Savannah Pallazola: Swimmer And Rock Climber Taking A Gap Year

By: Winterline | May 5, 2017
Topics: Student Voices
Meet Savannah, from Gloucester, Massachusetts -- getting ready to take an amazing gap year abroad.

Ready for the best gap year ever?


The concept of a gap year program is still new for many students. When were you first introduced to the idea of taking a gap year before college?

I was introduced to it when I was younger, because my sister didn’t go straight to college after high school, so I thought that was cool. It’s sort of unconventional for our family, but my mother’s spawns are a little unconventional. Tiff took a gap year to work and she’s been continuing to do that for a while now. My plan is to attend college, I just need to find myself a little first. To take a gap year would be really helpful for me, so it’s been interesting to learn more about it.

Why did you choose to take a gap year?

I just really don’t know what I want to do in college, and then I found out about Winterline, and I’ve always wanted to travel so it was kind of perfect. It just clicked for me and I realized that it’s something more beneficial than anything else I could be doing. I really liked the concept of doing all these things I’ve never done before with people I’ve just met, and figuring out what I like. Also, I live in a small town in Massachusetts, so I have got to get out there.

savannah p taking a gap year abroad

What country on our itinerary are you most excited to visit?

I think I’m most excited about Thailand, to be honest. Though I’ve always wanted to visit places in Europe, and that’s wicked exciting, Thailand is an awesome destination that I’ve heard so many great things about. There’s a lot of tourism there, a lot of people — and the food!

What activity or learning experience captivates you the most about Winterline?

I think the hiking is going to be a wicked cool challenge for me, though I don’t have pervious hiking experience. I really like being outdoors, but I’ve never truly immersed myself in nature, and the challenges it can bring to someone like me. I do a lot of indoor sports, like swimming and rock climbing. I feel like sport is a lot more exhilarating when you’re outside.

My number one concern about the hiking is the fact that we’ll be without power, and my knees are computerized. I charge them every night and the charge will last about a day and a half. It’s a little concerning, but I know people. We’re discussing solar-powered options, or even new attachments specifically for the hiking aspect of the trip.

Overall, the hiking trip is the most captivating to me because it’s in the beginning of it all. It’ll be the first time I get to meet all of these new people, and I just think it’s going to really kick off this journey right.

savannah gloucester taking a gap year

Do you have an idea of what you would like to do in the future?

I really like the Spanish language. I’ve been taking it for 2 years now, but I’m not fluent. I would like study more Spanish in college; that’s a big interest of mine. Maybe one day I can teach English in Spain, like my current Spanish teacher did for eleven years.

I’d also love to study music. I sing, and I also bought a ukulele that I haven’t learned how to play yet. I really like singing songs from musicals, like Rent. I’m a fan of R&B, older music, and some alternative stuff from today. I love to sing in Spanish, as well. Learning songs from Spanish-speaking artists has been beneficial to my pronunciation and coherence.

Have you traveled before? If so, which trip has been your favorite and why?

I’ve traveled inside the country, a bit. When I was nine years old, I went to Disneyworld in Florida with my family. That was awesome, but I didn’t go on any rides. I was too dramatically scared to back then. Though, my favourite park was Jurassic Park.

I’m from Massachusetts, so driving to Maine and New Hampshire is a breeze. With my school, I’ve visited Culinary Institutes in both Vermont and New York.

I did, also, learn to ski in Colorado, which was probably my favorite trip. I mountain skied for two years in a row. I haven’t been in a while, but it’s something I’m sure to pick up again when I come back.

What do you expect to gain from taking a gap year and while traveling abroad?

I expect to be scared, seeing as I don’t have much travel experience. But I also expect to be grateful for the chances I’ll get to be a better version of myself. I guess I just want to gain more worldly knowledge, and to also to be enlightened as to what I’m capable of. I generally like to seek new challenges and be self aware, but I need some more experience.

savannah taking a gap year abroad

What is one thing you want your future Winterline peers to know about you?

I want them to know that I’m an open book.

Tell us something fun about you!

I can beatbox a little! Just little things, not too complex. I beatbox with my brother. We have a very compatible sense of humor and we do a lot of riffing off of whatever song is in our heads.

I am looking for that compatible sense of humor in a Winterline friend! I’m excited about making new friends, and singing and beatboxing with them, if they so wish to as well.

And finally, Coke or Pepsi?

Neither! I don’t really like Coke or Pepsi! I’m a Ginger Ale type of person. Schweppes Ginger Ale. It’s gotta be Schweppes.

Ready to begin your adventure?



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