My gap year was completely unexpected and didn’t include the usual finding yourself in India, getting a tattoo after a full moon party in Thailand or skydiving over Bondi Beach. After finishing my A-Levels, I was meant to be heading of to uni to study veterinary medicine – which didn’t quite go to plan. During my first year of sixth form, I conveniently decided to break my leg and missed all of my first exams, which lead to 2 years of playing catch up and ultimately not getting the grades I needed for my dream career. At the time I thought it was the end of the world – turns out it wasn’t (shocking, I know). So instead of jumping into a course for the sake of it (my backup was French at Leeds – slightly different I know), I decided to work full time and travel as much as possible.
I started off travelling solo and spent the first two weeks with my best friend in Nova Scotia, Canada, before heading to New Zealand to spend a month with family in Wellington and Auckland. I then came home, worked like crazy and went on my first, proper holiday with my then boyfriend to…
Hardly a Caribbean cruise but I’d never been before, we stayed in Playa de la Arena and Siam Park was definitely the highlight of the trip.
Our next holiday was slightly more worthwhile…
Riviera Maya, Mexico
The east coast of Mexico around Cancun has the perfect mix of Caribbean and American influence for a luxury holiday. We went during American Spring Break which added to the party atmosphere in Cancun at night. During the two weeks spent in the holiday resort of Riviera Maya we went on the Captain Hook pirate ship which included dinner and a show, visited the Mayan temple Chichen Itza, drove a speed boat around lagoons, went parasailing and swam with dolphins!
I’d been to Rome as a teenager for a day when on holiday in Catollica, so to see more of the city and spend longer at different attractions was amazing. We went in the Colosseum, saw the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, and visited Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps and the Roman Forum, along with eating enough gelato to fill the Vatican (which you can get a great view of from the top of Castel Sant’Angelo)
Again, not the most exciting of trips but we spent a week around the capital seeing the usual tourist attractions, and then visited Thorpe Park, LegoLand, Chessington World of Adventures and the Harry Potter Studios which were obviously the highlight of my trip!