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So far alyson16 has created 16 entries.

Forming Fear into fear

The following post was written by Global Gap Year Fellow, Amanda Jesuca.


When I was finalizing my decision to take a gap year, I was still calculating how many transfer credits I would have to see if I would still graduate on time. That small fact illustrated my fear of a gap year as if taking one could only have merit if I could gain work experience, travel to 20 different countries, and somehow find time to meditate and eat organically and have some grand awakening. Like many other aspects of my life, I thought a gap year was a game of pure will and decisiveness. Working hard had gotten me to my dream school, in my dream program, and surrounded me with amazing people.

As the days drew closer to my departure, a deep fear rose from my toes and settled squarely on my chest, tightening its grip over my […]

By |September 28th, 2022|Pre-departure|

Sharing in the Joy and the Uncertainty

The following post was written by Global Gap Year Fellow, Amelia Laursen.

Aug 29 2022

Wilmington, NC


This time last week, I was convinced I would be spending my gap year living at home and volunteering in a soup kitchen. I was convinced that I would have to go around and tell all the people I’ve told about my gap year, nope, I’m sorry, I lied, I won’t be going to Hawaii or Puerto Rico or California after all, haha lol so silly of me. I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t get a job, I failed.

This time last week, I was distraught and terrified and had this horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach because three months ago, within three days, I made the decision to take a gap year and what if it’s turning out to be the most boring, unproductive year of my life and the worst decision I’ve […]

By |September 28th, 2022|Pre-departure|

Dear Little Lela,

The following post was written by Global Gap Year Fellow, Lela French.

We both know that I couldn’t have done this the easy way. Most people go straight to four years of college, but I’ve never been the type of person to do it like everyone else. Somehow I always have to add my own unique spin to all of my life experiences (you’ll be glad to know that I’m still consistent in that). Unfortunately, the process of getting here hasn’t been like the Disney shows you love so much. I haven’t found my happily-ever-after love story yet (actually, quite the opposite in most cases) and I still don’t feel like I fully fit in with the people around me. But I’m starting to come to terms with that, and starting to question whether that’s such a bad thing after all. Just because my path doesn’t look like everyone else’s […]

By |September 19th, 2022|Pre-departure|

Life is Long and Things Work Out

The following post was written by Bridge Year Fellow, Sophie Lowry.

*written on Tuesday, August 23*
I am currently sitting at my gate in the Atlanta airport. I am here 2 hours early, as my aunt and
uncle who live here successfully instilled in me a deep fear of the nightmare that security here
can be. I was also teeming with anticipation and could not just sit around in my sister’s
apartment this morning while she worked, so I headed to the MARTA station as soon as all my
things were together. Better to sit around in the airport, I guess? I made it through security
quick and easy, though (save for a *brief* pat-down of my right ankle). And here I am, thinking
about everything that brought me to this moment and everything to come. “Change is on the
precipice,” a friend just told me, and a liminal space like the airport is “suuuch a good place […]

By |September 19th, 2022|Pre-departure|

Similar-ish Language

The following post was written by Global Gap Year Fellow David Gonzalez Chavez.

“There’s some good crack there” is what I heard from my coworker Finn describing a party he went to, which caught my attention—why is he bringing up heavy drug use in a tame conversation? After some brief thought as to how ridiculous that’d be, I asked what he meant by crack (or rather, the proper spelling “craic”) and he explained that it essentially means a good time or fun.  This is one of many moments I’ve had where different words or meanings have left me utterly confused while in Belfast.

I’m currently based in an English-speaking country—in theory, that should’ve meant that I’d be able to communicate just as well there as I would at home, but I quickly learned that the English spoken in Belfast is a wee bit different than I was used to hearing.

Take the […]

By |January 9th, 2020|Gappers in the Field|

No Pictures Included

The following post was written by Global Gap Year Fellow Alyson Cabeza.

Four months ago, I dropped my phone.

Now, this is not the first time I’ve dropped my phone. If we’re being completely honest, I dropped my phone the first day I got it.

However, this phone drop caused a uniquely difficult adjustment to my everyday routine. See, I was two hours away from my home in Vietnam when the drop happened. It was also raining. I also did not notice I had dropped my phone.

Here’s what happened: I decided to go to Ninh Bình province for two days. Not much was planned, especially since I had bought my train ticket only five hours before departure. One of the only things I did was book my hostel. So, I make it to Ninh Bình and with the help of my phone’s GPS, I managed to walk from the train station […]

By |March 18th, 2019|Gappers in the Field|

2 A.M.

The following post was written by Global Gap Year Fellow Alyson Cabeza.

It was 2 am. I was crying. The idea of leaving everything I’ve ever known behind, in the next 5 hours, was finally hitting me. The phrases “I’m scared” and “I can’t do this” were constantly coming out of my mouth. I was reassured by the people who mean the most to me that everything would turn out alright. I was reminded that this is something I needed to do for myself. I calmed down and continued to frantically pack (last minute).

It was 2 am. After spending more than 24 hours in either an airport or on an airplane, I was hit with the stench of pollution as I arrived at my hostel. It didn’t matter though, because I quickly realized how beautiful Hanoi is at night. Even though all my energy was drained, I managed to spend […]

By |October 19th, 2018|Gappers in the Field|

Pre-Departure: Alexa, Play “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”

The following post was written by Global Gap Year Fellow Alyson Cabeza.

Throughout the past eighteen years, I’ve been fascinated with the future in different ways. There wasn’t much I could control at a young age, so my future was special to me: I thought I could control it. Therefore, I planned everything. I planned the classes I would take in high school, and the clubs I would join. I planned the university I’d go to, and what I would do after graduating. I planned when I would fall in love, and where I would raise my children. For a while, it relaxed me. I was perfectly happy planning my every single move. Then one day, I wasn’t happy – I was exhausted.

Planning everything eventually took a part of me. No longer did I want to be the girl who freaked if something was behind or ahead of schedule, but […]

By |September 11th, 2018|Pre-departure|