There is never going to be a time when the world stands completely still. Eventually, everything moves on, and so does the Gapper. Since leaving Sydney last year to spend a year working abroad, I never imagined the experience this would have been. Work started as just a means to an end, where many weeks of sluggish paper pushing would result in me being able to use excessive holidays to frolic about the European continent!
That was not the case… The result was that a community of amazing people was as welcoming as anyone could ask for. Every single person would take the time to talk and find out about where I was coming from and what my plans were. Dean Close Prep has been an incredible opportunity to become established in the world where learning takes the form of experience and effort, not just regurgitating statements for marks.
It is not that every moment of work is happy and enthusiastic… Some parts of work will always be a drag; from attempting to put loud boys to bed, to sticking labels on envelopes, some things always just need to be done. I was lucky that it wasn’t too often that we had those jobs!
This is a space normally for sharing stories and experiences, it is very difficult to bring 2015 onto a page. To earn a living it is possible to move beyond the standard day to day tasks, and truly love a job. Dean Close provided a chance to spend every waking moment focused on being a part of a team working towards multitudes of educational goals.
The idea of a gap year is to be taking a break from education. In reality, it helps one realise a statement best put by philosopher John Dewey.
“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.”
It’s a part of life where we learn that as many times as we recite anatomy, or quote Shakespeare, the true ability of a person is not what their brain contains, but what it is willing to do.
Travelling is very similar. People at all stages of life will find themselves in a state of ‘Wanderlust’ and feel the need to explore the world we live in. My own journey in this has only just begun, and Europe is just the first step to experiencing everything the world has to offer me. In travel, the goal is to learn about other places, people and cultures. While we can pack, plan and read up on the spots months in advance (and this is never a bad thing!) it is only when we step out into new places and see it with our own eyes that we know and understand the world that little bit better.
To those on the other side of this screen, the only advice your average young Aussie bloke can give you now is to take the leap and challenge in whatever you are planning. It is always a different experience to what you think it will be.
To those who are still weighing up travelling, I’m not going to be elaborate… Just do it!
To those who have made my year brilliant, thank you. Shout outs go to the Dean Close Prep School Gappers and all staff, for being great friends and a good laugh this year! Huge thanks to the boarding staff of DCPS and particularly Caldecote, and Jon Harris for always yelling my name regardless of the mood! Another thank you to family and friends back home, not only for visiting- but being supportive over the year and always being ready for a chat.
Bek has made it over to the #winterwanderlust final journey through Europe, stay tuned for detailed posts on each city we go to!
As I have said goodbye to the lovely town of Cheltenham, and as of tomorrow England, for one last British time on #jongmasjourney…
As Grandma’s friend Laurie always says….
“Love all around…”