|Marcia Watson, 58
Occupation: College Lecturer
Marital Status: Living with partner
Destinations: Malawi & Nepal
Programmes: 4 weeks Lake Malawi teaching project, 8 weeks Lake Malawi Medical Project, 18 weeks Nepal Community Volunteers
In September, Marcia is jetting off to Africa to join our Lake Malawi teaching and medical projects. She then heads to Nepal early next year to work as a volunteer working with local communities. We caught up with her to see how she was feeling pre-departure!
What was your motivation to take a break and go travelling?
It is something that I have always wanted to do but as a single parent with two small boys it was not a feasible option. Now that the boys are grown up and leading independent lives, and with a supportive partner, I felt the time was right.
I also wanted a break from teaching & feel that I will return to college feeling refreshed & invigorated.
How long have you been thinking about going travelling?
As above - it is something that has always been at the back of my mind
Have you ever done anything like this before?
No. I have been to Africa but that was as a tourist, staying twice with a friend who was working in Kenya & visiting my partner's family on several occasions who live in Pretoria, South Africa. I have not experienced working there as a volunteer & travelling on my own.
Why did you choose to travel with Gap Year For Grown Ups?
I looked at several websites but the brochure for ‘Gap Year for Grown Ups' arrived promptly, It was very comprehensive to read & when I phoned the organisation with several queries I always received satisfactory answers and chatted with interesting staff who obviously had experience of travelling and working overseas.
How do you feel now that you have booked?
Excited, scared & apprehensive!
What have you had to organise for your trip?
My partner is going to look after the house so that is easy. Finances are slightly more complicated as I have to cancel various standing orders, make arrangements for bills to be paid and make a new will as I have discovered my old one is hopelessly out of date.
What do your family and friends think of your plans?
They are very supportive. My partner is going to hold the fort & make sure everything ticks over as usual. My eldest son (aged 30 years) said, "That's great news Mum, I'm proud of you". Praise indeed!
How do you think you will feel when it comes to saying your farewells to friends and family?
I think I am being slightly cushioned in this as my partner & I are going out to Malawi before I start work as it is cheaper to buy flights in September when I start work, than it is in December when I finish the project.
I am sure it will be harder going to Nepal in January on my own but we hope to have a 2-week holiday in the middle of the project.
What do you hope to achieve during your trip?
I hope I can be of use in both in the school & on the medical projects. I feel I will learn a lot about myself & I hope that I will form friendships along the way.