Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Gap Years

"Gap Years" are common here in the UK. Students take a year between secondary school and university to live or work overseas, sometimes for a charity, sometimes just for the life experience.

The New York Times had an article recently about grown-ups doing the same sort of thing. I mention this because, frankly, the idea of spending a year off on our little stuga has been on the edge of my consciousness. A romantic fantasy, I know, but ... what would it be like to be on Aspö every day, winter, spring, summer, and fall? Would my world expand or contract? Would I lean toward Thoreau or Kaczynski? Would I ever see the moose?

I've never solicited comments before, but I will this time. Dear readers, what do you think? Have you ever daydreamt about time away???


Everett said...

I think it comes with the approach of that 50th birthday just down the calendar a few months. While I dont have a stuga on an island, there are days that a tar-paper shack on a mountainside in Idaho or a small trailer outside of Phoenix just sounds like the thing to solve a whole lot of "issues". I think the rat race gets old sometimes. I also think you would lean towards Kaczinski!!

Shane said...

There must be many things you would want to do in your gap year travel. You may be thinking of enrolling yourself in a program or even travel. Why not make a profit out of your hobby? If you are into surfing or scuba diving, why not enroll yourself in a program where you can be a qualified instructor for those sports. You can get a profit out of your hobby and makes your gap year programs more productive than what you have planned for. You get to enjoy your hobby and at the same time you are making a profit out of it and your experience will look good in your CV.

Don said...

Everett- Good point. It's probably the whole middle-aged 'getting away from the rat race' rather than a specific desire for Swedish island life.

Full disclosure: I've known E for 35 years, and it is ironic that he thinks I'd lean toward Kaczynski, given that he himself is as close to that profile as a fully-socially functioning family man could be...

Shane- I also appreciate your comments. Rather than chilling out and catching up on reading, maybe I should be more productive and develop new skills as you suggest.