Posts tagged gap year

The possibilities …

Back when I was much younger – and much more free of the responsibilities of parenthood – I used to sit and plot out where I’d like to travel and how I’d achieve it, what I’d do there, what I’d eat and buy and drink. It was great fun. Most of it never happened – I had an entire year plotted out for an odyssey around Europe, plans for China coinciding with the 2010 World Expo, trips to Turkey and Syria.

Two years into my time in Japan, my sister and I started earnestly planning a trip to Mexico. The plan was to teach English while taking side trips around Central America. She was learning Spanish, I had English teaching experience and plenty of Latino friends, we figured we’d make it work. Then I got pregnant and that promptly shelved things for me (including living/working in Japan, as I’d been doing). My sister was pretty pissed at the time, but eventually went off and had a fabulous time on her own. Such a fabulous time that less than two years after the first year-long trip over there, she did it a second time.

Presently she’s back in Australia, saving money again for a third trip. We were discussing it yesterday; in her words, she’s ‘craving Mexico again’. She has diving master qualifications and thinks she’d like to get some diving work in Mexico. Tulum, specifically (according to her, it’s the most magnificent beach in the world … and girl has travelled to a lot of beaches, from Spain to Thailand to Columbia, so she knows). I jokingly suggested if she’ll pay for flights, my son and I will go with her. To my surprise she liked the idea, and we discussed it for another half hour or so.

The chances of it happening are slim to nil, of course (of us going with her, that is – but there’s very little doubt of her going). But it was exciting to think about, and one of my greatest desires is to take a year overseas with my son while he’s still young. I honestly believe a child can learn much, much more in a few months in a foreign country than in a year at school. A year in Mexico with my five year old? Yes please.

Would you consider taking a year out of your life at home to live and work overseas, even if it meant living on very little money, leaving behind friends, family and everything familiar to you?


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