Contrary to what many people said to me, my gap year was the best experience of my young life to date. From sightseeing to meeting new people from all over the world and partying all at the same time, it could not have been any better than what it was! If it wasn’t for my parents encouraging me or had my brother not set the trend by taking a gap year a few years earlier then I would not have these wonderful memories to share and re-live by photos.
From white water rafting, exploring, canyoneering and zip lining in Costa Rica to biking through colonial towns and releasing baby turtles into the wild in Nicaragua, jumping off waterfalls in El Salvador, relaxing in the most ambient hot springs and exploring ruins in Honduras. To also exploring more ruins and learning a bit of Mayan in Guatemala, swimming with sharks, turtles and stingrays in Belize and exploring the strip which comes alive at night in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. What better way to enjoy these experiences than with people who also share a love and passion for travelling.
Along with this buzz and excitement every day of the trip, also came with it some of the worst hangovers and sickness, but hey that was all part of the experience! Singing along drunk on the back of a truck at night to learning and dancing salsa into the night and the bumpy, cramped chicken bus journeys all made this trip what it was. Vivir Mi Vida for the win! I guess the only real disappointment was not being allowed to bungee jump in Costa Rica as during that time I was just below 50kg which as you can imagine really annoyed me! But this is just an excuse to go back (making sure I am over 50kg this time) and finally be able to do that bungee jump. For me, the most important thing about this trip was the people I met.
The people on my gap year
The group you have will either make or break your trip. I was so lucky to be stuck with the most amazing people and have my first experience away from home for so long to be so memorable with everyone leaving a big imprint on my heart (made some friends for life). We started off as strangers coming from all different places around the world, to finishing off as a travel family. This is a family who will be there for you when you are not feeling yourself on a certain day, a family that will constantly make fun of you and cheer you up when you’re feeling down, but also a family that will make sure you never have time to be homesick as you are constantly having fun and learning new things about each other. The amount of laughs and jokes that were had on this trip will continue to remain with me forever and it’s these little inside travel jokes which no one else will understand but you and your travel family. In a weird way as we had all become so close in such a short space of time, I felt homesick leaving everyone behind and at the time I wasn’t ready to leave. I wished I could rewind and re-live these past number of weeks again and again, but a new adventure was awaiting me in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands!