Planning a gap year?


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But feeling a little daunted?

Not sure which way to turn?

Wondering where you'll end up

And what might happen along the way?

Fear not!!

We have loads of tips and advice to share with you

From our own amazing Family Gap Year!

Sarah's Cook Islands - aged 9

When we came off the plane we could feel the heat straight away, and the humidity was horrible and the airport was even worse! There was no air conditioning and it was tiny.
We went through the security checks and we found the bus for the hotel. We waited a little bit for everyone to arrive but there was only us and two others but when we arrived at our hotel it was nearly midnight so we were exsortsted and we were happy when we went to bed.

The rooms were quite small and they were very sandy but we liked them and they had their own bathroom and kitchen which was lovely.

In the morning we went into town on the bus and bought some snorkling gear. It was really hot and the bus had a big sign in the window screen saying it was a clockwise or anti clock wise bus so we knew which direction we were going.

The whole island took only 45 minutes without stopping to drive round. It was made of a now extinct volcano. The shops were mostly filled with same things like swimsuits, sarongs, sunglasses etc. The supermarket was absolutely freezing but it was nice but when it was raining and we were wet it was too cold. They weren’t very well stocked with big sections of the same thing and they were very expensive. Mum paid £5 for a tub of yoghurt!

When we got back to the hotel we went snorkling. It was so cool but when we saw the eel it wasn’t (aaahh!) and it was really weird when it started raining because there was warm sea underneath us and then cold rain splashing on the top of our backs.

Wild Dogs

When we were having a walk on the beach we found a wild dog and we sort of adopted her and we named her Sandy. She was so adorable and she followed us everywhere, I loved her to bits. When she went fishing she came out with a puffer fish and then we found it later and we felt really mean because we should have rescued it as she only had only eaten the tail.
We found a cat too and named him Whiskey, he was really cute and when we fed him after a few days his fur went really soft, the same with Sandy.

Other kids

We met a family and they had 3 children. Hector, who was 3, Tilly was 7 and Jemima was 6. They had their own private pool and we all swam in it with our clothes on the first time, it was really cool. We spent most of the time on the island playing with them and snorkeling also playing with Sandy and the other stray dogs.

We hired a mini convertible for two days. It was very small and it was turquoise green colour and mum had to get a Cook Island drivers license and she looked very funny in the picture cos her face was all pink cos she was too hot. We used the car to drive around the island instead of catching the buses all the time even though it was cheaper to go on the bus. We invited Tilly and everyone to come with us to the Fruits of Raratonga to go snorkeling. It was cool and we saw really big fish. They ate out of your hands but one bit me and it was quite sore.

We saw quite a few fish off the movie, Finding Nemo like puffer fish, Scarface and angel fish and there was a really funny fish that attacked my flipper every time I put it on his rock. It was really funny.
On the way back there wasn’t enough room in the car so I went on the moped with Tilly and her dad and I sat in the front, it was awesome.

Rain

There was a lot of rain. All of a sudden it would start like a tap switching on and then when it stopped it was like the tap had been turned off. There was lightening and thunder at the same time and when it rained Sandy just dissappeared but Whiskey came to shelter in our room.

Lisa and I went for walks on the beach when mum was sleeping and once Lisa buried me really deep and she tested it by punching my toes to see if I could move them and they went crack! So she carried on burying me. Then a huge wave approached us and I tried to jump out but my feet were stuck but I luckily got out without getting wet.

When Lisa and me went shopping we went to a GMC store at Muri beach and there were tiny bananas the size of my finger. They were very sweet and very nice.
We were standing next to the Danish department and a huge hornet came up to Lisa and then she ran out the shop. We bought some sweets and the chewing gum was in the shape of a mushroom so Lisa went off it. We bought a baguette for Lunch and some postcards.

We went to a restaurant on our second last day and we had big plate of shrimps and Lisa had a bowl full of chips and there was a really cute kitten playing around in the restaurant, he wasn’t shy at all.

Then we went and fed Sandy and Whiskey. Whiskey slept on our bed all night, he was so cute.

At about 1:00 in the morning on our last night in the islands I woke up with a horrible ear ache, then in the morning while mum and Lisa were getting ready for leaving I was on the bed in tears. Mum said it was probly because we were in the pool so much. It was so sore, so mum took me to the docters who gave me antibiotics and some ear drops. Then on the way back mum hitch hiked a ride so we didn’t have to wait for the bus in the horrible heat and we went in the back of a pick up truck. When we got back we got ready for the plane and we had to say goodbye to Sandy and Whiskey. It was really sad.

Then we had to wait for ages as our flight left late at night and then when the bus finally did come we loaded on and mum had the window open so my ear really hurt. Then we went to the airport and then we were off to America. It was the same plane that we arrived on and it was hot and stuffy and it really hurt my ear when you took off. I slept most the way to the States so I didn’t really feel my ear too badly but I think we all had an ok flight.

I was excited to get to America because we were going to meet Daddy!

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