Normally, the gap year is reserved for the young, fresh out of high school, ready to conquer the world. But like youth, the gap year really is wasted on the young.
For starters, at that age you have very limited means. This means you have to work a shitty job in a shitty café – or worse – to fund your fun year out. At 48, I have accumulated a certain amount of wealth from many years of working really hard and living quite frugally, as well as an amount of long service leave I could use sensibly for the purpose. I compare this with the time when I as a 16 year old also took a gap year to attend an English language course at Cardiff University for three months. I really had very limited means and no steady income. I am sure Cardiff would have been much more fun with dosh.
Rock people at the bottom of a steep talus slope in Søderåsen National Park, Sweden. Photo: Mick. 2015.
As a city dweller I sometimes forget how restorative experiences of nature can be. One of the things that attracted me to Australia its places of immense natural beauty that have not been disturbed by what we humans sometimes foolishly call progress. Vast tracts of land are left to evolve in their natural state.