We caught up with Laura Ridgers, the social media executive at Real Gap, on why the gap month is the new gap year. Here’s what she had to say about it all…
Do you want to conquer the world but think you haven’t got the time to do it? Think again, buddy. Whether you’re up for climbing the mighty Kilimanjaro, island hopping through the beautiful blue in Thailand, or working and living the life of a surfer bum Down Under, there’s something for you to do.
Long gone are the days when a gap year meant a fulfilling 12 months of travelling around the world – now it’s all about the ‘Gap Month’.
Sometimes it’s just not very ‘you’
Between us Real Gappers, we’ve smashed our way through 87 different countries. Our team has bucket loads of travel experience, and most of our guys have been on the traditional gap year and seen the world a few times over. But while today’s 18 to 20-somethings punch their way through the hardest job market in history (as awarded by us), and the most expensive tuition fees since the land before time, sometimes a ‘Gap Month’ can prove to be more manageable on the old bank balance. Why rush your way around the world in an ‘all-you-can-eat’ style buffet when you can take a nibble out of a couple of countries at a time? We don’t want you to get indigestion, now!
It’s much easier to save for a flight which will land in one continent as opposed to four (trust us on that one). Also, it’s quicker to save for one four week adventure (say, the Thailand Experience) combined with a smaller one (The Cambodia Experience) rather than saying you’ll tick off the whole of Asia / Australia in a double whammied swoop. You could easily travel around South East Asia for six weeks and see all the major highlights such as The Grand Palace in Bangkok, Angkor Wat in Cambodia and the UNESCO town of Luang Prabang in Laos. After all, with your university summer holidays you’ve the perfect time to put your explorer’s hat on!
A gap year isn’t just for the students either. Now that tuition fees are at an all time sky high, some are opting to learn on the road by going away for a couple of months before they start job hunting upon their return. Others, understandably, just want an escape from the standard 9-5 or experience something which will change their life. Either way, our bite size adventures will suit you down to the ground! You could volunteer on a ‘Big 5′ game reserve, travel along the stunning Garden Route and visit the buzzin’ Cape Town in two weeks on our epic South Africa Experience.
And if Africa’s not your cuppa tea, then you could go from ‘Bangkok to Beaches’ in our 10 day adventure in Thailand, or you could volunteer on a sea turtle conservation project while surfing for a week on the beaches of Costa Rica! (Such a hard life…)
If you’re looking for a unique travel experience abroad, look no further! Volunteering is a fantastic way to meet new people, immerse yourself into a new culture and make a difference abroad. There’s quite the variety too – you could work with children, help out in the community, get hands on experience with wildlife or volunteering and learn about conservation. It’s pretty cool thinking you could teach kids in the Amazon Rainforest, or get involved with Giant Panda conservation in China! Not only that, but our volunteers really make a difference to the hundreds of people who our projects work with all over the world.
We’re all different
There’s no denying that going on a round the world adventure is beyond life changing. If we could we’d be off on a RTW trip like a shot, but it’s not always the right option for the here and now. Whether you’re going to save up for a yearlong epic adventure (and want a taster in the meantime) or short term travel is more you, give it a go. Sure, on your RTW trip you’ll probably conquer the world, become King or Queen of a tribe and sky dive above a sea full of sharks, but that doesn’t mean you can’t experience the world one country at a time first!