Solo Travel is Great for a Gap Year
To read about the special benefits of solo travel for Gap years and other times of life,
download GLAD YOU’RE NOT HERE: a solo traveler’s manifesto.
I remember, about a year ago, reading a travel article arguing the case for university credits for Gap Years. I emailed the author but didn’t receive a reply. Too bad. I would have loved to embark on a project to support his position and possibly create scholarships for Gap year travels.
I believe Camille Paglia would
agree with solo travel.
Last week, I went to see Camille Paglia speak on the subject of education. What an event! Her opinions came at us rapid-fire and, whether you agreed with them or not, whether you had time to process their meaning fully or not, it was easy enough to receive the fundamentals of her message. Gather knowledge and challenge the status quo.
One thing she suggested as an alternative to formal education was travel. She suggested that we should tell kids to “take this money and go travel the world”.
I couldn’t agree more. Doing so is very important. My discipline was history. I was fortunate enough to return to school in my 40s, complete the fourth year of an undergrad and do a Masters. The year between those two degrees I traveled and I can confirm that, it was not until I moved amongst buildings and landscapes, tasted the food, heard the rhythm of language… that I began to really understand the history I studied. And, it was when I met people as individuals that the simple, homogeneous view of a country was replaced by a richer, more complex understanding.
Travel and formal education go hand in hand. Solo travel, with the opportunity to experience yourself when those who know you aren’t watching, is particularly enriching during a gap year.
Which leads me to Dr. Seuss
He wrote this work for a graduating class.
Oh the Places You’ll Go!
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own.
And you know what you know.
And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go.
Of course, it continues in this manner. It is a wonderful book.
Congratulations to everyone graduating this spring.