For both students and people in work, the option for taking a gap year is proving to be a very popular life choice. Making the decision to take a gap year and following it through can be difficult to achieve. For a student taking a gap year before or after taking a university degree, a gap year can have a huge positive effect in terms of boosting confidence, increasing maturity, developing social skills, gaining experience and knowledge of different cultures, helping the environment and feeling independent by taking the opportunity of working in a different country.
In recent years, grown up gap years and family gap years have gained in popularity. For adults who are in middle age or older, taking a gap year can be the ideal way to gain new experiences and enjoy life. Many are financially self sufficient but obtaining good travel insurance may be more difficult for people over 64 or 65. For families wishing to take a gap year for travelling, the planning and finance involved can be huge depending on the work situation, number of children and their ages, mortgage commitments, arranging a house sitter and having enough funds for the entire journey.
For a student or individual with no financial or family commitments, a gap year can seem like the perfect way to experience life before joining or returning to the world of work. However, like many things in life, there are major hurdles to overcome. Firstly there is the question of financing the gap year. If a person is lucky enough to have funds available or will be working during their gap year, this poses very few problems. For many people who are hoping to travel during their gap year, it may mean taking a temporary job or asking parents to help out financially. With student debts at an all time high, gaining the necessary funds can prove to be very difficult and delays may be inevitable.
The second hurdle to overcome is the fear and excitement of travelling to the far corners of the world and surviving to tell the tale especially for those travelling solo for the first time. Parents, friends and family will also be very worried with stories of crime, natural disasters, unstable governments and disease ridden areas making the news on a daily basis. In the vast majority of cases, most countries are just as safe as your home country. With the wealth of information available on the internet and through travel guides, there is no excuse not to plan a trip beforehand in order to make the most of it and to avoid unnecessary risks and dangers. Many countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and South America have well laid out backpacker routes which are used by thousands of men and women travelling in groups or on their own. The vast majority have amazing experiences and return home safely. You will be hard pressed to find an individual who has taken a gap year and regretted the decision. Popular countries for gap year travellers include Australia, Thailand (especially the islands of Thailand), India, New Zealand, South Africa, Cambodia, Vietnam, Brazil, Peru and Indonesia.
For some, travelling solo may pose a major problem if they have never tried it before. They may be worried about feeling lonely and unable to cope with situations by themselves in a strange country far from home. Fortunately there are thousands of people in exactly the same situation and travelling solo is the ideal way to meet people and build confidence. People often meet in hostels, bars, trains, airports and the list goes on. It is much easier to meet people while travelling than it is in your home country and in most cases, people will only be alone if they choose to be. Also the ability to cope with new situations will improve over a short period of time as you gain confidence through each experience. After a while, you will be booking accommodation on the internet, travelling long distances and communicating with people in a different language without a second thought.
The options for people taking a gap year are huge and include travel, volunteer work, contract work, seasonal jobs, adventure travel, teaching English and much more. A gap year can be a once in a life time experience and as long as you plan well and use your common sense, it can be year that will change your life for the better.
The Charlie Daniels Band
Celebrate Virginia After Hours announced that The Charlie Daniels Band will perform at the Marks and Harrison Amphitheater in Fredericksburg, VA on Saturday, August 12 at 7:00 P.M. Tickets are on-sale at celebratevirginiaafterhours.com.
From his Dove Award winning gospel albums to his genre-defining Southern rock anthems and his CMA Award-winning country hits, few artists have left a more indelible mark on America’s musical landscape than Charlie Daniels. An outspoken patriot, beloved mentor to young artists and still a road warrior now at the age of 80, Charlie has parlayed his passion for music into a multi-platinum career and a platform to support the military, underprivileged children and others in need.
Raised among the longleaf pines of North Carolina, Charlie began his career playing bluegrass music with the Misty Mountain Boys. After moving to Nashville in 1967, he began making a name for himself as a songwriter, session musician and producer.
His own unique voice as an artist emerged as Charlie recorded his self-titled solo album in 1970 for Capitol Records. Two years later he formed the Charlie Daniels Band and the group scored its first hit with the top ten Uneasy Rider. Since then the CDB has populated radio with such memorable hits as Long Haired Country Boy, The South’s Gonna Do It Again, In America, The Legend of Wooley Swamp and of course, his signature song, The Devil Went Down to Georgia, which won a Grammy for Best Country Vocal performance by a Duo or Group in 1979 as well as single of the year at the Country Music Association Awards.
An astute businessman as well as talented musician, Charlie launched Blue Hat Records in 1997 with his longtime personal manager David Corlew. Over the past 19 years, the label has released such memorable albums as Blues Hat, Tailgate Party, Road Dogs, Fiddle Fire: 25 Years of the Charlie Daniels Band and his first bluegrass album 2005’s Songs From the LongLeaf Pines and 2007’s album Deuces, featuring duets with Brad Paisley, Gretchen Wilson, Bonnie Bramlett, Travis Tritt, Dolly Parton, Vince Gill, Brenda Lee, and Darius Rucker.
There’s no sign of Charlie Daniels slowing down. This past August, he released Night Hawk. Charlie has never fit into any certain label, purposely creating a sound and blend of music all his own. This album stays true to that tradition with a unique spin on cowboy songs both well known and uncovered from through the years.
Over the course of his career, Charlie Daniels has received numerous accolades, including induction into the Grand Ole Opry and Musicians Hall of Fame. He’s been presented the Pioneer Award by the Academy of Country Music and was honored as a BMI Icon in recognition of his songwriting. He has also received a star on the Music City Walk of Fame. Just a few months ago, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, during a star-studded ceremony.