The end of an Era

Hi everyone.

Wow what a couple of months that was.

Runner Up as a STA WTI applicant. Not bad eh! I think the winners were well deserved, I personally feel more upset for others that didn't get it than me and that is the truth.

I hope to take it all as experience and be warned, I will be applying next year if I'm in the country. Haha!

All the best to everyone who made it through to the Top 50 and beyond. I think we should meet up and have a #wti BBQ or something!

I'm supper excited to follow the guys this summer and ill certainly have my eye on them. As for me, if your in Greece this summer, I shall be making my round the islands generally causing trouble.

Lots of Love! x x


Travel Q & A

Firstly, what a weekend! Its been another eventful bank holiday to say the very least. Drinking with rock stars and meeting two girls adamant that I'd won Total Wipeout two immediate highlights. (For the record I've never been to Argentina).

However today's blog post is in response to a question I was asked today by a girl from the US (Georgia) via a mutual friend whom pointed her in my direction. She asks...

How do you finance your trips? and what do you aim to accomplish when you travel?

Two very feasible and sensible questions Liliana. Firstly you need to realise that financing a trip anywhere for a long period takes time, perhaps 3 months of hard work. It differs for us in England I'm sure because of pay rates etc, however I would say that if your prepared to graft you can achieve maximum saving with a little hard work and a life style change.

Now I like to drink and I like to party.The first thing you must do when you have paid for your flights is to change you life style. For cheap flights try, I paid £404 return to Singapore, that's about $700 dollars. I tend to go out once a week at the most and stick to bars that tend to offer you personal discounts or simply drink cheap crap before you go out.

Once you change your lifestyle you need to work hard! I worked at three bars in my home town to maximise income. Bar work in the UK is great, you get to drink, dance and eat for cheap! Working at more than one you get to change your scenery, meet more people and enjoy more discount. If you tell employers that you are planning to travel in a few months they tend to either reject you because they feel its a waste of time training you up, or, they love you because they know you want work loads of hours and will be motivated to work hard. Where ever you want to work bar or no bar, just suss out the management and give them your future plans in accordance, some times a white lie can get you that extra paid waitress job that can supply that much needed cash.

Once you secure work and your in saving mode you can settle down a bit and get into the swing of it. Working 6 days a week with the finish line of sun, sea, jungle, mountains, desert, what ever your destination holds, will spur you on. At this stage I would plan, plan, plan! I find that planning a trip is so much fun, doing it is up and down and then looking back is also a great part of travel. Having said that I wouldn't plan meticulously, leave some mystery and try to avoid reading Lonely Planet's cover to cover. If you are planning something crazy, perhaps biking the coast of Vietnam like I did last year then perhaps a little more background research would be necessary.

One reason I have been able to finance three big trips (all 3 - 4 months in length) as a student is thanks to my destinations. South East Asia is CHEAP! I budgeted £20 per day ($35) and I lived like a king each and every day.

Once your there you want to know what do I want to get out of my time traveling? This is an easy one. I travel like many because it allows you to broaden your understanding of the world around you. Culture is a word that becomes a reality, until you immerse yourself in a new one, it remains a word in your dialect. I like to travel because you get to meet people of the world. Some are nice, some are the best and some rob your passport when your asleep. People make the trip. I have traveled alone at times and you still even traveling solo find people along the way that shape your time away in ways that transform your preconceptions of a particular demographic and just enlighten your days

I travel because I like to become a viewer, a person with an eye for the strange and wonderful. When you travel you must keep your eyes open at all times and become a sponge to the smells, sights and sounds of the place your at. Not everywhere you go or everyone you meet will immediately amaze, but each encounter should be memorable in some way. I like to write a daily entry in a pad or book just to remind myself of the good and the bad days.

I think the number one thing I want to get from traveling is to have a good time. Being English we enjoy a hell of a lot of comforts on the the road. Most locals speak our language, the exchange rate is brilliant and we have an innate ability to make humour from most situations, so when it comes to going somewhere new and scary, we have a head start. My biggest tip is go with an open mind, try everything once and don't worry about taking you time, don't rush around like a headless chicken living 'life like its your last', just chill out and enjoy yourself.

Be a doer.

I hope this helps you out in your quest to create an internship program for financially challenged students.

Peace! x


Done and Dusted

This last seven days has been hectic but by far the best week of the year so far. After I found out I had made the Top 10 of the STA World Traveller Internship much to mine and a few not so gracious contestants amazement, I got to work on my final video.

So the theme of my final video was to show how lush and delightfully English my little village of Headingley is. Once I established this I had a party. After that I take you to Cafe Lento aka pure bliss. I concentrated on the cafe for two reasons; firstly it is the only real place you ought to go if you are passing by and because Richard the gent who runs the place is a true legend and a star.

The video highlights my new found love of editing film and how cool my music taste is despite what other blog post's may have said.

The videos are 80% up, only my fellow Leeds Met student Chris and dark horse Tiffany to go. The Top 10 videos are all great and in so many different ways. The theme of most are quite similar and leaves me pondering whether my main concentration on Lento is a downfall. Having said that, I think my video is a roaring success and something that shows off my ability to tell a story and a good attempt of inspiring you all to come visit the quaint village of Headingley. Even if I do say so myself!

Gd Luck to you all!

Next week I shall be blogging about my work abroad so look out for that.

Peace! x x x

Oh and here is the video....Durr!!


Trailer Trash

So during my filming today I thought why not quickly bash up a brief trailer for my final STA WTI?

So here it is......

Taken from the scene 'Wat U Sayin.....' it exposes a glimpse of what the final video might be like.

Hope you enjoy it.

Love Paddy



My head hurts.

Thursday 22nd - found out I made the top 10 sta wti.

Friday 23rd - receive email saying we have until Wednesday 28th to make our video. Work 12 hour shift at Smokestack.

Saturday 24th - Work 12 hour shift and Sandanista's.

Sunday 25th - Go to rugby - 12 hour stint at uni.

Monday 26th - Film @ Lento. 10 hour stint at uni.

Tuesday 27th - Uni all day. Evening make film.

Wednesday 28th - Upload video. Curl into a ball and die.

Plan of action sorted......

Im going to need one of these by the end of the week..........

Love it really! xx


Back @ Ya!

Yo yo yo!! Thanks to all those who tweeted & emailed saying 'hey paddy, where's you new blog post at?' Well here it is.

Apologies ladies and gents I have been mentally busy with uni work. Bloody deadlines and being a mere man I can only do a few things at once. So whats new in the life of Paddy?

Well if you care then check this little mo fo out!

So whats the good news? Well I made it to the final 10!

Who is joining me?

Well thankfully Rusja got through, I think I would have contacted suicide watch if she didn't get through, damn that girl is super hyped for this job. Hazza made it through, respect to you sir. Chris Cuzzy came through strong, let's here it 'Leeds Met! Leeds Met!' I think we could get some PR with this, Leeds Met representing big time. My girl Sparky made it through, enough said. Everyone else, I don't really know you that well yet, but congratulations and good luck for the next round.

Speaking of which. We have 5 days to make STA video 'gold'. All I can and will do is just do my best. I have no 'tricks' up ones sleeve but I have a new HD camera and bags of creative ideas. My distinct advantage is that I live in the north. Where the people are the best and that's a fact.

Been to the 'set' of my new video and talked all things jazz with Richard;

All I need now is a day off to film the bloody thing.

Peace! x x x


New Camera................Sweet

Can't wait to start shooting again.


Understanding Taste

When it comes to music, what is - having good taste? Because I think I have none.

Lets look at my most played songs on my iPod and YouTube favorites.

Top 10 in order of plays.

1. Oasis - (songs like Songbird (live version), Cast No Shadow (live version) and Who Feels Love (again live, this time at the old wembley)

2. Pink Floyd - Echoes (the greatest hits)

3. Lady GaGa - The Fame Monster

4. Beyonce - Being Sacha Fierce

5. The Beatles - (mostly The White Album)

6. Kings of Leon - (Because of the Times)

7. ABBA - Gold

8. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Stadium Arcadium (which is weird because its not my favourite album)

9. The Strokes - Is this it

10. The Presets - (just one track 'This boys in love', live version, awesome performance and the crowd vibe of it so well)

So what does this mean? Well Oasis and Pink Floyd are up top which is respectable, but GaGa and Beyonce above The Beatles! Surely I should be shot. Abba higher than RHCP and The Strokes! This can be explained by me obsession with pop. I was rasied on pop, when my mates were listening to The Smiths and Limp Bizcuit, I was blasting the Destiny's Child and Ace of Base.

My old man stepped in at the age of 15, I think he was worried I may be batting for the other team.

Maybe he was too late? Hahaha (fancy dress party btw!)

He sat me down and played me Pink Floyd's Echoes and explained to me why it was so good. Anyone who has that collection will understand this too.

I love weird stuff too. I like Justin Bieber. I love the SugarBabes (old stuff, the new album....what are you doing guys???) I like Girls Aloud. I like Soul, Blues and Jazz. I go to a Jazz night once a month. I DJ the bar I work in early doors and thus need to know plenty about Northern Soul and Motown. So why the hell do I have such a wide pallet of musical taste.

Most people say they like most stuff, but I think I actually seem to have literally nothing I don't like. Except Drum & Base, Techno and that *&%^$. These types of music are above and beyond my capability of mind power. I'm sure the idea of listening to Usher's new tune would be the sound of hell to most people, but hey I like it.

What's my favorite tune right now I hear you ask. Well I stumbled across this. Check it out. Spanish covers ROCK!

Rant over. What do you think? Am I like you? Am I condemning my children to a life of hell? Should I jump off the nearest building for even mentioning Justin Beiber in a blog post?


Its Buisness Time

After a day to take everything in, I think I can finally say, WAHOO!!

Now that Ive got that out my system I ought to say a few words. Firstly to those who have been tweeting, blogging, posting videos and pictures over the last month who didn't make it through, commiserations.

The biggest surprises for me that did not make it through were Amanda Jenkins and Sophie Collard, both great contestants who I thought had done enough to make it through. This begs the question, what the ruddy hell are STA looking for?

It was nice to see some inspiring words from some of the fallen, my favorite was from Elle, who has now responded by going on her own mission to travel the world regardless, this will no doubt help her no end if she fancies reapplying next year. Some guys took it personally and I saw someone delete their twitter accounts to go back to their 'real friends'. Good luck with that one.

For those of us who made it thought to the top 20, well done! Mixed bunch overall I feel. The male-female numbers seems to have been evened out which is nice to see. Certainly twitter followers, YouTube channel subscribers and the application forms have shown themselves to be an aiding factor to get us through to this point. As for the next round, the dreaded phone interview. I am actually quite looking forward to it. We get to talk to the STA guys for the first time, get a feel about who they are and what they have to say. I am currently knee deep in writing my dissertation, but as soon as that has been put to bed I shall get myself nicely prepared for next weeks antics.

I want to say thanks to all the other applicants throughout the process who have shown their support to me via blogs etc. It means a lot to see those comments, but to be honest this is business time, so good luck to all and let the best man and woman get the job.

If your looking for a laugh in these testing times -


Reviewing the Stuff

Here is a review of this week's 'Stuff of the World'.

Day 1- Who said gardening wasn't cool?

Day 2 - BT men in Laos

Day 3 - Ever wondered what its like to bike the coast of Vietnam?

Day 4 - Got an infection in Saigon?

Day 5 - Ever been to Cambodia?

Day 6 - Wildlife of Malaysia? sure!

Day 7 - What's the best beach in S.East Asia?

What did y'all think?

Stuff of the World

Day 7 -

What's the best beach in S.East Asia?

Answer. This place.

Forget Maya Bay (aka the set of 'The Beach') off the coast of Koh Phi Phi, tourism and sadly the tsunami have tainted this otherwise stunning beach. For me there is only one place you ought to see if your on the lookout for the best beach in the S.E Asia, if not the world. Here is the view from a top a rock on the east side, shot by my good friend Justin.

With no official name, the locals call it 'Romantic Beach' or 'Paradise Beach', which as you can see is not a bad attempt.. Accessible by taxi boat or canoe, this beach offers the chance to chill out in awe of the teal seas and the thick jungle.

To get here head to the Perhentains on the north east coast of Malaysia, and ask a local to take you here. You will be met by hovering eagles, and the odd snorkeler taking a well deserved rest. Go here at least once in your life, I order you to !

And once you have had enough of the idyllic surroundings, just head down and have a deserved rest.

The beach at dusk. Guess the tune playing on our ipod dock and win a prise!


Stuff of the World

Day 6 -

Wildlife of Malaysia? sure!

Firstly, like any place hot and far away from home, yes there are spiders. Lots of them!

However these little devils don't linger round all day especially if you head towards to the beach. At which point you might be greeted by one of these bad boys living under your beach hut.

You will be occasionally treated to some unforgettable wildlife that won't have you running to the hills. Firstly, I saw a whale shark this year whilst diving the in the Perhentians. I also got to know Eddie the eagle quite well, a friendly 4 foot tall sea eagle with claws the size of pincher's. The poor blighter had lost the ability to fly, and the locals fed him rats and fish. He became very tame and I found great humor in walking up to tourists taking photos of the beastly looking bird from afar, strike up conversation about how stunning and wild the bird looked, only to waltz over and practically give Eddie a kiss on the beak, much to one American tourists complete amazement....... 'dude your crazy!'

If your lucky you also might get to meet one of these little guys.

Although don't try to eat them, apparently this is very naughty!

And one final tip if your lucky enough to stumble across one of these miniature works of art, they are very difficult to keep still.

Stuff of the World

Day 5 -

Ever been to Cambodia?

Forget the temples, beaches, and the jungle. The people of Cambodia are the highlight!

After at $50 taxi from the boarder to Siem Reap, me and my buddy Dave were invited by our tuk tuk driver to his house party. With little rest and no real motivation to do anything else but sleep, we decided 'hey, whens the next time a friendly Cambodian guy is gonna invite you to his house party?'

So we headed off into the dark, hot Cambodian night. An hour through the jungle clinging for our lives to a moped welded with two extra forks of steal as make shift seats, we arrived at a his house, or should I say hut.

We drank the local brew for hours, feasting on chicken feet and deep fried beetles and sang endless amounts of Cambodian karaoke (which by the way is HILARIOUS). As you can see I had a great time with these guys.

And if you ever get yourself over there, make sure you hook up with the locals, there are super friendly and by far the most hospitable humans you could wish to meet. And hey, if you must go to the temples, get yourself down to Angkor Wat, my mate Dave can rustle you up some great cocktails.

Stuff of the World

Day 4 -

Got an infection in Saigon?

Firstly don't panic.

Find a local who doesn't speak English but understands you need to get to hospital pronto!

Bring a trusty friend and jump aboard.

Wait in the holding area surrounded by injured locals and think about how great the NHS is.

Fancy a fag in the hospital? No problem.

Get four or five not so skilled hands to fix you up.

And then get back to business.

Want to see our short journey to the hospital?