Your gap year: expectation vs reality

Gap oh no.

Expt reality

You've worked hard to save up, you've deferred any thoughts of a career, you've planned your route and you've lost yourself in a million Lonely Planets. Finally the time has come: you are ready to go on your gap year.

Lucky you! It's going to be fabulous. Seriously. But before you get too excited with dreams of moonlit beaches, life-altering conversations and the prospect of really, you know, 'finding yourself'... check yourself.

We're here to bring you back down to earth...

  1. 1 EXPECTATION: Going totally off the beaten path

    REALITY: "One seat on the next backpacker bus to the next backpacker place please"

  2. 2 EXPECTATION: Keeping a fantastic diary to read back when you're old

    REALITY: Dear Diary, Did... stuff. Saw...things. Lost...diary.

  3. 3 EXPECTATION: Having the alone time to really 'find yourself'

    REALITY: Why won't all the people go away?

  4. 4 EXPECTATION: Embracing all cultures, foods and practices

    REALITY: Not fucking eating that

  5. 5 EXPECTATION: Reading War and Peace and all other impressive books

    REALITY: Ugh, 48-hour coach journeys make you vom

  6. 6 EXPECTATION: Making the most amazing travelling friends ever

    REALITY: God backpackers are fucking irritating

  7. 7 EXPECTATION: Volunteering will be deeply rewarding

    REALITY: Teaching English to kids is fucking hard

  8. 8 EXPECTATION: Embracing early-morning beach yoga

    REALITY: Sooo hungover, maybe tomorrow

  9. 9 EXPECTATION: Ditching the modern world and embracing nature

    REALITY: Just one more episode of Friends in Vang Vieng and then we'll go tubing, yah?

  10. 10 EXPECTATION: Ditching the modern world and embracing culture

    REALITY: They go bowling here too?

  11. 11 EXPECTATION: Making friends with the locals

    REALITY: The locals find you incredibly annoying

  12. 12 EXPECTATION: Dream weather for a whole year

    REALITY: Rain follows you everywhere

  13. 13 EXPECTATION: Stomach of steel

    REALITY: Celebrating every solid poo

  14. 14 EXPECTATION: A bungee jump that makes you feel reborn

    REALITY: Chickening out of a bungee jump

  15. 15 Expectation: Falling in love with a beautiful fellow traveller on sunset beaches

    Reality: Hostel sex

  16. 16 EXPECTATION: Returning a totally different, better person

    REALITY: Nope, same old you

  17. 17 EXPECTATION: Remembering it as the best thing you ever did

    REALITY: Remembering it as the best thing you ever did