HNTGY

 

“How Not to ‘Gap Year'” is the title of a series of memories from my time abroad in 2012-2013. I hope people enjoy laughing at some of the silly mistakes I made, learning some of the same lessons I learnt, and finding out little bits and pieces about a variety of cultures. I plan to upload the different chapters here as I finish them – enjoy!

Just turned eighteen and very naive, I took some opportunities to explore the world a little and help out with things where possible. An external-processing extrovert who was very keen to learn, had little common sense and was not always very good at thinking before speaking, I believed everything I was told about the places I was due to visit – and did little actual research. I had read a few books about other cultures and had gone out of my way to meet and find out about people who had lived in non-Western cultures, so I was confident that I was adequately prepared and could face the world. I took only hand-luggage (a rucksack) for the sake of saving time and not risking losing all my clothes in any one of the 20-odd flights that I would be taking, and had arranged to lodge with friends or friends of friends in order to save on accommodation and translation. I made many mistakes, learnt many life lessons and met many amazing people with fascinating life stories. Here are some of my reflections.

Introduction

Guatemala

Czech Republic

Uganda

Rwanda

Burundi

Turkey

Estonia

Bolivia

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