Whether you’re looking for a more meaningful gap year experience or just a change of scene from your usual holiday itinerary, these immersive travel experiences can elevate your time abroad and help you to really get to know the places you visit.
Planning your summer 2022 bucket list? Here are some ideas that are sure to inspire:
Volunteer in off-grid destinations
Make meaningful memories whilst exploring a new country by volunteering and giving back to the local communities you visit. There’s an incredible range of summer volunteer abroad programs to choose from and a number of different companies that offer voluntourism experiences. You could volunteer for a beach conservation project in Ghana or teach English to young children there, or you might choose to undertake a medical internship at a hospital in Nepal. Whatever you choose, volunteering abroad will offer a truly immersive travel experience.
House and pet sit in the Caribbean
I speak from experience when I say that house and pet sitting is one of the best ways to truly live like a local when you travel. Especially in destinations where there are tourism centres full of hotels and rentals that are largely set apart from the local population, like the Caribbean.
House sitting is exactly what the term implies. Homeowners in need of pet and/or property care seek an individual, couple, or family to take over their daily responsibilities during a period for which they are away from home. Websites like House Careers and TrustedHousesitters list opportunities that require a house sitter to take on a diverse mix of responsibilities, some for just a weekend, others for over a year.
Skydive in Dubai
If you’re looking for a unique perspective of a location, consider sky diving. Free falling at 120 miles per hour over somewhere like luxury Dubai with its instantly recognisable coastline, is a once in a lifetime experience. The iconic Palm Dropzone offers visitors truly panoramic views of the desert city and jumping from 13,000 feet above the Palm Jumeirah should be on everyone’s Dubai to-do list.
Take a culinary course in France
Getting to grips with the nuances of a region’s cuisine is one way to get underneath the skin of the places you visit, and France is one of the best places in the world for a foodie escape. If you fancy yourself a chef, book onto a course at the world-famous Le Cordon Bleu, however, amateur cooks can get just as much from a cookery course with a local French cooking school.
Consider a patisserie and baking course in France to learn about the basic techniques that will enable you to create beautiful classic French pastries like croissants, brioche, puff pastry, chou pastry, crème patisserie, tarts & mousses.
Climb Mount Toubkal in Morocco
If you’re looking for a more active immersive escape, consider setting yourself a travel challenge such as climbing an iconic mountain peak.
Scaling Morocco’s Mount Toubkal is no easy feat and best suited to fit trekkers with some mountain experience, but your rewards for reaching the peak are well worth the effort invested to get there. Atop the 4,176m summit, you’ll find truly unforgettable views across the plains to Marrakech and the pre-Sahara.
Get some work experience in Australia
Not everyone knows what they want to do after school, but for those that do, combining travel with the opportunity to get some work experience is a valuable addition to your CV.
You’ve got a couple of options, you could either try and organise your own internship with a private firm in the industry you want to work in or join an organised program either through your university or a government program. Alternatively, you could opt for more of a gap year style escape and combine travel with volunteer opportunities such as working on a liveaboard dive boat. Note that you will need to apply for the relevant working holiday visa.
Become a PADI Divemaster in Indonesia
For a truly immersive travel experience (pun intended) you could choose to get scuba certified and train as a PADI Divemaster in Indonesia. With gin-clear water and a range of dive environments, Indonesia is the ideal place to explore life beneath the waves. Book in with a 5 Star PADI IDC centre for the three to six month course and start your dive career in one of the best places to dive in the world.
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