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STA Travel Blog

10 Masterful Martial Arts

According to my research, martial arts have been around since at least the 1984. One Daniel Larusso moved across the United States, from New Jersey to California and, along with a man named Mr Miyagi, they developed the art using nothing more than a pair of chopsticks and a fly.

Since then, the sport has gone global, spawning an inordinate number of spin offs, including one which I’m particularly keen to master: Drunkard’s Boxing. You’ll learn more — hiccup — about that in — hiccup — a moment. First up, let’s get you prepared with a short warm up, based on Miyagi’s very own ancient technique: wax on, wax off.

Wax on. Wax off. Wax on. Wax off. Wax on. Wax off. Wax on. Wax off. Wax on. Wax off. Wax on. Wax off. Wax on. Wax off. Wax on. Wax off. Wax on. Wax off. Wax on. Wax off. Wax on. Wax off. Wax on. Wax off. Wax on. Wax off. Wax on. Wax off. Wax on. Wax off. Wax on. Wax off. OK, stop. Now go the other way.

Bring your chop-chop this way, we’re taking a roundhouse to the world, with a look at some of the planet’s most kick-ass martial arts. I guess this is where we take a respectful bow?

High kick

Limber up, there are 10 Martial Arts coming up with a kick… | Photo by kaibara87

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Ask the Experts: How can I volunteer while I travel?

It’s Friday! Here at the STA Travel Blog, we’re quite excited by this. Why? Because it’s time to Ask the Experts to share their wisdom and answer one of your travel questions.

This week’s question is on a topic that we get lots of enquiries about: volunteering abroad. Not only is volunteering a great way to give something back, it’s also a chance to enjoy a really unique experience on your travels.

Remember, if something travel-related has got you all in a fluster, email us with your question for our Experts.

Now, without further ado, let’s hear this week’s question, courtesy of Andrew in Edinburgh:

I’m looking for somewhere to travel, but also to give back by doing some volunteering. Where do you recommend? Andrew in Edinburgh

Can our Experts inspire Andrew to take the volunteering path? Can they find him that perfect balance between giving something back and travelling? There’s only one way to find out – over to you, Experts!

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Daines’s Deal Reel: Feb 13th 2012

Woops! Apologies for the late Deal Reel; it got frozen solid and I had to chuck a bottle of antifreeze over it at the weekend to thaw out. It’s a little bit stiff but… hurrah, it works! Let’s give it a spin and see what exclusive worldwide offers we have this week…

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Spotlight: Southern Cross in South America

As epic adventures go, the Southern Cross journey across South America is right up there. Within 45 days, it manages to crunch through more icons than you ever thought existed, and cram in more adventures than most people would experience in an entire lifetime.

I’m talking sand boarding on the Ica Desert; marching your way along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu; observing the ancient Nazca Lines; tracking wild condors; white-water rafting, horseback riding and mountain biking; visit a working silver mine; wetlands of the Pantanal; the incredible Iguassu Falls; party on Copacabana; and did I mention the dinosaur tracks?

But hey, what do I know; I haven’t journeyed along the Southern Cross, but I know a couple of people who have. STA Travel Southampton‘s Assistant Manager, Ben Hendry, and Travel Expert, Meranda Boldy from our Oxford Road store in Manchester have both been lucky enough to journey from Lima, on the continent’s west coast, right the way across the Andes and beyond to the heady world of Brazil’s party capital, Rio de Janeiro.

I caught up with them both this week, to gain a little more information about their own experience along one STA Travel’s most popular adventure tours.
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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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