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‘This Gap Year sucks’, says 60 million refugees


As the number of people displaced by war and persecution reaches a record level, many of those forced to flee have questioned the wisdom of taking a break from their usual ‘hurly burly’ lifestyle, by spending two weeks in a container ‘shitting into a carrier bag’. For many the experience has been less like Inter-Railing through Europe with Audrey Hepburn and more like getting fished out of the Mediterranean Sea with Robert Maxwell.

Ready for a trip of a life time?

Ready for a trip of a life time?

While the likes of Nigel Farage talk about the romance, glamour and financial rewards in abandoning your homeland; some refugees are less enthused – one said: ‘I was hoping to spend a lot more time drinking beer on a beach, pretending to find myself. Instead I spent three months dodging land mines and just trying to find fresh water. Trust me, it doesn’t feel such a ‘lonely planet’, when you’re crammed into a Red Cross camp with 80,000 other people’.

Although, not all refugee expeditions have been negative, with one veteran commenting: ‘It was a totes amazing experience. I met some incredibly spiritual people – ‘Mustafa the Human Trafficker’, ‘Boris the Knife’ and his friend ‘Rapey Mike’. I’ve also discovered things about myself. Like, I can go without food for weeks at a time. Or skills I never know I had – like quickly learning to swim when our raft capsized or how to hang off the bottom of a moving truck’.

All refugees agree that contrary to the brochures, there were few opportunities to ride elephants, get a lotus tattoo or acquire anecdotes for their UCAS statement. A UN spokesman refused to describe the situation as a humanitarian crisis: ‘If anything, this is a testament to the success of our holiday packages in North Africa and the Middle East. We’re helping people to broaden their horizons, lose excess weight and baggage. Imagine backpacking through a hail of bullets? No one is going to describe your holiday snaps as boring’.

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This entry was posted on July 1, 2015 by in International News and tagged , , , , , .

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