Green living: Save Our Earth By Living Green

Gap Year Era

When one of your teenagers decides to go travelling it is a time for roller coasting emotions. You are proud of them for their independence, vision and ambition and you are terrified for their safety. You want to know who they are going with, where they are going and most importantly when they will be coming home. And whose idea was this anyway?!

Wren Kitchen

Travelling or taking a gap year is very common these days, and as I stand here looking at the postcards on the notice board in my kitchen the experience has not been as painful for me as I imagined it might be. One of the reasons is that I know my child is making a contribution to an emerging economic region by joining an organised volunteer group who are working hard to support the local community. It is ‘green tourism’ at its best, a great way to make a difference and learn something about the world. I am hoping that when my offspring returns with an older head on their shoulders they will appreciate how valuable this opportunity has been for them as well.

It won’t be long before we find out either as I am counting the weeks now until the prodigal return. Soon enough my house will be full of unwashed clothes, my kitchen worktops will be covered in precious nick-knacks from around the globe and the age old arguments between siblings will have resumed at full volume. What bliss!

Oh well, only a few months until September and the start of University, another grand upheaval leaving parents bereft, siblings frustrated and an altogether quieter home. I’m not sure whether I am looking forward to it or not – time will tell. One things for sure, I am certainly going to make the most of the summer when we are all together, who knows, it could be the end of an era.

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  • Beautifully written point of view on the gap year. Most parents’ articles are about the what’s and the where’s…it’s great to explore the more complex emotional aspect of the parent’s experience of the gap year. Thank you!

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