Pledge Your Allegiance to Gapyear

You may have seen the news that President Barack Obama’s oldest daughter Malia will be taking a gap year before she attends Harvard in 2017. You might also have noticed that we’re a gap year company, so naturally we’re interested in how she might spend the time.

Although we have no doubt she can plan her own gap year, we’re here with a few suggestions. Just in case she’s a keen reader, you know.

South East Asia

A gap year in South East Asia

The classic gap year! No matter how famous you might be, no backpacking adventure is complete without visiting Thailand. Here, Malia can hop between islands in the south, trek with elephants in the north, and generally party everywhere in between.

From Thailand, Malia would have her pick of Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, or elsewhere in Asia. Harvard can always wait another year or three.


Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge

Budgeting is unlikely to be an issue for Malia, nor will she need to find work, which will give her plenty of time to learn to surf on Bondi Beach, drive the Great Ocean Road, kick back in the Whitsundays, and delve into the forbidding Outback. Backpacking in Australia is the best.

Australia might only be one country, but even in the space of a year no two days will be the same.

New Zealand

Hiking in New Zealand

New Zealand might be a relatively small country, but it easily rivals Malia’s native USA for variety of landscapes and experiences.

Life as a president’s daughter might have been a bit restrictive, but in New Zealand she can climb Franz Josef Glacier, brave the Nevis Bungee Jump, skydive 15,000ft over Lake Wanaka, and party the night away in Wellington and Auckland. Travel is all about feeling free, which makes New Zealand the perfect destination.


Travelling in Europe

Malia has been to Europe before, but doing so as part of official visits means strict itineraries and getting stuck with royal families, having to pretend their children are cute.

If she gets herself an InterRail pass, she can pack as much of this diverse continent into her schedule as she likes, moving at her own pace without a royal welcoming party in sight.


Monument Valley, USA

Okay, bear with us here. We appreciate that Malia will have seen a lot of the USA while travelling with her parents. But she’ll almost always have seen it from while escorted by overzealous security.

There’s a huge difference between driving the Pacific Coast Highway in an armoured SUV and driving it in a convertible with the top down and the wind in your hair. The USA has so much to see, it’s little wonder that so many Americans never bother travelling abroad. Malia could do a lot worse than stay at home.