Never too old for a ‘Gap Year'
One third of clients taking a gap year are over 50, reports specialist travel company Gap Year for Grown Ups. Based on bookings taken between April 2005 and April 2006 these figures prove that it is attitude and not years that count.
“I thought I was too old and ‘over the hill, but apparently not!' says Julie Jones (61), a retired teacher who worked on the Kenya Community Outreach programme last summer. “The project touched my heart - I went for an adventure and came home with a commitment.”
Gap Year for Grown Ups offers projects in over 25 countries, all of which are featured along with loads of great tips and advice and inspiring case studies on their newly up-dated website www.inspiredbreaks.co.uk.
Africa is the most popular choice for volunteering and areas include Kenya, South Africa, Namibia and Zambia. Volunteers can choose from a comprehensive range of projects including work with some of the most deprived children in the world. Community programmes are grateful for help that can really make a difference.
Wildlife projects such as coastal conservation, monkey rehabilitation, horse safaris and endangered elephant programmes will interest those interested in the natural world, and there is even a Wildlife Art course.
“There is no ‘average' grown up traveller,” says Rachael Wood, Manager of Gap Year for Grown Ups, “although most of our older customers are united by a common desire to do something rewarding and give something back. Some feel that they missed out the first time around and want to see some more of the world whilst they still can.”
And for those who are undecided, this year Gap Year for Grown Ups has introduced ‘taster trips' which allow clients to sample the experience of a ‘gap year' without investing a huge amount of time and reorganisation. Two week trips include Guatemala Sea Turtle Project (from £394), Zambia Teaching projects (from £999), Australia Nature Conservation (from £299) and South Africa Conservation projects (from £799).
Gap Year for Grown Ups is based in Tunbridge Wells and is the only UK organisation specialising in time out for adults aged 30+. Sister company Real Gap Experience (www.realgap.co.uk) is one of the biggest gap year providers in the UK, and has more choice of programmes and destinations than any other operator.
Gap Year for Grown Ups 01892 701881/ www.inspiredbreaks.co.uk
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