The day has arrived where essentially the last two years of hard work all culminate into one single letter, your ATAR results. While many of you will be planning your job prospects of that fateful leap into university there is also a huge majority of you that will be yolo-ing into 2018 with adventure on your mind and taking a gap year to recharge the batteries and decide what’s next after you broaden your horizons are see a little more of the world.
Here are my top three picks for destination gap year!
1. USA, USA!
If it’s your first time overseas the thought of going to a non-speaking country could either excite you or terrify you, so why not stick to an all American adventure that has it all, the U.S of A. Think theme parks dedicated to just rollercoasters, cowboys and epic road trip adventures. The U.S is an eclectic mix of consumerism, Instagram worthy attractions like the Hollywood sign or The Statue of Liberty, and with many stories to tell. The most popular destinations within the USA for first time travelers are New York, Miami, Los Angeles, New Orleans and San Francisco which are all uniquely different and diverse. Grab yourself a hot dog and a big hand while you take in a New York Yankies baseball game, or drink cocktails and tan in the tropical beaches of Florida, or take in the picturesque views from Yellowstone and Yosemite national parks. Whatever adventure you are chasing this is one place that has it all plus more.
2. Thai something new in Thailand (see what I did there…)
With 16 million foreigners flying to Thailand each year it’s no wonder that it has made it into my top 3 destinations to spend your gap year. It’s a pretty special place with idyllic beaches and epic parties around every corner. Food, travel and accommodation are still relatively cheap if you do your research and just like the movie The Beach, you can find some of the most beautiful places on earth dotted around this beautiful country. Add to your itinerary Ko Kood for crystal clear waters and beach hangs, Chatuchak Weekend Market for the shop-a-holic and Khao Yai National park for tumbling waterfalls and night safaris.
3. Go and visit the neighbors in New Zealand
I have actually just got back from Queenstown New Zealand and let me tell you it has to be seen to be believed. I am pretty well travelled but New Zealand has to be up there with one of my favourite destinations of all time. If you are looking for adventure, culture and some of the nicest people you will ever meet, then NZ is your jam. Head over for the snow season and ski some of the best pow, pow you have ever seen or bungy jump from insane heights from in New Zealands highest jump, the 134m Nervis Jump. If you prefer to keep your feet on the ground then there is still a huge amount to do, hire a camper and take in the views of the snowcapped mountains, breathtaking lakes or relax in the hot pools. I’d also recommend indulging in a burger from Ferburger, New Zealand’s hottest burger joint. The line is about 30 min long and then the wait time is around another 20 minutes so you know it’s gotta be good right!
Remember to plan your itinerary carefully, stay in contact with family and friends while travelling and make sure you get travel insurance to cover any mishaps that might happen while you are having one of the best times of your life travelling the globe.