Minding the Gap: Exploring the Gap Year Path

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This past spring, I thought my post high school path was paved: Ivy League college. Liberal arts. Lots of argyle.

The Mail had different ideas, delivering two small envelopes into my palms, indicating my path was not as I intended it to be.

Two clearly marked paths were before me: one finely trimmed, well-trodden and labeled "back-up school," the other a compilation of bare patches nearly devoured by jungle and tagged "Gap Year."

Thank Frost: I will take the road less traveled.

Over the next fourteen months, I will work as an intern for internationally recognized companies in multiple fields of business across four continents and in at least seven countries.

My ultimate goal is to get a better understanding of the answers to these two questions: Who am I? And what is it that I want for my academic and professional futures?

While this inquiry is not unique, I will approach it via an international odyssey that will take me from Boulder, Colorado to Nepal, India, San Francisco, New York, Shanghai, and Boston.

I have an appetite for adventure that has led me to more than 25 unique countries with experiences ranging from a one-on-one meeting with a Living Buddha, a walk next to penguins in the southern-most city in the world, a position at the head of the parade for Saint Antonio in Amalfi, Italy, and appearances on German and Italian TV.

At 16, I sipped yak-butter tea (ingredients: four tablespoons solid yak fat, one cup warm water) inside a smoke-infested, two-room home in rural China before flying to the other side of the world to dine with European deputies in Versailles.

By 17, I was working personally with fashion designers on the Plaza Hotel account as an intern with the Seventh Art Group marketing firm in Manhattan. Now, at the ripe-old age of 18, I hope to discover the location and career that will help me to be the best that I can be. Perhaps this uncommon road is where I will discover what I truly love.

My first exotic location will be Kathmandu, Nepal. My mission is to share my travels, challenges, and triumphs throughout my year so that students who may consider the path will be able to see, from a first hand perspective, what is in store.





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