Rian Jackson (June 8, 2020): Blog #11

When going on a gap year Many things can go wrong trust me, I would know. I am taking this opportunity to share some tips and other advice that I have learned to help anyone thinking about a gap year in the future. The three main segments I want to talk about are Travel, Location, The UNEXPECTED. I hope that by showing you some examples of what happened to me, what I did, and what I think I could have done better I can help prepare anyone for the small problems of a gap year and prepare you for a amazing ride.

The first thing that is very important in a gap year is getting to where you are planing on going. This travel usually involves airports. For many people airports are a bit scary and for the point of this blog I will be talking about airports before the current pandemic. One of the biggest things you can do to help your time at an airport go smooth and you get on your flight is arrive as early as you can. This is something that many people hear but I cannot tell you how important this is. It is much better to have to kill time at your gate than have to try to run with all your bags and possibly miss your flight. The second tip involves the bags. When crossing international borders always ask an attendant if you need to pick up your bags even if the attendant when you checked them said you do not have to pick your bags up. There are many times when I have been crossing international borders that I had to take may bags through security a second time because of the border.

The next thing that is important in a gap year is where you are going. This will affect almost everything about your gap year. Some good places to start looking for projects especially related to conservation is the Wolfing web site. This is a website that gets local farmers in touch with volunteers to help them on their farm. Another good place to look for locations is earth watch. When traveling to a new country that you are unfamiliar with it is a good idea to google some laws of the country and learn a bit about the cultural differences before you go as this will help you greatly when meeting people form that country.

The last thing is the unexpected. This is what makes many people hesitant about this kind of trip. One thing to remember is that things will go wrong and you need to be able to go with the flow. Some tips to help mitigate problems are, carry a binder with all the info about your trips printed out and put in it this includes places you are staying and such. Have a good list of contacts who you can call and get help from, stay aware of your situation, and most importantly have fun

I hope that these tips have helped anyone planning a gap year or have helped someone on one already!

Published by Warren Oliver

CRE Associate Director for Global Programming

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