Places to visit for the ultimate gap year

Although the Coronavirus pandemic and lockdown might have forced you to cancel plans to get away for a gap year, perhaps the additional time to pause and take stock has made you all the more determined to discover new parts of the world before going to university or embarking on the wide world of adulthood.

Although your gap year may be slightly delayed, that doesn’t mean it can’t still be memorable once restrictions on our lives are eased.

Here is a selection of places to pick from that could make your 12 months out something to remember forever:

IndiaGap Year IndiaOne of the most diverse countries on the planet, you could be exploring the jungle on the search for wild tigers one week, exploring temples the next and trekking in the Himalayas just after that.

Golden beaches, bustling cities, mysterious deserts and a rail network that has to be sampled to be believed, are also on offer.

If you’re after a period of self-discovery, a yoga retreat or spiritual hideaway may give you the chance to connect, or if you want to let it all loose, why not head to India during the ‘Festival of Lights’ Divali for a celebration like no other.

South AfricaGap Year South AfricaIf safari holidays excite you, then why not try and spot Africa’s ‘big five’ while taking your time out.

The lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, and Cape buffalo were originally afforded their status as the hardest animals to hunt, although poaching is now widely banned and these amazing creatures have become collectors’ items for wildlife lovers to spot while on tours of the plains.Gap Year Safari InfographicAs well as bountiful nature reserves, stunning coastlines and mountains made for trekking, head to major cities to learn about how Apartheid has impacted the society – something that may be particularly relevant as the world’s approach to race relations has been thrown into greater focus by recent events.

South AmericaGap Year Jungle AdventureIt’s perhaps no surprise that an entire continent can offer just about anything you may want to experience, but the diversity among South America’s countries is a must for those with wanderlust.

Follow the footsteps of ancient civilisations on the Inca trail and marvel at the temples and communities still standing millennia after they were built.

Visit Argentina to learn the tango and barbecue ‘Asado’ style to see how grilled meat really should be done!

The Amazon Rainforest will give you the chance to sample some of the world’s most diverse wildlife, while its ongoing destruction ought to stoke your passions for conservation and could give you a cause to rally behind when back home.

Give something back

Of course, sampling all of these different cultures may be high on your priority list but using your time to give something back will also give you a different sense of achievement.

You may be able to teach English as a foreign language, volunteer with humanitarian projects, or contribute to local economies by offering your services to local businesses while on the ground.

Wherever you decide to travel, we hope it brings you memories that last a lifetime and provides that platform to build the rest of your life upon!