well, i’ve been lavishly introduced but i think i’d better elaborate a little. my name’s alice, and right this very minute, i’m avoiding the revision i should be doing for my a2 exams…
6 days after my last exam i’m waving goodbye to a summer of post-school partying to spend july and august in accra, ghana. i’m going with i-to-i, as a journalism volunteer. for the record, i would definitely recommend i-to-i, they’ve given me looooooads of information and are always there if you want to ask any questions.
when i get home from ghana, i’ll emotionally say goodbye to my friends who are going to uni and then settle down with some mundane job until the spring! the grand (and not very organised) plan for my gap year is:
live at home and work to raise money, and apply for university (to study english)
ski holiday with friends in january to relieve boredom of working as shop assistants/waitresses/mortuary assistants etc
volunteer placement teaching or working with children in china, the caribbean or india in the spring, followed by:
a grand tour of europe by rail, taking in all the wonderful cultural cities and their fab nightlife! paris, lisbon, madrid, barcelona, rome, berlin, amsterdam, prague, dublin and hopefully back home via the edinburgh festival!
a mate of mine said the other day she thinks a gap year will be good for me - judging by the laughter and incredulous snorts that ALWAYS greet my backpacking plans, she might well be right! well, feel free to check my progress and transformation from a girl who can’t leave the house without the aid of ghd straighteners to a hardened gapper! alice xxx
difficult lessons i’ve learnt so far:
- reeeeeally research your university applications. i chose somewhere with an excellent reputation, only to visit and discover i couldn’t imagine spending three years there…
- the shedloads of money needed for a volunteer placement does not (contrary to my deluded belief) appear from nowhere. instead, you must work for it AND try not to spend it! i have had money troubles this year and it’s no fun whatsoever.
- some advice i was given by a veteran gapper a couple of years ago - “don’t spend all your money on booze” - now that may seem easy, but with the plethora of lavish 18th birthday celebrations the money will just disappear during year 13, i can promise you!
- get a list of trust funds that are local or relevant to your trip. some are absolutely loaded and just dying to give money to a poor traveller. i was surprised to discover that even my school foundation gives money to gappers.