It’s all very well saying ‘I’m going to go travelling’ but it takes quite a bit more for something to actually happen. With no idea where to start I turned to Google (bear in mind that at this stage it was still only a vague thought). I was surprised to find that there are actually quite a few companies out there dealing exclusively with gap years and career breaks. One that I liked for no particular reason (it may well just have been the first one I looked at) was realgap. But they had so much choice, and I had no particular plan on where I wanted to go or what I wanted to do.
So I employed a simple technique: Snap decisions.
I had a little look around the site for something that would catch my eye.
The first thing was martial arts training in China, that sounded pretty cool, if slightly scary. The next thing that stood out was the work program in New Zealand.
I started talking to some local friends about my plans (increasing the level of social commitment). Then I talked to my parents, who were very encouraging and supportive about the idea.
Then realgap updated their website with a travel story, someone had recorded their experiences at the martial arts centre. Immediately it seemed less scary, they had a great time and it suddenly looked like I’d be a fool not to go for it.
So just over a week ago on Saturday, I bit the bullet, and put down a deposit for three months of martial arts training in China.

On the following Monday I received a call from real gap:
“I have some disappointing news for you…” Damn I thought, there are no spaces for when I want to go “…you’ve won an iPod touch”.

This came as a bit of a shock, and certainly wasn’t the kind of bad news that I was expecting. I kept my wits about me though and broke my shocked silence early.
“Oh!” I said assertively, then with slightly more enthusiasm “Wow, cool”.
We confirmed some details and hung up.

Now I’m not entirely sure where I stand on the whole fate/karma type stuff, but I certainly have a general leaning towards good things happen when you’re on the right track. So I can take this good fortune as some kind of blessing on the whole trip 🙂

So here I am, I still don’t know if my place at the academy has been confirmed as any post about it will go to Guildford and I’m in Plymouth. My ipod touch still hasn’t arrived and I’m quite skint.
So to be honest it still feels a bit unreal, and until I’m sure that I’ve officially got a place it’ll stay like that.