So much has changed since I wrote last! We started 2020 with high hopes, enthusiasm, and grand plans! The hopes were dashed, the plans cancelled and enthusiasm was replaced with a big dose of disappointment. We’ve made lemonade out of lemons and loved on that silver lining, but dang, what a bummer. We’ve embraced that too, because it’s how you move forward.
In the gap year world, when a virus moved across the planet, thousands of kids and families were put on alert, then red-alert, and then in a flurry of flights and lost memories, were sent straight home to quarantine. It was hard and sometimes scary and was a disappointing end to so many life long dreams.
Gap Year Base Camp had students in programs around the globe. Literally. They had passed that phase in the experience where it’s difficult and awkward, and were forming strong bonds with new friends and getting comfortable in their new culture. They were experiencing the satisfaction of feeling ‘a part of’ rather than ‘a stranger to’ when we had to slam on the brakes. It’s over. You must come home. And insult to injury….’you can complete this online.’ Well, no not really. Let’s be honest.
A grand adventure can’t really happen online. You can’t laugh under the stars with new friends online. You can’t taste that salty sweet Vietnamese rice concoction online. Or feel that unique travel anxiety of trying to figure out a train schedule in Chinese…. The deep learning that happens in a gap year has to do with pushing personal boundaries and crossing cultural ones. It’s not an online thing.
I have total faith that we will one day soon be planning gap years abroad again. We are seeing shifts in that direction already. There have been lots of programs that have been cancelled for fall due to logistics, but we are also seeing plenty of programs that are pivoting and focusing more domestically and in smaller groups.
As some colleges are announcing online curriculums for fall, there are many students who are opting out of that compromise and choosing another path. The conversation around options is getting more and more creative, which is a hallmark of youth and ingenuity! I love it!
Read on to see what your choices might look like for a 2020 Gap Year and if you’d like to join a Fall 2020 Gap Year Cohort, well, right now is the time! We can help.
Reach out to me directly by responding to this email if you’d like to explore a fall adventure. We can hand tailor a unique experience…it’s what makes us tick at GYBC!
At Gap Year Base Camp we are quite busy keeping the faith! We hang our hats on travel and the promise of meeting our global friends…the one’s we don’t know yet…in foreign lands or on the journey.
We want to help you do the same and will be here when you are ready!
Ivey and the Gap Year Team
Wilderness programs have an advantage during this strange time in that they are traditionally smaller groups and they happen in the wilderness. Most states have published guidelines that fall easily into line with current best practices, making it likely that your trip won’t get cancelled. We HIGHLY recommend Wilderness Programs for a transformative experience that will make you stronger, wiser, and will give you lifetime tools for excellent mental & physical health. Our favorite program still has some availability!
The Great American Road Trip (and a little Canada, too)
We live in amazing country and most young adults have seen very little of it! We have coordinated a trip with three friends that makes me jealous to think about! They are purchasing a van with saved funds, retrofitting it to travel/live in and have collectively created a network of friends and family to visit and work for along the way. They have a bucket list of things to do, eat, see, surf, hike, climb and jump from. By utilizing a work exchange program their trip will cost very little. Go gang!
A Personal Odyssey
Jack and Jillian, and yes, those names are for real, were sent home from their study abroad program this past spring. They are both juniors in college and have no desire to take their senior year of college online. So they aren’t. They are taking a semester off and going on an odyssey. These two friends, both history buffs, will travel the Lewis & Clark Trail by foot, bike, boat and 1996 Subaru. By all means, honk if you see them…somewhere between Washington DC and Washington state.
Links you’ll love & Inspiration for Adventure!
I’m a long time fan of Patagonia. They have created a volunteer action network that is truly revolutionary. If you have some spare time, lend a hand where you can. Especially right here right now, this meaningful work can make a difference.
Are you a parent with a child in high school, college or not? We have amazing, affordable programs that may provide that missing link of relevance and connection. (And PS…any age is the right age for self discovery.)
For the guys. Have you heard of EVRYMAN? The New York times describes it as “crossfit for your emotions.” During normal times they offer transformational retreats and wilderness trips for men. Right now they are offering meetings and chances to connect personally online.
Studies show that people who take a gap year are better prepared for college, jobs, life, and strong relationships. Colleges actually advocate for students to do this because they come back more focused and prepared! Read all about it!
With deep regret, we have cancelled our 2020 Gap Year Training trip on the Oxford canal in England. We plan on putting it back on the schedule for next year and have left the trip listing up so that you can read all about it!
We will also be offering a trip to France and will be posting it in the coming months. If you’d like to be put on the wait list for either of these trips just respond to this email and let us know! See below.
We’ve been watching movies that sort of satisfy our wanderlust. This one is such fun!
Travel is not a reward for hard work, it is education for living. Give yourself or your young adult the gift of time. Time to learn, time to find their strengths and improve their weaknesses, time to dream, time to pursue that which sings to the soul. Time to experience their gifts and time to discern their path. No one has ever regretted a gap year.
Do you want to experience the nitty gritty wonder of India without leaving the couch? My son just finished this and loved it! And this. And this. He’s a HUGE reader. He was on Semester at Sea and one of his professors wanted his reading list after they got to talking…
And my absolute favorite instagram account is @1bike1world for pure happiness and travel inspiration. Dean, a burly welder from Scotland, decides to ride his bike around the world and is riding in Greece when he hears a tiny meow. Just follow him, please!
I just love this! Do you ever set unusual goals for yourself? This fellow made A LOT happen in 24 hours! Read the credits at the end carefully for a little fun bonus!
There are literally tens of thousands of gap year choices and they are overwhelming. You can spend hours, days, weeks, researching and still not know the right choice to make. Let our expertise make your experience better. We know the best programs, the ones to be avoided like the plague, and the many layers of details that need managing. In short, we’ve got your back. Gap Year Base Camp is ground zero for your Gap experience.