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 Year Networking

"The fortune of him who is sitting sits; it rises when he rises; it sleeps when he sleeps; it moves when he moves. Therefore wander!” Unknown

To my mind this is was one of the most important things that I should have done and I didn't.

I should have networked before I left. By this I mean contacting, by all sorts of methods, other families who were doing or planning on doing the same thing.

Before I left

  • I would have liked to exchange ideas on places to go. I have no regrets about where we visited in anyway but they were very much the 'safe' route

  • I would have liked to speak to other mothers, single or not, to share my various fears and hear hers (more nightmares ;-)

  • I would have liked to talk about what and what not to pack, about vaccinations and which malaria medication they were using

  • I would have liked to find out what they did with their home, their pets, their friends, their jobs, their lives while they were away

  • I would have liked to know what they felt they would feel when they got home

En route

  • It would have been wonderful to have met families before we left and then met up with them along the way.
    We did meet many people on our trip and some of them so nice and friendly that we are still in touch but it would also have been nice to meet up with other families doing what we were doing. As it was we met four families across the five months. One family was French, another Danish and two were English.
    Amazing how often we'd get to a hostel or campsite only to have the owner say, 'Oh there was a family here yesterday/last week, what a shame you missed them.'
    It would have been great to share experiences, swap books and homework and DVD's along the way
    Travelling as a parent is very different from travelling as a single person and you will find it pretty hard to slot in in some places. As a parent gapper you are just not the same type of person that they are. And by 'they' I mean the other travellers and the normal people you meet. Taking your children out of school and just taking off isn't strictly normal behaviour!

Once we got back

  • I don't know many people who have gone round the world with their children. When we got home it was so weird. The house was so very very quiet, life had gone on pretty much the same for everyone as it had done but for us so much had happened

  • It would have been nice to share the 'coming down' experience with other families.

Reading all the above I kind of feel that I give the impression of massive loneliness. Not at all. I deeply enjoy my own company and have spent years travelling to far flung places on my own but the family gap year was different.
There were times when I would have given a lot to speak to other parents who would have understood where I was coming from. AND the children would have loved to meet and play with other children who they thought they might meet up with again.

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