding parents.
Lots of people do choose to travel, however, and the world is a big place, so there is no shortage of inviting destinations. A search on the internet will bring results of gap year advisory sites such that may help to focus your thoughts on what you would like to do. There is excellent information and advice specifically tailored to your situation.
Volunteering abroad is an activity many young people take up for their break. There are hundreds of volunteering activities such as a medical assistant or conservation work that you could take advantage of. Doing volunteer work will certainly help you to appreciate the lifestyle you have at home, when you see how some people in the world are forced to live.
Here are a few countries you may like to visit, either as a tourist, or as a volunteer, that you will remember for the rest of your life.
If you are a lover of sunshine, Australia may be the place for you. Backpacking around the massive continent will provide you with the experience of a lifetime. The beaches at Brisbane are amongst the best in the world or maybe you are a lover of surfing, in which case the Gold Coast could be the answer to your dreams. Diving on the great barrier reef, which is the world’s largest living organism is a truly epic experience. Tourists who dive here are frowned upon so use a respected diving company to guide you around the reef.
The beaches of Cape Town are beautiful, and the majestic table mountain sits within the city. Table mountain is over 2 km long and 1km high so the top is often hidden by cloud cover. Nelson Mandela was locked away in Robben Island prison for 18 years, and you can get there by using cable cars unless you want to take the three hour trek. The weather in South Africa is almost guaranteed to be warm and sunny. The wildlife is stunning, and there are many conservation volunteering projects that you may like to take advantage of.
You have probably studied Egypt at some time during your school life. This in no way prepares you, however, for seeing the wonders that await you with your own eyes. It is easy to see how so many theories of alien involvement in the building of the pyramids have presented themselves considering the enormity of the task. Only when you stand in front of them in awe can you wonder how an ancient civilisation could create such monuments. Visit Cairo to see the Museum of Antiquities wherein are housed the great treasures from the tombs of ancient pharaohs., the most famous being Tutankhamun.
Despite it’s troubles, Israel is a popular destination for tourists. You will find a friendly, welcoming population, stunning beaches, and historic sites from religious stories. If you are a person of faith, there is much that can be gained from a visit to the spiritual homeland of Judaism.
The hedonistic carnival at Rio is a sight to behold. If you would enjoy drinking and partying the summer away in the evenings and basking on perfect beaches during the day, Brazil is a good choice.
Visit Italy’s capital city, Rome, where, again, you will see for yourself the ancient ruins that we learned about in school. See the artwork of Michelangelo on the roof of the Sistine Chapel within Vatican City. You will also find museums containing the work of the masters and great establishments serving the finest Italian food.
Found off the east coast of Africa, Seychelles is one of over one hundred idyllic islands. When one thinks of clear warm seas, beautiful sands and clear skies, one could be imagining Seychelles. It is a tropical paradise that equals any other.
During your time travelling and enjoying yourself, you will also be gaining valuable life experience that, upon your return, you will be able to use to add perspective to your own life. Keep a diary on your travels and enter into it every day. Time passes quickly, and memories can fade, but by cataloguing your adventure you will be able to return to that adventure in your old age when reading the journal.
Upon returning home after what may have been many months, your outlook on life could be slightly different to what it was when you left. Having to take care of and provide for yourself when you are abroad forces responsibility upon you in a way that is not objectionable. That can only help you to take the next step by going to university or starting your career. Remember this argument when you are putting forward the case to your parents in the quest to find funding. Most of all though convince them you will be safe, and the purse strings will loosen a lot.
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