Gappers in the Field

Hidden Tattoos

The following post was written by Global Gap Year Fellow, McCarty Hudson.

Two and a half months ago, I was in a coffee shop listening to my friend take the stage with his bluegrass band. It was late, probably around 9:00pm (which I know isn’t that late for most people, but when you wake up at 5:30am every morning, 9:00pm seems late), when this stranger walked in. He wore a baggy jacket, a funky shirt, a mustard yellowish orange beanie, and a smile on his face. I couldn’t help but walk over to him. An instant crush you could say. So we started talking and didn’t stop until we were the last ones being politely pushed out of the shop. We got to the sidewalk, exchanged numbers, and went our separate ways. Me, on my bike riding back to my house, and him, on his feet walking back to his […]

By |April 18th, 2022|Gappers in the Field|

Experiences Worth Wild

The following post was written by Global Gap Year Fellow, Ayanna Philips.

As I approach the final months of my gap year, I reflect upon the experiences that have made me grow solely as an individual during this time. It has brought me great joy to have the opportunity to travel, try new endeavors, meet new people, and provide services across organizations. Currently, I volunteer at a low-cost clinic that predominantly caters to the Hispanic community. Due to not speaking Spanish, it can be quite difficult to understand and communicate with patients. However, the majority of the volunteers and employees speak Spanish so I do have help and I’ve been teaching myself in my free time.

Additionally, I also volunteer at an elementary school where I tutor a first and second grader which I enjoy as well. As I’ve volunteered, I’ve become more confident in my decisions and certain of my […]

By |April 8th, 2022|Gappers in the Field|

Learning My Role in Community

The following post was written by Global Gap Year Fellow, John Swinea.

As I approach three months living in Hawai’i, it feels crazy to look at my previous blog post, because of how vastly different I am, only months apart. When I got on my flight to Hilo to move here, I had no clue what world I would be stepping into, or how quickly it would consume my being and create a new reality that is now completely normal to me. I currently live on an organic farm that also functions as a hospitality operation with guests from all over the world. On top of that, it is also a home to over ten other volunteers like myself. The dynamic of this community is like nothing I would have ever imagined, but there is so much passion, dedication, and love that flows throughout each individual to make a whole. […]

By |March 28th, 2022|Gappers in the Field|

Unexpected but Just What I Needed

The following post was written by Global Gap Year Fellow, Sitao Lin.

I have a habit of romanticizing situations in my head and my first placement was not an exception. Before I even departed for my gap year I had already begun to imagine the place I would get to visit, the people I would get to know and the experiences I would live. So when I actually arrived and things were not what I imagined them to be I was very much disappointed. I didn’t let that stop me from enjoying my placement so I took off my rose-tinted glasses and put on my boots and started digging. While I spent a lot of time digging both literally and figuratively I realized that sometimes you just have to get your hands and feet dirty to gain some clarity.

I realize that I enjoy structure in my daily life and being […]

By |November 29th, 2021|Gappers in the Field|

My Kind of Paradise

The following blog post was written by Global Gap Year Fellow, Violet Child-Lanning.

August 25th, the first night I slept in my upstate New York placement. Lying in an unfamiliar bed, I started to laugh. This was it- I was really here, independently making and carrying out major life-changing decisions far away from everyone and everything I am familiar with. My laughter came from a place of excitement, and a sort of disbelief- what had I just gotten myself into?

     A kind of paradise. I am finding that that is what I have gotten myself into. Camphill Village Copake is a community in which around 200 people with and without developmental differences live, work, and play together. On 615 acres of forest, swamp, and rolling meadows, we exist in harmony with the animals and plants we care for and that in turn nourish us. Life here is beautiful. The village […]

By |November 24th, 2021|Gappers in the Field|

Figuring Things Out

The following post was written by Global Gap Year Fellow, John Swinea.

The past three months of my life half flashed before my eyes. It feels like just yesterday I was sitting down to write my pre-departure blog, and now I am writing this, having just passed three months of living in Charleston. Since moving out I have learned to put myself out there in uncomfortable situations, explore on my own, and maintain a full life without any parental guidance. I have fallen in love with the city of Charleston and the people I have met there, however I am still yearning for more adventure, and I know this is just the start. One of the main goals of my gap year is to push the independence I have always had even further and take advantage of these opportunities to do so, and I feel as though I have really […]

By |November 24th, 2021|Gappers in the Field|

Solitude, Reflection

The following post was written by Bridge Year Fellow, Sonia Rao.

Every night, I sit on the hammock outside my porch nestled deep in the El Yunque rainforest and listen to the coqui sing.

   For my first few weeks here, the coqui (a Puerto Rican frog famous for its loud whistle) were some of my only companions. That sounds sad. But today, I make the case it is actually the opposite.

One of my biggest fears for my gap year was loneliness. The thought of being by myself for weeks – maybe months – terrified me. I would miss living with my friends, going to parties, having deep conversations at 2 a.m., laughing so hard my stomach hurts.

The owners of the bed & breakfast I work at are an elderly couple. I eat dinner with them every night, which is nice, and sometimes we go on day trips together. But until […]

By |November 24th, 2021|Gappers in the Field|

Ups and Downs

The following post was written by Global Gap Year Fellow, Ayanna Philips.

Puerto Rico has been quite an adventure as I’ve explored numerous areas such as Rio Grande, El Yunque, Luquillo, Vieques, and more. As the days come closer to my departure, it is time that I reflect on my stay here. I definitely have had my ups and downs with transitioning to a new area with a completely different culture and environment, while also dealing with stages of homesickness. The beginning was a bit difficult as I needed to adjust to the fact that I would be in Puerto Rico for three months. Meaning three months without seeing friends and/or family, which is important to me. Since this was my first experience away from home for a long period of time, I had to figure out how to adapt and deal with my emotions/mental health in a healthy way. […]

By |November 24th, 2021|Gappers in the Field|