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STA Travel Blog

High Five… Volunteering in Latin America!

Volunteering. It’s an amazing way to give something back, gain skills that will stay with you for life, boost your CV, and see the world, all at the same time.

And what better place to do all that than in Latin America? The continent has culture, beauty and adventure in spades, as well as loads of worthwhile projects that needs your help. It’s safe to say that we think volunteering in Latin America deserves a big, fat High Five.

So how do you choose which project to join? Here are five which we think really stand out. Not only are they great causes, but they all last between 1-2 weeks. A pretty different way to use your annual leave, right?

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10 Places to Escape Valentine’s Day

In case you haven’t noticed: it’s Valentine’s Day. I’m stood in the queue of a well-known coffee shop chain in West London, waiting for a fat latte to bolster my morning, staring out of the window at the usual humdrum of life. When, suddenly, I become aware of the gooey fact, that, “Love is in the air, everywhere I look around.” I even start tapping my feet.

There’s a guy on the corner with a half-dozen roses; ten feet away, stands a young lady, losing herself in her lover’s eyes. There’s a couple playing out a frisky reunion, and a cheeky grin unravelling across a young man’s face, as he looks down towards his mobile phone.

There’s a white van parked outside. In that van, sits a man. He’s sat quietly in the passenger seat, wearing a dark blue beanie hat. I’d say he’s around twenty-two. His arms are tightly folded, his thick fleece jacket is zipped right up to the top, and his chin is tucked into the collar.

I grab my coffee and a handful of sugar, and walk back to the office, to sit down at my desk, to write a blog post, titled: “The World’s Most Loveable Destinations”.

I had it all planned out; there was a lingering journey through Tuscany, and a sunset sojourn to Australia’s Whitsunday Islands among other heart-warming adventures.

But I couldn’t shake the image of that guy; sitting in his van; isolated from a world of lust. A pane of dirty glass was all that separated him from a world of tumbling romantic gestures. So I deleted the “Loveable” post; took a deep breath, and set about a new direction.

Don't be disheartened by Valentine's Day, we've got your back. | Photo by B.S. Wise

A look at some of the world’s best destinations to embrace the inner-singleton for your year of travel. A round-up of destinations that will leave you, the reader, feeling empowered. If you’ve recently broken up with someone, these selfless bursts of inspiration will help to soothe your achy, breaky heart.

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14 Awesome Places to Sleep Beneath the Stars

“Twinkle twinkle little STA(r), how we wonder what… you… are.” All together now! “Up above [Ant: one second, just popping over to Google]… the world… so high; like a diamond in the sky. Twinkle twinkle…”

That’s right, folks. From a very early age, we’re instilled with a beautiful sense of allure towards inky night skies, generously speckled with stars.

workcampers :P

Did you know, more than half of Mongolians live in felt-lined tents, called gers. But can you name them all? | Photo by laihiu

But with street lights creeping across the lands and staining the darkness with an eerie orange glow, are there any accessible places left on earth where you can still kip under a thick night blanket? You can bet your bottom twinkle there are, and ode to your year of travel, I’m about to share with you some of my darkest secrets.
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Slap a Snap Gap in Your #YearofTravel!

As the Year of Travel rolls through the wilds of your imagination, it’s time to turn your attention to your own travel ambitions. And what better place to start than with an adventure that celebrates the very best of a region, with a good amount of time to sink your teeth into its culture?

Some call them Snap Gaps; some say Snap Years; others label them ‘mini gap years’; I simply prefer to call them by their proper name: a couple of months’ travelling.

Two months is enough time to unravel, and immerse yourself in the experience. It’s short enough, that with a little planning, you can slip it into a summer of seamless fun, or set off on a sabbatical of untold possibilities.

But where would you travel to? There are some fantastic destinations, that are conveniently located beside each other, and seemingly begging to be explored this year. I’ve rounded up some of my favouruite regions around the world, to give you a flavour of what you could achieve throughout your Year of Travel.
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High Five… Central America!

Nestled neatly between the bigger, louder and brasher North and South Americas, it would be quite easy (but unforgivable) to overlook the compact cluster of seven incredible countries that make up the region of Central America.

Boy, are you in for an adventure! Volcanoes, Caribbean beaches, Mayan ruins, offshore reefs, colonial towns and dense jungles are ready and waiting for your eager little feet to explore.

Five unforgettable Central America Experiences

So with so much to choose from, wouldn’t it be ideal if you had a neat little list of, say 5, things to do in Central America? Well whad’ya know…
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