Need Advice: Thinking about a Gap Year

It's the start of my senior year of high school… exams, grades, graduation already being considered and their reminders constantly in my face. 🙂  Everyone I know is completely supportive of me going to a university directly after hs, though I'm thinking of doing a gap year instead. If I do have the chance for a gap, I want to gain as much knowledge and experience possible within a 6 to 10 month period while fitting a tight budget (depending on the length, about 5 to 8k$ for it all) starting around July/August 2013. At first I thought of backpacking Europe and taking the Interrail but travelling alone in foreign countries didn’t exactly appeal to my mother. So, I’m thinking about going with an organization to Asia – study Japanese in Japan, travel and volunteer in Thailand, Vietnam, Bali maybe? Nothing’s set in stone; it’s all just an idea for the moment. I’ve found several organizations that offer programs that I like the sound of, but I can’t pinpoint it to just one. Would it be a good idea of going with different organizations to different places? Like, going with one org’s program to China for a month and then another to Thailand that started a bit after the end of the China trip? Is that even rational? Any ideas on what I *could* do? Many thanks. 🙂

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