By Sofie Schaffner,

My Gap year travel adventure to India with Sofie Schaffner - image credit Sofie SchaffnerMy Gap year travel adventure to India with Sofie Schaffner - image credit Sofie Schaffner

My amazing adventure to the Taj Mahal and that one time my mum (accidentally) got me stoned on opium in India.

First off, of course she didn´t do so intentionally! I´d rather call it sort of an inattentive Malheur. This whole story started at one of the most amazing locations I have visited so far- the Taj Mahal! We booked a two-week taxi tour from Delhi to Agra and on through to Rajasthan which is the easiest way to get around this part of India if you don´t have too much time. These taxis are relatively easy to find in Delhi and they usually have the most accessible taxi drivers/organizations in every regular guidebook. And as for the Taj Mahal...no words can describe it. We initially did not intend on traveling to the north of India but since we were so close (meaning in the same country but still super far away), I convinced my mum we had to visit the Taj Mahal!

Europa-Park: The adventure, the excitement and the pumpkins - Image Credit BreakingStereotypes.orgEuropa-Park: The adventure, the excitement and the pumpkins - Image Credit BreakingStereotypes.org

A trip to Europa-Park makes one understand the true meaning of the word: entertainment. And that is exactly what the place is all about. It allows children and adults to escape from their daily life and engage with thousands of adventure seekers.

Though the gap year has evolved with time, the end result is always more or less the same – and it boils down to the individual, the outcome and their reaction to the experience.

An original gap year! Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne, Image courtesy of Penguin Random House
An original gap year! Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne, Image courtesy of Penguin Random House
 
The concept of the Gap Year is said to have been ignited back in the 1960's, although Jules Verne would probably have argued otherwise.  He was dreaming up gap year adventures decades before and his epic novel "Around the World in Eighty Days" can be viewed as one big gap year type adventure.
 
It is difficult to define a gap year, after all in some countries it is referred to by a different name and often viewed differently. So while some call it a year out or year abroad, others may refer to it as a sabbatical whilst some consider sitting on their parents couch a “Gap Year”.

With NASA/JPL - NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Thinking about the future of space travel and the ideology of a gap year has prompted the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory to put together what it calls "Visions of the Future".  

Images Courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech
Images Courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech
Mars:
Our neighbouring planet has received a lot of attention since the recent findings of water deposits by NASA and has since and even before that had many Hollywood movies depict adventures on the so-called red planet. This poster creates a wonderful understanding of what can be a futuristic landmark for space travel!

British national Liam Trinder speaks about his Rugby Gap Year adventure that took him from the Northern Hemisphere to the Southern. Along with his global rugby ambitions!
 
My Rugby Gap Year - the Liam Trinder adventure
My Rugby Gap Year - the Liam Trinder adventure
 
Tell us about your rugby career and ambitions? I had been playing for my local club Henley Hawks since I the age of seven. I was playing for the Senior 2nd team before I arrived at Stellenbosch Rugby Academy. Previously I have played for my county (provisional) team for two years from ages of 14 to 16.
 
So is your focus entirely about rugby - eat, drink, sleep and live rugby or have you found a balance? Balanced! When I’m not playing rugby, I like to stay relaxed as much as possible and chill with my friends.