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  • Writer's pictureLulu Gibbons

My Gap Year

For probably the past 3 years I’ve been waiting, waiting to finish school and start the next part of my life. Now that I have my all-important exam results and my deferred place at Exeter university to study Geography and Economics, I’m all set to go. To kick it off I will start with my gap year.

I always knew I was going to take a gap year, it was more of an expectation rather than a choice for me. My mum never stops reminding me of the antics she got up to when she ‘was my age’, when she made the journey to Australia where she would spend six months living with the other half of her family (that weren’t here in the UK). Then 3 years ago my older brother, now 21, made the same trip, only staying for a slightly shorter amount of time and getting up to fewer ‘antics’. So now it’s my turn and I am counting down the seconds (literally I have the countdown app on my phone) until I catch my first flight outta here!

Now, I say first as in my case, where I differ from my predecessors, I am embarking on a Philias Fogg trip around the world – but not quite in 80 days. My first stop is in Thailand where I am joining a tour for 9 days starting and ending in Phuket. The stops in between are in Koh Phi Phi and Krabi none of which I’ve ever been to before. The furthest east I’ve been is turkey! The tour – according to the website – will be full of the most beautiful beaches and boat rides, so sounds pretty good in my books. From there I will be catching my next two flights taking me into Sydney which is where I plan to settle down for a while. I’ll be staying with the next generation of family with whom my mum stayed with, but unfortunately providing them with another Gibbons lodger after 3 years! Here I’m hoping to get a job (already with a trial shift lines up – fingers crossed everyone), hopefully around Palm beach area. Who knows I might be the latest extra in Home and Away, keep your eyes peeled! Whilst I’m on the continent I have many a relative and old family friend to visit, which should take me up to Melbourne and beyond. To add to this, I’ve also been told that I have to travel along the Gold coast, so who even knows if 6 months will be long enough!

Next stop on the itinerary I’m flying over the Pacific across to Los Angeles. The contender for my oldest ever friend, whom I’ve known pretty much since birth, has just made the leap over to Santa Barbara University. So, since I won’t have seen her for the longest time we’ve both ever experienced, it seems that it is therefore necessary for me to go and stay with her. I can’t tell you what will happen there but we’ll just have to wait and see – the music festival, Coachella could be a possibility (providing I have the funds!). Following this, Lulu has got to get herself across the States to Chicago to see yet more family, but now from my Dad’s side. Only now do I realise that I have somewhat of a worldwide family. Then, after wondering under the infamous mirrored bean and amble about the galleries, I’ll be continuing on to New York City. Here, I have a new friend in New Jersey, an old friend that my mum went to university with and an amazing city to visit. I’ve been once before to the Big Apple and had such a whirl wind stop of 5 days that by the time it was over I needed another holiday! Then if all goes to plan I will be on a bus up to Boston at some point to see yet another friend that will be finishing her first year at Boston University. Then when all is said and done I’ll be on a flight home (with an additional stop in Iceland where I unfortunately will not be leaving the airport as I imagine my bank balance will be deeply in the negative).

So all that’s left to do now I work my sorry arse off to make me some money so I can have the best year of my life and say yes to every opportunity that comes my way.

I have no doubt that this year is going to weave me so many memories and incredible experiences that I can honestly not wait. Each day passing is getting me ever closer to the first check in where I’ll be leaving the UK for the longest time away so far. I am incredibly lucky that I am even able to contemplate going on such an adventure, but now am so thankful that I’ve worked so hard with my job, babysitting and everything else I’ve done enabling me to take this momentous leap.

Who knows where it will take me, who I’ll meet and where else I’ll go but I’m hoping to document it all so that you too will be able to join me on this journey.

But for now,

… Love from Lulu

#gapyear #travel #plans

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