Gap year gains

Lorna Lawless

M icro gap- ‘A short break with an itinerary that is experience, challenge and adventure-rich offering all the developmental, and experiential opportunities that a traditional gap year would entail but instead in a few days’

As ‘Generation Z’ we tend to opt towards the office job rather than the year-long gap year. This can be due to funds, job opportunity, and some of us are just happy to stay near the green fields of Éire. With complications with Visas heading across the pond, sometimes it just isn’t worth the massive amount of time or money. In turn, you would definitely gain some major life experience, but end up broke. What if somebody said, it’s possible to gain the same experiences without breaking the bank?

As we are coming to the end of the college semester, it’s time to start considering plans for the future. Do you do the masters? Do you pack it up for the year and make the move? Do you start prepping yourself to enter the working world? The world is more accessible than ever so why not travel as much possible, for as little as possible. Europe is at our fingertips here in Ireland. It is easy to get there quickly and at a cheap rate and with no Visa issues how could it not be appealing?

It’s time to start taking advantage of the bank holiday weekends, midterms and reading weeks. A few small breaks spread across the year will allow you to recharge your batteries, over and over again.

Now to be totally honest, it isn’t clear who coined the term ‘Micro-gap’ but Visit England seem to be the one’s majorly promoting the idea. The organisation used the #MyMicrogap campaign to “target young people with experiences and activities typically taken during a gap-year that can be condensed into a micro-holiday”. Have you ever wanted to drive through the Ring of Kerry, or see the Cliffs of Moher? It’s time to stop making excuses, because of time limitations. Plan a micro-gap one weekend every few months and just do it.

Social media makes it easier than ever before to do quality sightseeing. Thanks to the internet it’s easy to research the best bucket-list places to go and navigate there easily without much expense. Today, life experience is everything. It is priceless and exactly what employers look for. It helps broaden the mind in a way unattainable by staying in the same place.

Apps which are useful to have downloaded before leaving to avoid massive mobile phone rates abroad are Google Translate, XF Currency, Hostelworld and a cool website you need to check out called ThornTree which is part of lonelyplanet.com. In terms of Instagram inspiration and website content make sure to check out wheresmollie.com, where she gives stellar realistic budget travelling tips, and travel guides from across the world.

Make the itinerary and plan where you want to eat, and sleep to experience the surroundings to their optimum level, then it will change the game when travelling. Planning ahead, doing the research, and choosing exactly where you want to go and when. If that means dropping the pin on google maps to avoid stress on the way, and writing out a to-do list for each day, it will be worth it.  Read the blogs, budget the trip, and watch yourself travel more for less time and gain incredible experience.

Lorna Lawless

Image Credit: Lorna Lawless