One of the most pleasant surprises of this trip has been getting to connect and volunteer with the next generation of American and Global youth.
Many of them have been traveling around the globe for anywhere from 3 month to a year. It is the eponymous “gap year” program in which a graduating high school senior opts to travel and volunteer instead of immediately going to college. The kids pay for this experience and some colleges will give them credit towards graduation.
My understanding from talking to them is it costs about 1/2 what a year in college costs on average.
I was pretty blown away by the passion and work ethic I saw in these teenagers. They are actively trying to make the planet a little bit better and getting to see new worlds in the process.
I do look back and wish I had travelled more when I was younger. Making up for lost time now, in our own Gap Year, is not easy.
But with Student Debt Increasing dramatically and "real" wages not growing, clearly the Return on Investment in a college degree is not what it used to be.
Perhaps this is a helluva option that more kids should think about?