Explore Our 2024 Guide to Gap Year Programs!

    The High Desert Center: Thailand and U.S. Gap Year for Adventurous Spirits

    The High Desert Center: Thailand and U.S. Gap Year for Adventurous Spirits


    • Listing Type: Gap Year Programs
    • Program Delivery: Residential
    • Destinations: Thailand, United States
    • Credit Awarded: None
    • Program Length: Semester
    • Start Month: February
    • Category: Travel/Cultural Immersion
    • Selective: No
    • Ages: 17, 18, 19+, 19
    • Housing: Cabins, Homestay, Other, Tents
    • Financial Aid: Not Available
    • Minimum Cost: $5,000 - $9,999
    • Facebook
    • Instagram
    Write a Review


    Join us as we explore community and freedom in three dramatically different locations: (1) a sustainable community in Thailand, (2) the Road-Tripping Bus as we roam the southwest border regions in the U.S., and #3) Paonia, a small farm community in the mountains of western Colorado.

    Dive into food culture, place, spirituality, and adventure in each location. Experience what it means to live deep and real.  Grow and make memories that will be with you for a lifetime.

    Week 1-6: Thailand

    In Thailand you will explore Thai culture, food culture, and spirituality as we trekk, get our hands dirty, and explore the local landscapes. You will immerse yourself in local community, experience a homestay, sit with Theravada monks, and explore landscapes from mountains to beaches. You will explore big questions in an immersive, intentional, and authentic way. Our goal is to truly experience the rawness and realness of the people, landscapes, plants, animals and special moments.

    Week 7-10: The South West

    Headed to the US, we will drive our bus into remote deserts, canyons and wilderness but also into small towns and even a couple big cities.  The goal is to create community and connection wherever we go, to make quality moments that change lives. We will practice meeting our basic needs (food, water, shelter, friendship, service) in any place or situation. We will also create more magic moments than you thought possible. We guarantee you’ll feel alive and shake up your life.

    Week 11-14

    During the latter part of this program we will return to our base camp in Paonia, Colorado.  This is a place for us to go into greater depth with the skills we've been practicing.  We dive deep into self-sufficiency skills learning from locals who tan hides, create herbal medicines, carve spoons, or live offgrid. Throughout our time, we will be making many group decisions and practicing that important skill wherein all great things begin–a small group of people choosing something big and then making it happen.

    In the end, most of us feel more alive and connected, and our challenge becomes figuring out how bring these qualities into the next stage of our lives.