Interview 22 December

Orlando Charmon: Gap Yah Plannah

YouTube sensation and new breed of 'upperclass twit' Orlando Charmon on how to get the best cash-lash ratio on your next trip

Why should one take a gap yah?

You didn’t get the grades. Or, you massively love life and want to have a cheeky beer in loads of waard places around the world.

Where should one go?

Three words for you: cash-lash ratio. You’re probably thinking, “Oh, this is easy – the more 'povo’ countries will have cheaper beer.” I would say: first of all, you shouldn’t use the word “povo” (it’s “less economically developed”); and secondly, shut up.com, you’re wrong. Many things affect the golden ratio, other than how cheap everything else is in a country.

The first is a drinking cultyah. As anyone who has been to France will tell you, a pint costs, like, 10 pounds. They sit there sipping and talking about films and philosophy and stuff rather than getting massively lashed, and as a result their beer costs loads more than in Britain as they don’t shift as much booze every night.

Other places that might be cheap for other stuff are also expensive for beer because everyone’s a Muslim and so booze is illegal. This is what Malaysiah is like, and you have to get a dealer to smuggle the beers in. While making lashing feel more illicit and therefore more fun, you do lose a lot of value.

What should one do?

Charidee. It’s the gap yah gift that keeps on giving. Usually, if you say to someone, “Will you pay for me to go on holiday for a whole year?”, they say, “No! How did you get into my office? Who are you?”

But replay the same scenario when you’re doing charidee – and they give you money. It’s tax-deductible for the people who give you money (and if there’s one thing rich people like, it’s not paying tax), the orphans get a school/hospital/llama sanctuary, and you get an excuse to get on the lash train to a foreign country.

And you can then tell everyone about what you spent your year doing in order to raise better awahhness. Anyway, just find a charidee project in a country with a good cash-lash ratio, and you’re literally sorted.

When should one take a gap year?

Take one straight after school, then another just after university, then another when you feel like it because work is lame.

What should one pack?

1. Jack Wills summer season wardrobe – this pretty much covers everything you need to wah.

2. A massive bag – make sure it’s the sort that an explorer would have. It needs capacity not only for all the clothes you bring out but for all the spears, carved wooden masks and ironic phallic statuettes that you want to buy. Also, make sure it has loads of zips – if people in your dormitory annoy you, do loads of zipping and unzipping when you come in from a night out. There’s nothing more annoying when you’re trying to get to sleep.

3. Flip-flops with Brazilian flags on them – I don’t know why, but we all have these.

4. Your iPhone – so you can update Facebook with hilarious things like “I’m in Ulaanbataar, Mongolia. More like UlaanBANTER!”

5. Your Blackberry – someone might BBM you.

6 An extra old phone (iPhone 3GS) – foreign countries are like festivals, there’s not always an opportunity to charge your phone, so have a spare spare phone.

7. One of those Sigg bottles – to keep your gin cold, you lash hero.

8. Four-season sleeping bag – make sure it’s expensive enough to keep you warm in the North Pole, even if you only use it in hostels.

9. Money – this is useful in most situations.

10. Your passport – otherwise, when you’re arrested, you’ll be treated like the rest of them.

11. A copy of War and Peace – you probs won’t read it, but you should carry it around with you anyway so that you can have a raally battered copy on your bookshelf when you start university.

12. More money tucked into your sock – backup bribing stash.

13. A guitar – people will then gather around to listen to you play. All you need to learn is 'Wonderwall'. Others will take over after that.

14. A soft toy – tie it to your bag as a mascot. This makes you look approachable and light-hearted. It’ll get dirty, but that will show how much travelling you’ve done.

15. Hand sanitiser – in case you touch one of the charidee people.

16. A sense of adventyah – don’t let anyone say that it can’t be done or it’s “illegal”. These are just words they use to try to crush our spirit.

How much money should one take?

Er, what’s my credit card limit? But seriously, you’ll need some money to get out on your travels and this will require some fundrahsing. Maybe do a club night or some s--- like that. Though once you’ve got enough to get out there and cover travel, you can just emotionally blackmail your parents into picking up the tab for all your other costs.

How will  one organise it?

Get someone else to organise it for you. I paid a company called STI Travel to sort out mine. Generally in life, it’s better to get other people to do stuff for you. Saves time.

Insurance?

Get it, as you’ll probably need it when you inevitably maim yourself. If you don’t maim yourself, you’re not trying hard enough.

Any final do's and don'ts?

Do

* Read my book, The Gap Yah Plannah, before you go. Otherwise you’ll have no banter for all the randoms you meet.

* Contact the relevant embassy or consulate to see if they have any parties going on, and tuck into the Ferrero Rocher.

* Have extra copies of your passport for when you lose it. It’s important to have a silly photo on your actual passport to amuse border guards and the like. When the passport people reject your passport photo, you just write to them, pretending to be a doctor.

* Make sure that friends and family are awah of your travel itinerary, so they can get raally jealous.

Don't

* Live your life by saying “don’t”. Man up and take a gap yah.

 

Gap Yah PlannahOrlando's Gap Yah Plannah is published by Fourth Estate and is available on Amazon to buy online now.

 

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