Spotlighting the American Gap Year

We had been dreaming of #vanlife for over a decade.

As conversations about our family's values and needs heightened with the pandemic, it became clear that it was the perfect time to bring our vision to fruition. So, we packed up our home and office to take our gap year advocacy, research and mentoring on the road for the 2020-2021 academic year. Visiting students, schools and programs all over the U.S. was the perfect synergy of our personal and professional lives, and an unquestionable confirmation of the power of experiential learning.

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Living tnat #gapyearstateofmind

Living a #gapyearstateofmind

We do the very things we ask of our students, and we know it can be scary to step off the treadmill and forge a different path. Van life was certainly that for us. Leaving home for a year seemed crazy, and nearly every day there was a task, decision or situation that required careful navigation. And yet, we emerged from each feeling confident, capable and inspired.

A gap year - like vanlife - is so much more than a finite period of time, it's developing a #gapyearstateofmind: a lifelong framework of living and learning with real intention, curiosity and engagement.

The American Gap Year

For 12 months we visited gap year programs and developed new partnerships from coast to coast. As passionate international travelers, we were overwhelmed by the quantity and quality of gap year opportunities here in the United States. There is so much to see, do and learn in this vast, diverse and truly beautiful country!

The possibilities for your American gap year are endless: Adventure. Animals. Art. Building. Business. Conservation. Environment. Farming. Film. Internships. Life Skills. Music. Politics. Social Justice. Travel. Volunteering. Wellness. Wilderness. Work Exchange. Yoga. What interests or skills do YOU want to explore?


The J2Rides Journey

If you would like to learn more about our adventures, look for our #vanlife and #j2rides posts on FacebookInstagram, and our blog. If you are interested in spending part or all of your gap year in the U.S., or if you are looking for tips on van life or a roadtrip, please send us an email - we'd love to share what we have learned!

In advance of all meetings and site visits we sent our COVID-19 protocols to ensure that our hosts felt good about our arrival. Being respectful, transparent and communicative is essential as a traveler, no matter where you are.

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