Our philosophy

We can best explain our philosophy by presenting you with the following ideas (we will go into more detail below):
  • Being active helps to think differently.
  • A gap year or a sabbatical is valuable time. We help you to make that time valuable.
  • Discovering what fascinates you and what you enjoy doing can be done through doing (as opposed to just thinking). It is an important first step towards resolving the more complex questions that life brings.
  • A gap year or a sabbatical pays for itself in many ways. You may only discover some of that years later.
  • Things can often be combined and then produce added value. Think of the gap year + oceanographic research.
  • Research that involves travel is often better done by a sailing vessel. Supersonic travel is a technical marvel, but seldom required.
  • We can make a difference for coastal communities. It is one of our goals. Along with our participants, we contribute in ways that can improve their lives in a concrete way.
    Gap Year Atlantic

    From classical dug out canoes to modern outboard motors…

A little more explanation:

  • Sometimes you just have to start doing something when you need inspiration, a new direction in life or when you need to resolve something important. From an early age we learn that you first have to think before you do anything. Although that might often be a god idea, it is our experience that thinking often works better when you are active. Being active also gives you inspiration in unexpected ways. And by the way: “think first” or “do first” is often a sham contrast. “Focused action is something really helpfull as part of any learning process or decision making”, would be a good to put it.
  • A gap year or a sabbatical is valuable time. We really make it a special experience for participants. These are often called ‘reference experiences’. These are experiences that later in life you refer to in finding answers, strength or wisdom in dealing with whatever life brings you.
  • Discovering what fascinates you and what you enjoy doing is an important first step. If you enjoy doing something, it works as a lubricant to your efforts. Everything runs easier, you do it more often, you notice that it recharges you rather than making you tired and as  you gradually gain more experience, you build up expertise without a sense of effort. That is a positive self-reinforcing effect.
  • An gap year or a sabbatical pays for itself in many ways. For example, you clearly know what your next step will be in your life. Consider a career or study choice. You learn a lot: such as teamwork, languages, bearing responsibility, navigating, leading a group, planning, and countless things that cannot be described with a single word.
  • Things can often be combined and then get added value. Consider: oceanographic research and an adventurous gap year. Adventure and security can go together. Work and pleasure. Bearing responsibility and enjoying freedom. Travel at sea and expeditions by land. Those aren’t contradictions. With Gap Year Alantic they don’t contradict, they they reinforce each other.
  • Oceanographic research by a sailing vessel is a perfect combination. In the past century they tried to make ships, especially passenger ships, sail faster and faster. Speed ​​became a goal in itself and the same goes for trains, cars and later for aircraft. They forgot to ask themselves the question if all that speed was needed for every purpose. In 2010 container carrier Maersk made an important step. The economy was slowly recovering and fuel prices were high. Maersk ran a number of ships at half speed (12 knots, about as fast as fast sailing ships from around 1900). It saved a huge amount of fuel (and pollution as well) and the transport costs of the goods decreased. Is speed important when researching the sea? No. For many observations you want to have a low speed!
  • With us you learn things that you cannot learn on a course or from a book. Sailing  a ship for instance, or doing teamwork, or going on an expedition together, but also: taking responsibility or planning a trip on land by yourself … with Gap Year Atlantic you learn things that you cannot learn at school or from a book.
  • We collaborate with coastal communities for many of our activities. If we can give them back more than just an allowance for their effort, then we will search for ways to do just that. Of course, with a group of only 40 people, we cannot immediately halt the rise in sea level. Yet we can certainly contribute to practical solutions.