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Slow Down, You’re Here.

Written by

Paige D.,

EF Gap Year 2022-2023

Gap program in Costa Rica
  • Publish Date:August 25th, 2023

There was this sign on Waiheke Island in Auckland, New Zealand, that said, “Slow down, you’re here.” It looked like a road sign, but I think it was more like an unofficial reminder; I snapped a picture and continued to hover over it.

EF Gap Year in New Zealand

I began to list times during my EF Gap Year when everything felt too overwhelming, too chaotic, or just too fast:

Paige gap year quotes

...then I added something I remember from that moment that caused me to slow down.

Paige D in Costa Rica

Whether it was calling my family to ground myself or watching the sunrise in Spain, I made this list to remind myself that despite the fast pace of this program, the reality is that we’re here. Now. The sign and the list became great reminders for me to be present in this moment. Never again will I be 18 years old, traveling the world with virtually no responsibilities—so yes, it’s great to dream and plan for the future, but don’t forget to stop, enjoy this current moment, and be grateful for all the wonderful blessings you have.

It can be so easy to get caught up in the hustle of your daily commute or the drama at school/work, feeling insecure, or our current challenges—but we have to slow down. We have to appreciate the sunny skies and your grandma’s voice and Nutella, hot showers and your best friend’s smile. It only takes a minute, but we have to romanticize the simple things, because it’s the simple things that you look back on with nostalgia and wish you appreciated more.

Paige D.

EF Gap Year 2022-2023

Paige D. embarked on her EF Gap Year in September 2022, starting with two weeks of Guided Exploration in Europe; she then traveled to Barcelona, Spain for her Language & Culture module before venturing to Costa Rica for service learning. After winter break, Paige and her cohort started 2023 with two weeks on Guided Exploration in Australia & New Zealand! Her epic EF Gap Year concluded with 8 weeks of Business & Internships in Sydney, Australia.

The Kentucky native plans to attend Western Kentucky University this fall, where she will double major in Political Science and Spanish. In her free time, Paige enjoys long walks, reading, swimming, and yoga.

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