Europa-Park: The adventure, the excitement and the pumpkins - Image Credit BreakingStereotypes.orgEuropa-Park: The adventure, the excitement and the pumpkins - Image Credit BreakingStereotypes.org

A trip to Europa-Park makes one understand the true meaning of the word: entertainment. And that is exactly what the place is all about. It allows children and adults to escape from their daily life and engage with thousands of adventure seekers.

With NASA/JPL - NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Thinking about the future of space travel and the ideology of a gap year has prompted the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory to put together what it calls "Visions of the Future".  

Images Courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech
Images Courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech
Mars:
Our neighbouring planet has received a lot of attention since the recent findings of water deposits by NASA and has since and even before that had many Hollywood movies depict adventures on the so-called red planet. This poster creates a wonderful understanding of what can be a futuristic landmark for space travel!

British national Liam Trinder speaks about his Rugby Gap Year adventure that took him from the Northern Hemisphere to the Southern. Along with his global rugby ambitions!
 
My Rugby Gap Year - the Liam Trinder adventure
My Rugby Gap Year - the Liam Trinder adventure
 
Tell us about your rugby career and ambitions? I had been playing for my local club Henley Hawks since I the age of seven. I was playing for the Senior 2nd team before I arrived at Stellenbosch Rugby Academy. Previously I have played for my county (provisional) team for two years from ages of 14 to 16.
 
So is your focus entirely about rugby - eat, drink, sleep and live rugby or have you found a balance? Balanced! When I’m not playing rugby, I like to stay relaxed as much as possible and chill with my friends.

Though the gap year has evolved with time, the end result is always more or less the same – and it boils down to the individual, the outcome and their reaction to the experience.

An original gap year! Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne, Image courtesy of Penguin Random House
An original gap year! Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne, Image courtesy of Penguin Random House
 
The concept of the Gap Year is said to have been ignited back in the 1960's, although Jules Verne would probably have argued otherwise.  He was dreaming up gap year adventures decades before and his epic novel "Around the World in Eighty Days" can be viewed as one big gap year type adventure.
 
It is difficult to define a gap year, after all in some countries it is referred to by a different name and often viewed differently. So while some call it a year out or year abroad, others may refer to it as a sabbatical whilst some consider sitting on their parents couch a “Gap Year”.

Q&A with Alie Brand of the Stellenbosch Rugby Academy (SRA) about the benefits of a Rugby Gap Year!
 
Rugby Gap Year with Stellenbosch Rugby Academy - Image source: Stellenbosch Rugby Academy

Rugby Gap Year with Stellenbosch Rugby Academy - Image source: Stellenbosch Rugby Academy
 
How and why did Stellenbosch Rugby Academy establish its Gap Year program?  
 
It was initially started for school leavers who want to focus on their rugby/sport for a year, or are uncertain and seek guidance about their choice of career or field of study, or want to study the following year. SRA follows SARU's (South African Rugby Union) High Performance requirements and guidelines for national rugby academies - including quality players / programs, as well as a life after rugby. We go even further, and have a holistic approach which means we take players on potential (not just talent) and help to develop students. The focus is not only on rugby, but rather on using rugby as a vehicle to help develop balanced, well-rounded young individuals who reach their full potential in life.

Björn Borg and John McEnroe Swedish tennis player Bjorn Borg (right) shakes hands over the net with American tennis player John McEnroe after winning the final of the Men's Singles tournament, 1-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-7, 8-6 to become champion at the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, London on 5th July 1980. (Photo by Chris Smith/Popperfoto/Getty Images)Featured on OriginalSteps.com
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The rivalry effect...Björn Borg and John McEnroe
Swedish tennis player Bjorn Borg (right) shakes hands over the net with American tennis player John McEnroe after winning the final of the Men's Singles tournament, 1-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-7, 8-6 to become champion at the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, London on 5th July 1980. (Photo by Chris Smith/Popperfoto/Getty Images)