Introducing the 2018 TAP Grants for Gap Year Travel Finalists

One of the best things I get to do is work with fabulous young people who are pushing hard to get the very most out of life. The folks who coalesce around the intersection of adventure and education, particularly around the concept of a Gap Year tend to be particularly amazing.

It was a big chore to winnow the, nearly 200, applications we received this year down to 12 finalists. This week we are proud to introduce the first six.

Abimbola Adebayo

“Being African and coming from Africa’s most populous country, Nigeria, my focus has been on the need to achieve environment-friendly behavior among the stakeholders in environmental management in developing countries, especially Nigeria. This passion drove me to study Urband and Regional Planning, and environmental management course, in Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria.

However I crave to completely learn and understand the realities I seek to transform through journey of self discovery and understanding of context, seeing the world through the eyes of others, be subjected to critical reasoning, and generate innovative ways of solving the environmental problems in my country by proffering solutions to the menace of waste in order to achieve a quality and sustainable environment for healthy living.

The journey of a thousand miles, they say, begins with a step.”

Katarina Ashour

“I am a highly motivated person and from a young age I have been lucky enough to know that my passion is animals and conservation.

Many times when I have told people I want to help rehabilitate lions in Africa and increase their numbers in the wild I have been told I’m crazy or that it was foolish and I would get myself killed. Though I acknowledge that there is danger in working with animals, espcailly a predator, I know that in my heart the risk is worth taking.

Not only is this my passion, but I truly feel that it is everyone’s duty to make a difference in the world in some way. Whether small or large, any positive contribution to the earth is vital.”

Tarah Waters

“This Gap Year is not just for me, it is for all of the people I hope to meet while traveling. While I need this year for my own soul, to believe in the world again, i also need this Gap year to help let others believe in good again. I know that the beauty is there, that the stories and the faces and the dreams are there. I need this year to see, to meet, to listen.

Three questions I’d like to explore on my Gap Year are:

How can we as global citizens provide a greater system of support to locally owned businesses, artists, and musicians while we travel?

How can we, as travelers, lessen the impact of our global footprint on our environment?

How can we, as a company, provide better information that will help travelers be more informed, less ignorant, and more respectful to host countries they travel to?”

Leah Evensen

“I’ve been saving money my whole life. I never really knew what for, but for the past two years have been excluseively focused on building my bank account for my Gap Year. I take pride in my work ethic!

Three questions I’d like to explore on my Gap Year are:

How can I be of most service to the world?

What goals do I want to pursue in the future?

How can I foster unconditional self love for who I am?

This is a huge, multifaceted question that may not even be resolvable within a year. Yet through my travels, I hope to build my self confidence so that I can live my truth without fear of ridicule or failure.”

Quynh Nguyen Vu Nhu

Quynh is from Vietnamese and is writing in her second language here:

“If I imagine the big picture in ten years and maybe even twenty or thirty years later, the first thing I want to see is a “man’s freedom.” A freedom in my mind, my academic journey, my action or any decision. I know that no only me but also my generation has suffered many hurts from the changes in our life.

This makes me think about a revolution in our thinking and try to do something new. It is undeniable that my expedition to the future is not easy, but I definitely think that it will have full freedom and excitement. Because everything happens in our life which has different reasons and it is not difficulties or misfortunes. It is just a challenge.”

Flavio Noriega

Flavio is Peruvian and writing in his second language:

“I want to acheive all my goals and be happy with them, traveling around the world.; Yes, I am a young adult yet, but I have a lot of aspirations and purposes in my life and maybe now I don’t know which of them. If I have failures in the future, I’m going to celebrate them, because accepting negative emotion, we will be able to open ourselves to enjoy the positive and joy.

According to Albert Einstein, “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that’s counted truly counts.” And this is the most important thing for me. I want to be able to create meaningful, purposeful, fulfilling life for myself and learn how to use that to make an impact and a difference in the lives of others. That will be success.”

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