If you and a group of friends are approaching your gap year, it is traditional to see a bit of the world, and, of course, there are many ways that you can learn about other cultures by travelling. If you are looking for some inspiration for what to do with your gap year, here are a few great ideas.
- Trekking in Peru – One of the most popular ways to spend the gap year is trekking over the Andes, and this is said to be an amazing experience. This would not cost a fortune and with a few friends, you can experience life at 3000m above sea level, as you traverse a section of the Andes. There are online tour operators that specialise in Peru trekking trips, but make sure you talk to all your friends first, so you have a firm number.
- Volunteer Teaching in Thailand – All you need is your airfare, as the operator will provide you with food and accommodation, and you get to choose both the location and the type of English teaching you do. Some like to jump in the deep end and teach a class of 50 Thai kids, while others would prefer to converse with novice Buddhist monks, which is another form of language instruction. At some point, you can all charter a small catamaran in Phuket and explore the Andaman Sea, and if English teaching is not your thing, why not stay at an elephant sanctuary, where you can help with bath time in the river and feeding?
- South East Asia Tour – This is a well-trodden path that has seen many thousand, if not millions, of gap year students take. Fly into Bangkok, spend a week or two exploring this amazing city, then head south to places like Samui Island (next door to Koh Pang Gan, the famed Full Moon Party venue) and Phuket. Then you can make the trip up to the north of Thailand, which is a different culture to the rest of the country in many respects, and after some white-water rafting in Chiang Rai, you can meet the hilltribe people, then cross into Cambodia and do Laos while you are there, and if you’re feeling adventurous, Vietnam and Myanmar await!
- Working in Australia – If you are from Europe or the UK, you can apply for a working visa that allows you to travel and work in Australia for 12 months, and if you happen to fall in love with this remarkable country, you can extend for another 2 years. This is a great life experience for any young person, and Australia is very cosmopolitan and it is easy to find casual work. You could work in a bar or even round up cattle, and when you want to move on, simply find more work at your next destination.
Whatever you decide to so with your free time, make sure it is something that will broaden your horizon and present you with challenges.