Your need for a so-called ‘gap year’ may arrive at any time or age. Some people may decide they need a break between the completion of their ‘A’ levels and starting university. For others that have just graduated, the thought of going directly into either a job or post-graduate education is just too terrifying a prospect to contemplate, and a gap year break may seem the solution.
However, it’s not just those in education that can be affected. Maybe you have already invested a number of years and lots of emotional energy in your career and now are just a little jaded and tired. Perhaps you find yourself thinking more and more that you’ve seen it all and done it all before. If so, that’s probably a powerful indication that you need some time off and possibly a lengthy sabbatical. Whatever the cause, anyone may be inclined to think that it’s time to do something entirely different for a while – and that’s a pretty good definition of a gap year, whatever your age!
You could, of course, do absolutely nothing other than dream about a break while carrying on as normal. You could, perhaps, just take some time off and head for a few conventional holiday resorts to spend time by the pool or lazing on a beach. Maybe just spending extra time at home doing a few odd jobs is something you’d find attractive. These may all be laudable, in their own individual ways, however, you could also do something really different.
Working with wildlife
You can use some of your precious gap year (or whatever you choose to call it) to go and work on some wildlife conservation projects in countries such as South Africa or India. The actual work you’ll be doing will vary immensely – depending upon the environmental needs of a given area at a given time. Some of these may be sea-based, for example charting the effects of pollution on the eco-system of coral reefs, or working with tiger sharks to estimate their population numbers and feeding patterns. If the water is not your thing, there are even more opportunities on land.
Perhaps you will be helping to feed abandoned or orphaned young animals. Another assignment may see you following a herd of animals to estimate the numbers being lost to predators or disease etc. You may also find yourself working with local people to help define ways to help the peaceful co-existence of Man and the natural wildlife of the area.That is really a different way to spend your time!
Typically you’ll be staying in good standard, comfortable accommodation and being well fed on your gap year adventure. Nobody is going to ask you to re-create the hardships of the intrepid explorers of centuries past! You’ll also be operating in the company of expert activity leaders that know exactly what they’re doing. You’ll be fully briefed and, where appropriate, tuition will be provided in the basic skills required (e.g. snorkelling). The duration of your stay and work can be as long or short as you wish – there will be a package to suit all needs.
Life changing experiences
If you have ever visited countries overseas, you’ll know how frustrating it can be sometimes to see things “whiz past” the windows of a typical tourist coach as you’re rushed from one stop to another. That’s not what you’ll experience on a gap year holiday working with wildlife! You’ll be seeing the animals, peoples and countryside, exactly as those that live there see them. That’s not something you can do on a typical holiday and the experience just might change your entire world-view.
A gap year well spent! Unless, of course, you really would prefer all that extra time to be spent lying around on your couch watching those endless TV repeats......
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
If you’re planning to visit Malta, 5 star holidays can ensure that you make the most of your precious time. Here are six great reasons why.
1. Accommodation is key.
If your ‘roughing it’ days are now behind you, then you’ll be looking for comfort and luxury for those evenings after the beaches, pools or sights. Finding the right style of Malta 5 star accommodation for your needs is something that’s perhaps best left to experts that know the island, its hotels and the most exclusive rental properties.
2. Seeing the island
Malta is a relatively small island but even so, you may find it impossible to see and do everything within a typical holiday. Your time is also precious and you won’t want to waste it travelling around to look at things that are not really of interest to you. The specialists in Malta 5 star holidays have unrivalled expertise and knowledge. They can use this to ascertain your interests and then ensure that you see those things on the island that match. That can include, if you wish, fully pre-defined itineraries to save you the maximum amount of time.
3. Providing the package
Your time on holiday is probably limited and you are unlikely to want to spend large parts of it phoning around trying to make arrangements for transport. You presumably also won’t want to engage in lots of form filling and bureaucracy upon arrival. If hiring a car, upon delivery you’ll perhaps be even less keen to start doing detailed examinations of your hire vehicle, if it arrives in poor condition. All of that can be taken care of in advance as part of your Malta 5 star holiday. Luxury ‘ready to go’ cars of all sizes and descriptions can be made available and fully coordinated with your arrival point or your accommodation – whichever you prefer. In other words, it can be a fully bespoke holiday experience.
4. The dining experience
Dining out can be one of the highlights of a holiday but it may also go badly wrong. Restaurants anywhere can be either poor or overpriced and pretentious. It’s easy for the unwary holidaymaker to drift into them. If you’re on Malta you will want to experience the very best quality local cuisine served in the right atmosphere and location. The top restaurants of that calibre don’t always appear in the guidebooks but on Malta, 5 star holiday experts can help you find them.
5. The bargains
Many of us enjoy the chance to shop in another culture and to find the best local buys plus, hopefully, the odd bargain or two. However, all over the world, many shops and brands are now universal and the shopping sometimes varies only in terms of the language being spoken and how much sun is shining outside. Yet there is a real Maltese shopping culture that is unique to the island and which the discerning holidaymaker can explore – if they know where to find it. That’s why a specialist luxury Malta 5 star holiday operator can help you avoid the tourist shops and those international outlets and find the real Malta.
Anywhere in the Mediterranean can be busy during peak holiday months and that includes Malta. However, it is almost always possible to escape the crowds if you have local know-how. So if you’d like to find those quiet coves and unspoilt villages, specialist advice is always well worth having.
Hopefully these six reasons are enough to decide that if you’re coming to Malta, 5 star holidays are for you. But if not, there are plenty more!