By THOMAS STEVENSON.

In my last article, I talked about the concept of a gap year, which is basically a holiday from study. I’m going to continue the tradition of “things that aren’t university.”
For instance, have you ever thought about taking a few months off to explore the world outside Aotearoa? If money weren’t a problem, where would you go?
I’ve met a few folks who spent months or years overseas, in other countries. They could write novels about the stories they’ve brought back with them. In fact, that’s all travel writing is, folks coming back from an awesome holiday and putting it into book form.
“But Thomas,” I hear you bleating as moths gather in your wallet, “How can I afford to drop everything and go overseas for any amount of time?”
The simple answer is: you can find a job while you’re overseas!
My friend Mary (not her real name) is currently working in Oslo, Norway. Originally from Switzerland, she has been on the move for six years now. She came down to New Zealand to get a degree, but has been to too many other places to list here. Her most memorable trip was three weeks in Colombia – “not long enough!”
“I make money [in Oslo] and it’s cheap and close to travel around,” she told me. The population of Oslo is about half that of Auckland, so it’s not exactly cramped.
Naturally, I wanted to know what appeals to Mary so much about travel abroad. She said, “I like travelling to discover other cultures. I want to see how others see the world and how they think and do things.”
As far as study breaks go, seeing a new part of the world is hard to beat. But there’s some paperwork to go through first. You need to make sure your passport is up to date and apply for a Visa. Some countries also require you to have a special permit to work there, if you’re hoping to earn money and stay for a while. This is the purpose of the Green Card in the USA… yes, some people go to the USA for a holiday.
But after all that, your reward is the trip of a lifetime! Whether you spend a week or six years away from home, you’re guaranteed an adventure to remember.
Keep checking back to see travel stories and tips for students, from your friendly neighbourhood Mavericks.
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