Make 2012 the year you’ll never forget…
With the end of the year fast approaching it’s time to ask yourself whether 2011 lived up to your expectations. Did you get to visit that country you’ve always dreamed of? Did you learn something new? Did you meet the love of your life or did you simply live the year like it was your last, grabbing hold of every opportunity that came your way!?
If not, why not make a pledge to ‘do something different’ next year and ensure that 2012 really is the year that you’ll never forget….
One sure fire way to boost your ‘best bits’ for the year ahead is to take a gap year (or even just a few gap months), get out and see the world. Maybe you’ve just finished University or have been working for a while and feel it’s time to do something new? Whatever your situation, gap travel is fast becoming the perfect solution for people just like you. Far from ruining your chances of having a great career or being an excuse to put off the ‘next step’, gap travel can give you a whole new lease of life and you’ll find yourself benefitting from new experiences, skills and valuable life-lessons!
These days, you no longer have to simply dream of taking time off to travel – there are so many options available whether you fancy embarking on an epic adventure, volunteering or hanging out with new friends learning a new language.
Whilst the world is at your fingertips, often the hardest thing is knowing where to start, what to do and where to go; so we’ve started you off with a few ideas of our own…
Work and Holiday Down Under
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If you’re under 30 you could get a ‘Working Holiday’ visa for Australia. This basically does what it says on the tin and not only allows you to experience the adventure of a lifetime but also gives you the right to work to top up your funds! This option is perfect for those who don’t want to wait until they have saved a stash of money before they set off on their travels. You can choose to work on a ranch, in a city, by the coast – it really is up to you. You’re then free to explore the rest of this fantastic country at your leisure!
“Working in Australia is very different to working in the UK… On Friday afternoons it was normal to start the weekends early by having a few drinks in the office and I remember the first time this happened. I was on the front desk, and my boss simply handed me a large green cocktail with a little umbrella in it. I soon realized that I wasn’t special, but this was just a normal practice on a Friday!”
Jane – Working Holiday, Sydney
Volunteering is ‘Utterly Jawesome’
Volunteer work is a hugely popular gap break activity and while many people have visions of building wells or schools in impoverished areas, this is just one example of the kind of project you can get involved with. Community work is of course an amazing way to spend your time, but if it’s not quite for you, then why not think about conservation work or helping endangered animals? Africa boasts literally hundreds of opportunities for ‘gappers’ to show their compassionate side and gain experiences they will never forget.
“What fantastically fascinating creatures to be around every day. The conservation team are so passionate about the animals you can’t help be swept up in the urgent need to save this rapidly decreasing species. You also never lose the thrill of seeing these sharks jump out of the water to rip the meat clean off the hook only meters in front of you.”
Jennifer – Shark Conservation, Cape Town
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Living la Vida Loca in Latin America
Latin America gap years provide the ideal opportunity for you to learn a new language or immerse yourself in a different culture. Where better to do this than the vibrant towns and cities of San Jose, Santiago or La Paz? Whether you choose to take language classes or stay with a host family and ‘learn as you go’, being able to communicate in the native tongue will not only fill you with confidence but is guaranteed to come in handy throughout the rest of your travels!
“After a brilliant first day at the language school it’s back to my host family for another delicious meal. Every meal so far has come with black beans and rice. It is an absolutely key part of breakfast, lunch and dinner which they call ‘Gallo Pinto’. If you don’t like beans and rice, after a few days in Costa Rica you definitely will!”
Shakia – Learning the lingo in Costa Rica
The list of possible opportunities and adventures is almost endless but hopefully we’ve managed to spark your imagination for now. Remember, you don’t have to take a whole year out if you don’t want to, many people set off for a few months or even weeks – that’s plenty of time to enjoy the trip of a lifetime!
If you want to make 2012 the year you’ll never forget, grab yourself a free brochure from Gap360 and have a look at the range of gap travel programmes available. Your travel dreams really can become a reality!
Gap 360 is an exciting, new travel company offering an amazing range of affordable gap year adventures. Get tailor-made travel advice, price guarantees, fair minded policies and fun-packed programmes from the experts.
Time for this Friday’s guest post from our friends at MyDestinationInfo, with an insight into one of Europe’s most overlooked islands…
What springs to mind when you think of Cuba? Cigars, Castro and coconut-laden palms? Cuba is all of these things and much, much more. Whether you’ve got a thirst for adventure or a thirst for a fruity cocktail in a beach hut, the fabulous Caribbean island of Cuba is happy to oblige…