Saxon Yuen is currently in Penang, Malaysia. 6 months ago, he gave up a job he loved on the STA Travel UK marketing team to follow his dream of making a living travelling and making films about travelling. He’s here to tell us how he made it happen, and why he has no regrets.
Leaving your job, home and life as you know it could turn out to be either an inspired jump into the unknown that really pays off or completely insane (or maybe a bit of both). I’ve just done it, and right now, I couldn’t really tell you which it is. Maybe after reading this, you can decide for yourself and let me know.
Image courtesy of Rat & Dragon Ltd.
This blog comes from Sanchia Rodrigues who is one of our many Student Travel Ambassadors across the country. Sanchia is a student at UCL in London and she’s here to tell us why she loves to travel alone and why you should give it a try.
Why do we travel? What is it that makes us pack up and leave the places and people we know and love? What are we hoping to experience when we go? And, how do we know when we’ve done it?
I travel because I want to get to know myself. I travel to find out what I really, truly can’t live without. I want to know what makes me tick, what gets under my skin and how I react. I want to change all the settings, erase all the old data, start from scratch and meet the new me – and I do it all, by travelling alone.
As soon as a blog post about New Zealand needs writing, I always seem to be the first at STA Travel Towers to stick my hand up. (I definitely don’t throw myself at our editor Lisa’s feet and beg, “Pick me! Pick me!” Honest.).
Why do I love writing about New Zealand? Well, because I love New Zealand. I’m lucky enough to have been twice in the last year: once to the South Island in June when it was covered in snow – white, serene and magical; and again to the North Island in February when the sun was out, the stunning landscapes were lush and green, and the skies were blue with long wispy clouds (it’s not called the Land of the Long White Cloud for nothing). Two very different experiences, but both equally amazing.
New Zealand: what's not to like?
Obviously, I’m not alone in my love for New Zealand. Everyone I’ve ever spoken to on the subject – be it friends, colleagues or you, our lovely customers – has fallen head over heels in love with this out-of-the-way country that has a population of just 4 million people.
Just what is it about New Zealand? What’s all the fuss about, eh? Well, I’m going to tell you. With the help of our Twitter community, here are 49 reasons why this wonderful country rocks our world.
For as long as I can remember, hiring a campervan and driving it round Australia has been on my travel wishlist. I’m not alone: last year, thousands of STA Travellers used a campervan to explore Oz. There’s a definite novelty factor about driving your entire house around, making beautiful National Parks your home for the night and living a basic kind of life for a while. On top of that, campervans are also a really practical and often budget friendly way to get around, especially if there’s a group of you to share costs.
Luckily for me, when I met my now husband a few years back, it turned out that an Australia road trip was pretty high on his bucket list too. So when set about planning our wedding, we decided enough was enough. We blagged a couple of months off work and set about booking a somewhat unconventional honeymoon that would see us driving up the east coast of Australia in a campervan on an epic drive from Sydney to Cairns. In 3 weeks.
Let me stress that Sydney to Cairns is really quite a long way. Over 2,400 kilometers if you go in a straight line (we clocked up over 4,000km in ours). But of course, when it comes to road trips, it’s all about the journey as much as it is the destination. We stayed at some simply incredibly spots on our trip, and as we spoke to other travellers we met along the way, were pretty gutted we couldn’t stay longer and drive that campervan all over Australia.
Last year Alix Thepot from France won a spot for her an a friend on one of 3 epic road trips across America after entering, and winning, a global STA Travel competition to join this one and a life time travel experience.
The journey would see her, and her chosen ‘plus one’ Lorena Sorrentino from Italy, as well as winner number 2 Christian and his friend Max from Germany, 2 camera crew from New Zealand and an STA Travel staff member (which, on this occasion, was little old me) visit some of the USA’s most iconic travel spots and experience an authentic and exciting taste of this part of what is undoubtedly a diverse and fascinating country.
The journey took in the beaches of Miami and Florida Key West, cowboy country Dallas, Memphis, the birth place of rock and roll and the unique French influence of legendary New Orleans.
I caught up with Alix and Lorena to reflect on their time on the road in the USA and find out exactly what stood out for them to make their trip unforgettable.
L-R: Alix, Christian, Max and Lorena.