Gap Year | How Does Service Learning Benefit the Communities

Many gap year programs involve an element of service learning. In a world full of greenwashing and voluntourism, it is more important than ever to ask the question, how does service learning benefit the communities they operate in? Service learning is a unique approach that combines community service with experiential learning. Examples undertaken by students are: habitat restoration and species monitoring; assisting local students with English-language development; and… Read more

The Power of Gap Years as an Antidote to Student Burnout

What is student burnout? Burnout is a state of complete mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion. It has become an all too common issue among students. The relentless pressure to excel in academics, extracurricular activities, and personal lives can often take a toll on mental and physical well-being. One potential solution to burn out is taking a gap year—a deliberate break from formal education after high school or during college. Not only is a gap year a way to exp… Read more

Why Choose Pacific Discovery as Your Gap Year Provider? 

We asked Pacific Discovery alumni, Abigail Hasselbrink why she chose Pacific Discovery as her Gap Year provider and how she chose which program to do. When I first started thinking about taking a gap year, I began researching gap year travel programs. I quickly realized that there were hundreds of options, and I didn’t know how to decide which one to choose. I didn’t even know where to begin in the sorting and eliminating process. What programs were the most reputable? … Read more

What's the Accommodation like on Program?

It's one of our most frequently asked questions, 'What's the accommodation like on program?' And we're here to tell you what you can expect. Diversity is key in life. We embrace this idea while traveling overland across the world.  The place you lay your head at night is so much more than that. It’s an opportunity for connection and learning. Whilst on a program, you will experience a number of accommodation types. You will always be safe and comfortable. Accommodation … Read more

10 Things I Learned During My Gap Year

Taking a gap year is one of the best decisions I ever made. I learned so much about both myself and the world. Here are 10 things I learned during my gap year. 1. Jump from waterfalls as often as you canI jumped off a few cliffs and waterfalls during my semester with Pacific Discovery, and as long as you can assure that what you are doing is safe, I highly recommend doing it. It is such a rush and landing in the water is the most liberating, refreshing feeling. 2. The … Read more

Tips for Traveling Sustainably

Our programs are filled with intentional and thoughtful travel experiences that are in line with sustainable development. However, it’s still a bit of a catch 22, figuring out how to limit your carbon footprint whilst out gallivanting in the world. It’s something that’s always on our mind as an experiential travel company, and this list is fluid and changing with the times. Here are a few tips on traveling sustainably. Extend Your Trip Make the trip worthwhile! Once you… Read more

Envisioning Life After a Pacific Discovery Program

When you finish a program, you might not look different (apart from the teva tan lines), but you will most certainly feel different. You will take away a lot more than photos and souvenirs after traveling on a 70 day overland journey to some of the most vibrant and culturally diverse destinations on earth. The lessons learnt from our experiences on program will be drip fed into Your lives for years after the program.  Wide Open MindA gap semester program might unravel s… Read more

Life After a Gap Year From a Former Pacific Discovery Student

Past student Abby recounts life after her Pacific Discovery program. I distinctly remember the day after I had flown home from Costa Rica. It was a sunny day in mid-April, and I could barely process what had just happened. I had just had the adventure of a lifetime. I had spent the last seventy days seeing and doing more than some people get to do in their whole lives. I had jumped from waterfalls, seen a volcano erupt in front of my eyes, dived the crystalline turquoi… Read more

Why I Decided to Take a Gap Year?

Around January of my senior year of high school, my mother told me she thought I should consider taking a gap year. The term “gap year” always made images of traveling to far-off places for months at a time swirl around in my brain. But I had never really entertained the idea. Travel was expensive, and gap years didn’t really sound that beneficial. Also, I liked the idea of going to college. Why would I want to delay that?  But then I began to reflect on the past few y… Read more

Departure Fall 2023

Coping Mechanisms for Life on the Road

Life on the road although incredible can be tough. Here are some tips for coping mechanisms while on your program. If you are contemplating signing up for a program or you’re getting ready to head out on a program, you might be thinking, how in the world am I going to travel FULL TIME with a group of strangers for one to three months of my life?! Further to that, I won’t have my special pillow, my lunchtime latte, or my regular football lessons and I guess my sleep-ins … Read more

Departure Spring 2023