Top 50 Baby!

Firstly congrats to all the other 49 guys and girls (mostly girls) for reaching the top 50 STA WTI. So what do we know.

1. Our videos were awesome.

2. Our blogging has been great.

3. Tweeting hasn't been a waste of time.

4. Those twenty five minutes while the site was down sure was an interesting passage of my life!


5. We now must await the application form.

I count 16 lads, and 34 girls. I think this goes to show that girls really are better at juggling two things at once. Or perhaps girls are just drawn to this job more than guys. For what ever reason the ladies really did show their skills off in a big way so well done girls.

50 will very shortly become 20, and I think this round is for sure, THE MOST IMPORTANT ROUND, underestimated by anyone sure to be a perilous decision.

I think its sad that some guys video applications didn't make it through when they had clearly made way more effort than some of the guys who did go through, but hey, votes certainly did count for something.

I think the voting side to this competition is by far the most unsettling part of the whole internship. Its caused the competition to become a REAL competition, resulting in major competitiveness from even the most uncompetitive people (me for one). Its put people through to the top 50 and its caused rivalry (mostly friendly). Our votes have been sheared and I presume at this point we must grasp as many more as we can get. Which is going to be hard. Another challenge is something I'm looking forward too.

What does everyone think now the top 50 are up? Are we feeling good? Nervous? Sad?

My birthday today too, so thanks STA for a great early birthday present.



Travel Blogs & Travel Boars

Reading travel blogs of mutual friends, acquaintances and even family, can be a tad tasking at times. Travel blogs on the whole, essentially detail people's day to day goings on during their travels. I Googled myself today and found I appear in travel blogs from people from the US, Canada, Denmark and Norway, mostly referring to when I ran a bar on the Perhentians in Malaysia called 'Bellends Bar', opening cans and skinny dipping every night - aka best time of my life.

But my point is, on the whole travel blogs suck!!

That was until I came across a few good ones. What makes a great travel blog? I believe it is the ability to show off your experiences without patronizing, confusing, over detailing and blurring those experiences.

We know where you are, and if we don't then please don't detail every brick and tile in the style of an Edwardian novelist, we just don't need to know. Don't tell us everything, keep it relatively short and capture our imagination with a funny story, or a tale of adventure. The key is to use all the mediums you can. Carefully selected words, perfect photos to accompany the mood and atmosphere of the location, and certainly include fantastic video. This final medium of video captures for me, the ultimate 'inspiring' hook than any other format can possibly deliver. If a picture tells a thousand words, then how many does a video tell?

A gazillion, that's how many. has caught my attention over the past month for obvious reasons, and I hope you enjoy Lyndsay's blend of clever & educational posts, coupled with stunning photography and the best use of videography with regards to amateur travel footage known on the face of the cyber planet. Cuddo's to you as they say in the US of A cuddo's.



A silver fox asks.....

How you been preparing for the next stage if you get through?

It may come as presumptuous and certainly exposing to embarrassment to admit this, but Ive been thinking about the next rounds since I heard about the selection process. I have been studying the STA WTI inside and out, and to be perfectly honest, I'm prepared for rounds 2, 3 and the final if it were to arise already. Yes I have talked to myself on the walk home going through phone interview questions!! (oh dear, first sign of madness).

How you ask? Well without giving it all away, I have sourced locations, key people, and equipment to help me through the next stage and I cant wait (fingers crossed) to finally have the excuse to start replicating magic!!!HAHAHA joking guys.

Any views about the competition so far?

So far its been an amazing ride, if not a ridiculously distracting one. I made my STA WTI video pretty much straight away, which looking back was a great idea. STA travel buzz were first to mention me on their site, and I had the chance to get my hands dirty straight away with a follow up video detailing my day out, which helped me in my video making skills no end. Social networking has been fun, and Ive met a few cool people.

There has been moments when it has caused some stress. Abusive wall post's made to me, and from people pretending to be me. I kinda expected some stick, after all my application video is awesome, who wouldn't be jealous!! haha, don't miss quote me people!! x x

The ride has been up and down, but certainly unforgettable. Strange to think it will be over soon.

Have you been impressed by the other applicants?

Overall I would say the other applicants applications are so varied its impossible to generalise. On the whole, they are AWESOME! Which is of course a bad thing :(. Two clear finalists in my eyes are Sparky and Hazza!!.

I'm glad votes aren't really the main thing anymore too. Slide shows aren't really that cool.

All the best guys. Good luck with Top 50 and beyond.



Traval Literature Debate

So we all read travel literature of some description. Before, during or after an expedition of any kind. I have been rather skeptical towards travel books that elaborate the travel 'mindset'. I don't really understand this. What is the travel 'mindset', and should we bother to read these tales of travel in search for inspiration.

I have been really interested recently why we read about other people's experiences. For me, I can barely bring myself to look through people's photo's of their travels let alone read their online blogs or via any other medium.

Since Rusja Foster's STA WTI application video in which she mentions books by Alexander Supertramp and alike which have really inspired her to get out there and experience new and exciting things and really get out of her comfort zone. I wondered if a book or blog has ever inspired me in this way. I like to think its better to do something first. Jump before you look if you will.

My first trip two years ago to S.E.Asia I had cuttings from half a dozen Lonely Planet guide books all carefully cut out and placed in order according to my itinerary, so that every town and country I visited I could read up on and be ready for where ever the next destination may be. Looking back I can only cringe at this mindset, but hey, I was young, naive and a bit scared.

When planning a trip nowadays I just book the flight, talk to a few people and try and get the gist of a place before I go. That way, everything will be a surprise, and hopefully even the bad times will be just as memorable. After all, planning a trip is fun, doing it is up and down, and reflecting and remembering is just as good.

What I want to try and achieve, is to spark off a little debate which will hopefully educate me in what people think to travel literature. Can it really inspire you? Am I missing out on something great? And the traveler 'mindset', what is this?

Cheers x


Why Do We Travel?

Many of us have traveled. I mean backpacked that type of thing. And for those who haven't, they ask me, 'Whats the best thing about traveling?' or 'Is it not really scary?'. And I find I tend to answer completely differently depending on my mood, or the type of people who ask me.

So bare with me as I wright down why I think you should travel if you haven't already and maybe answer the question 'is it scary?'.

I travel because England is not very inspiring in the summer. We attract millions of tourists and that's cool, but they dont have to live here all year. I love England. Literally I cant imagine being away from it too long. I miss the culture, accent's, the little sayings we have, the little things in life we as Brits can only understand etc etc. But when you go far far away your mind opens up. When your on the move from A to B your mind is constantly busy with meeting new people, thinking what to do, where to go, who to talk to, what to eat, what to drink, who to chat up, who to ask if their up for a game of UNO etc etc.

When you travel 3 months go in like 3 weeks. Boom you land, you have fun, you do a hell of a lot, meet people you never forget, see things you'll never forget, do things you'll never forget, and Boom your home. I travel because its the best way to kill time while you figure stuff out. Whether what to do with your life, or what to eat for breakfast when you get back.

Just do it and get out there. There are a few lame excuses that you hear from time to time. I suppose if you want to do something you just do it. You make it happen. Those who go year to year saying 'Oooh I will travel but I just need to save money', trust me, just go and stop wasting our time.

When I got back from Asia I had no job, no money, nowhere to live. Guess what. I got a new house with my best two mates. I got offered three jobs at once, and money wise, I got it sorted!

Things will work out in the end, as long as you have family and friends who can help you out with a floor to sleep on for a while, or a couple of hundred quid stashed away for a rainy day.

Is it scary?

Hell Ya!!

I won't go into it, but my first 24hours in Bangkok, my first ever trip away backpacking. I was in tears and wanted to go home. If it wasn't for that first traumatic experience that grew a thick layer of skin, I don't think I could have made it through all the tough situations you can find yourself in. The world is a dangerous place sometimes. But even paradise has hazards. The garden of Eden had an evil talking snake for god's sake. Is England any safer?

Back your bags. Get out there. Go with a mate if it helps. Take your camera and enjoy.


Nail biting stuff

Is anyone else getting a little excited that in eight days the application deadline for STA World Traveler Internship is coming to an end?

Its been an interesting 6 weeks.

love x


A Day In My Life.....................

OK so it still might not meet the demands of the BAFTA committee, but my skills of filming and editing are developing. A day in my life was made entirely for my own film making development. It is not intended to be part of my WTI application, it is meant to be evidence of my improvement in my abilities with a camera.

There is still clear improvement to be made and with some more time and effort, I think I could become quite the little film buff. Hope you enjoy it, apologies about the little rant at the start towards Royal Mail, we love you really!!!

Pro-active response = happy times.

Feedback welcomed.

love & peace! x

A Month Goes By

A month has past since I uploaded my final STA WTI application video and its certainly been a rollercoaster ride. Since the day I uploaded the final version I have been involved in joyful laughter with friends, been spotted around town (hey your that guy off the STA thing right?), delved into the exciting world that is scandal, visited strange and expensive places (£4.70 a pint down in the big smoke), and met some brilliant people.

1,387 views and 5456 votes later, I now feel involved with this role. I think my video still carries charm, but I am now looking at the floods of other videos that are finally hitting the net. Good luck to everyone who applies. My vote goes to the lovely Sparky! I love her humour, I hope that everyone else gets it.

People have been talking to me about their ideas of making new videos to strengthen their applications. My advice would be do it, but try and be original. STA know what they want, you can't force it, just be yourself, try not to fail UNI by doing all this work on it, and enjoy yourself. After all, in the words of Chris Danner 2009 WTI winner 'be yourself because everyone else is taken.'