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!

Gap Years with Children - Gap Year Kids

"I soon realized that no journey carries one far unless, as it extends into the world around us, it goes an equal distance into the world within." Lillian Smith

Taking my children out of school, away from their home, friends, pets, family and father wasn't decision that I undertook lightly. In fact there were many nights where I got the two o'clock in the morning sweats wondering what the hell I was doing. Was I quite mad?

My situation was a little different from most parents contemplating an adventure like this in that I was single and there was no partner to fall back on. If something happened to me, my two vulnerable children could potentially be 18'000 km away from home and help from friends and family.

There were nights that I found this thought very, very scary and I had to work out a way to deal with it. First I had to train the children to cope with a situation like the above but I had to do it without scaring them. This wasn't easy and I tried to make a game out of memorising itineraries and phone numbers of various friends and contacts in the countries that we visited.

The children had their own journals where we copied down email addresses, phone numbers, hotel addresses and so on. Looking back I think, on the whole, the children were oblivious to the extent of my anxiety here! Which is just as well!

I also chose countries to visit where I felt fairly confident. Had I been travelling on my own I would have been far more adventurous.

The Children and their family

While we were away the children kept an online diary which they used to keep in touch with various family back home and around the world. On the whole they probably maintained better contact 10'000 miles away than they did back home in England.

The Children and their friends

Both of the girls missed their friends and the elder found it harder than anticipated to slot back in. Just as with everyone, when you are away and you come back with tales to tell, not everyone had unlimited attention. In fact, after a few minutes, your experiences are so far out the realm of their everyday you can see them glazing over.
Both girls thought there would be more interest in their experiences but adjusted pretty quickly to just keeping quiet.

One side effect was that suddenly all the children's friends, (and some of mine) thought we were terribly rich!! If only it were so!

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