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STA Travel Blog

Get a life!

Ever wanted to make a change? A BIG change. A shake-up so big it will change your life. Yep, me too.

For me, that wishful thinking involved daydreams of boarding a plane with a one-way ticket to Australia/New Zealand/Thailand /Vietnam (the destination changed pretty much on a daily basis).

So in the end, I made a decision. And I decided, there’s no time like the present. So I saved like I’d never saved before, I negotiated 3 months off work, and one cold January morning I boarded a plane to Bangkok, ready to start my Asian adventure.

And you know what? It was everything I hoped it would be. My home became a hut on a beach in Koh Samui; a $2 a night hostel in Phnomh Penh; a friend’s apartment in Beijing. I learned to dive in Koh Tao, ride motorbikes in Cambodia and cook Vietnamese food in Hoi An. I made countless new friends, from all walks of life, who were all travelling or living abroad for different reasons, but the general idea was the same: they wanted to do something different. They wanted to make a change.

Sound familiar? Now ask yourself, what’s stopping you making that change? Too expensive? Scared of going it alone? Worried about your career? It’s ‘not the right time’? Just stop right there. There’ll always be a multitude of reasons to stay where you are, going along with the status quo. But sometimes, you just gotta jump into the unknown. And I guarantee, you won’t regret it.

Leap of Faith - Mana'o'i'o

Take the plunge | Image by Justin Ornellas

Whatever you want to change, be it where you live, what you do for a living, who you hang out with, or what you do in your spare time, I bet you that going out there and finally living your travel dream will help you make that change.

In fact, I’ll do better than bet you – I’ll show you. Read on, and see how going travelling can change pretty much every aspect of your life, if you want it to. Now, what are you waiting for? Go on, get a life!

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6 Things You Need To Know About Adventure Tours

Adventure tours rock my world – almost as much as Passionfruit Mojitos (almost).

And, sometimes they get a bit of a bad rep. The majority of us who have experienced life as part of a tour group wouldn’t look back, but some – rather unfairly – dismiss the idea of adventure touring right off the bat.

Common misconceptions include; ‘they’re so expensive’ and ‘you don’t get time to do your own thing’, and that’s exactly what they are – misconceptions. Whether you’ve ever thought about taking an adventure tour or not, it’s important that you read the rest of this blog.

Adventure tours offer a whole host of ways to experience an authentic taste of culture

Below are 6, very good, reasons why I think adventure touring is the ultimate way to travel, including some opinions from our ever vocal Twitter community thrown in for good measure.

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Meet Our New Travel Photographers

In June this year we launched a search for 3 photography and photojournalism students, or recent graduates, via our Facebook page and adverts in universities across the country. We needed hardworking and artistic individuals with a creative eye and a desire for adventure to supply us with an exciting new collection of photos for our 2012/13 brochures. To help them do that we would send them on an all expenses paid trip around either Europe of Asia, while giving them the opportunity to grow their own portfolios too. Can’t be bad eh?!

Allow us to introduce our 3 talented and very excited photographers; Louis, Dan and Ness. Over the next few weeks we’ll be checking in with them on their quest to capture the unique essence of some of our best loved traveller hubs on film.

Before they hit the road we got the low down on where our fab 3 are off to, what they thought about getting chosen and what they’re most looking forward to in the gruelling weeks ahead…

Our 'fab 3' Ness, Louis and Dan

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#RTW: Americano

They’re as different as sweet and sour or black and white, yet as perfect for each other as cheese and pineapple or Ross and Rachel. Yep, North and South America present a mix of the biggest contradictions of the modern world – secluded idyllic beaches vs. the modern metropolis; luxury vs. poverty; expansive dry deserts vs. mighty waterfalls, to name a few.

Yet somehow, together, they work. Which is why we came up with the Americano. This awesome adventure will take you to 4 of the most legendary traveller cities of the world leaving you free to explore everything in between.

First stop – New York, where you’ll make your own way to Los Angeles. From there you’ll fly down to Lima and embark on a journey across countries to Rio de Janeiro. Want to be there right now? Here’s the next best thing – check out the Americano route on the Tripline below.

Fully inspired? Good. Here are some tips for how you can make your way from North to South on the Americano in style.

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How to Meet a Monk in Laos

Monks are to Laos what bowler hatted business men are to the City of London. They are not for show; they are ubiquitous; and whereas many of them might appear to be unapproachable, when you get to know one, they’re actually pretty cool people.

I caught up with Stephen Howard, a home-grown volunteer who recently returned from Laos, to learn about his experience at one of our more unusual projects, Volunteer with Novice Buddhist Monks. Here’s what he had to say…

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