Gap Year Giveaway


Conventional wisdom says there’s one path: school, work, more work, retirement, burial. For most, that’s life. For the unconventional, that’s no life at all. To those driven by independence, creativity and originality, we created the Gap Year Giveaway.

More than 450 people threw their hats into the Gap Year Giveaway ring, each with a unique take on taking off time. But there could be only four. Those lucky few have been selected, and we’re here to officially name the winners.

Hyejee Bae

Hyejee Bae (USA)

Due to financial obligations and societal pressures, Hyejee Bae, a 21-year-old Harvard student, has followed the “safe path” her entire life. She has always loved to dance, but never could see it as more than just a hobby. That’s about to change. During her Gap Year, Hyejee will challenge herself to a Dance Bootcamp! Throughout the two months, she will train relentlessly in workshops, explore different teaching styles and dive into the many genres of dance. She will train every day to become the best dancer she can be. Follow (or dance!) with her as she takes a step off of the well-trodden path and towards her dreams.

Kristen Maiocco

Kristen Maiocco (USA)

Kristen "KB" Maiocco has a head full of ancient stories, a heart for teaching kids and a ton of sand in her boots. An archaeologist-in-the-making, she's the 21st century wink at the legendary explorers of our past. After college, she left her sleepy beach home in Florida with a suitcase and surfboard, and together with her Renaissance man of a husband, she's been discovering life as an American expat in the Middle East. While excavating ancient cities, she uncovers treasures in distant cultures, lessons from the epicenter of Eastern and Western history and insights from the hearts of the people she meets along the way.

Meg Jones

Meg Jones (USA)

Meg Jones is your typical 26-year-old young professional. But there’s something fishy going on under the surface. She wants to use her Gap Year to pursue her dream of becoming an expert fly fisher. How many times has Meg picked up a fly rod, you ask? Just once. But that experience left an impression on her that she wouldn’t forget. For the next 8 weeks, Meg has a meticulous schedule to reach her goal of landing a big one in a world-renowned fly-fishing destination: Patagonia. Can someone go from beginner fly fisher to navigating the waters of South America in just 2 months? You’ll have to stay on the hook to find out.

Megan Gilman

Megan Gilman (USA)

After graduating, Megan Gilman worked a monotonous 9-to-5 job in a field that she didn’t love for seven long years. Then it hit her — money isn’t everything, but happiness holds an infinitely higher value. So she quit. Now, she’s studying acting in Brooklyn, tending bar and about to embark on a true passion: unplanned traveling. She finds fun in the unknown, opting for a loose travel timeframe and one-way tickets over strict itineraries and locked-in fly times. For her Gap Year, Megan will put her unplanned travel style to the test in Southeast Asia, hopping between countries and looking for the unexpected to guide her.

Jenny Quinn

Jenny Quinn (EUROPE)

Jenny Quinn is a filmmaker and photographer who is passionate about all things food! She never really followed her instincts as a kid, but now she’s on a mission to explore the world and its tasty cuisines with the goal of become the world's next best self-taught chef! Her Gap Year Experience is an exploration of the most loved and least known cuisines from around the globe — from secret recipes of Nonna's in Italy to award-winning chefs in Georgia, plus techniques and traditionals. Though not vegan (yet!), she believes there's an increasing demand to create more inventive alternatives for both the mind and the planet.