The Thailand Adventure with Gapforce was my first time out of Europe, as well as my first trip ‘on my own’ - and it was fantastic.
Although I wasn’t sure what to expect, I really appreciated the flexibility of the trip - the leaders would ask us if there were any particular activities that we were interested in or perhaps wanted them to look into, and we had plenty of free time to explore and see things that we wished to if we were unable to as a group.
Both expedition leaders, Laszlo and Terence, were very knowledgable, and able to offer reassurance, as well as assistance, whenever queries arose, especially medical ones. They were friendly and fun, making the trip feel more like a holiday with friends, whilst were also professional enough that I felt as though I could still come to them with any concerns. Occasionally, on nights out, I felt as though the leaders were less available which, though understandable, was sometimes a worry, but the size (17) and friendliness of the group meant that I never felt on my own, and both leaders were extremely conscientious regarding the safety of organised activities.
Throughout the trip, I was surrounded by an amazing group of people, and I made friends I would love to visit and meet up with again for further adventures. This trip really has ‘broadened my horizons,’ and I’ve come away with a greater desire to try more things, and ideas for hobbies/sports to take up during the rest of my Gap Year - one of my favourite memories has to be cycling around rice paddies in Chiang Mai, and I was reminded how much I enjoyed cycling (though the setting certainly won’t be the same!)
The amount we had to spend on taxis and travel at the beginning of the trip in Bangkok worried me a bit money-wise as we did a lot of moving around, and, although I was not particularly concerned when plans changed as I knew it to be a possibility, it was a shame when activities on the itinerary for our particular trip were missed out, such as a ‘sunrise hot air balloon.’ However, we did participate in other activities that were very enjoyable, with white water rafting definitely being one of the trip’s highlights for me.
Thailand was wonderful, and I’m glad to have had the opportunity to experience it. I’ve come away from this trip with great memories, and feel much more independent, in general as well as as a traveller - I hope to do more in the future.
Thank you very much for the amazing adventure!