Thai Travels

Recently, I was asked to prepare a short piece on my time in Thailand for a well known travel company, whilst including information about a favourite activity of mine. I thought I would share the whole piece on here, as it has been a while since my last post.

 

Thailand is in the heart of Asia. Well know for its long stretches of beautiful sandy beaches and crystal clear waters, it is fast becoming a popular destination for all. Whether you’re looking for relaxation, a fast paced adventure or a guided tour, there is something for everyone to do.

In the south are the small Thai islands. Every island is different, but one thing is for sure, relaxation in the day is a must for every traveller, before moving on to your next destination.

Phuket is the largest of the islands. Surrounded by hundreds of other tiny islands, these are best seen by boat, where kayaking in the perfectly formed caves is a must.
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There is the island of Koh Phangan, which is perfect for party lovers, as it is home to the world famous, full moon parties. Or for the complete opposite, there is Koh Tao, where an amazing opportunity to dive with whale sharks is available.

The north of Thailand is a personal favourite of mine. Beautifully green and rich in culture and history, it is a far cry from the southern sun. In the heart of the north, is the busy capital, Bangkok. Delicious street food, busy markets and cooking classes can all be found here, and a beautiful temple and golden Buddha can still be found on every corner.

Chaing mai is 400 miles north of Bangkok, and is known as the cultural capital of the north. It is famous for having over 100 temples and some of the biggest, and best, night markets. Here you can try your hand at haggling with the locals for some of the finest hand made jewellery, clothing and Thai souvenirs. A popular day time activity with tourists in the north is to visit an elephant sanctuary. Here they offer a once in a lifetime opportunity to get up close and personal with the now endangered Asian elephant. A great full day out interacting with the animals, includes learning basic commands, feeding, riding and even washing the elephants, before being served up a delicious local Thai lunch. You will even receive a photo of your time at the camp. It is definitely an experience to remember and one that will stay with you for a lifetime.

 Wherever your interests lie, you will always find the perfect place, and activity, waiting for you in Thailand.

 

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What are YOU doing next summer?

Thinking about summer camp next year? Stop thinking and start applying!

It may seem a little early to consider what you may or may not be doing next summer, but if you’re looking for an experience you’ll never forget, with the opportunity to travel afterwards, then summer camp in America may just be for you!

When I first considered joining the Camp Leaders programme, last August, I had hundreds of questions that I couldn’t always find the answer too. Hopefully, this post will answer a few of those.

“What is it all about?!”
Summer camp is a huge tradition in the states. Thousands and thousands of parents send their children away to camp each summer, leaving them in the hands of us! The kids are after a good time, learn new skills and make memories that last a lifetime.

“How do I know if I’m going to enjoy it?”
Take it from us. You just will. As long as you’re outgoing, patient and don’t mind looking a fool for a childs entertainment on the odd occasion, its for you! It is one of the most rewarding experiences you will ever have, and it is something you can take away with you forever. Not only that, you will be able to brag when you get home that it is possibly the coolest summer job ever.

“What do I get for my money?”
With Camp Leaders the programme fees can be as little as £389. This is an incentive for you to put all your work in and get you application processed and placable as soon as possible. Included in your fees are your return flights, medical insurance, all your visa paperwork, admin fees, 24/7 support here and in the states, and obviously a paid summer job in America.

“Will I get placed?”
99.9% of participants get a place at camp.

“But I don’t have any experience”
Yes you do! Everyone has a skill that makes them unique to camp, and if you’re really worried about it, check out local volunteering opportunities. Do-it has a wide range of youth and childcare opportunities nationwide that would enhance your application. If you’re still unsure, check out the some of the courses that are offered by Camp Leaders.

These are just a few of the questions I get asked on twitter, instagram and facebook, but honestly, you will not regret your decision to sign up. There is a camp out there for everyone, and all camps are completely different, so no experience will be the same, but your summer memories will last a lifetime.

Summer is Over

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Summer is officially over. As I’ve been gone for some time, I wrote this small blog post for Camp Leaders, so potential applicants could see a ‘true’ story about summer camp in America.

I was hired at a girl scout camp in Virginia as a lifeguard. Both girl lifeguarding and being a girl scout were completely new to me, so I had no idea what I was letting myself in for. Before I left for the USA I trained as a lifeguard on the camp leaders ARC course. This was a brilliant week of meeting like minded people, and it also answered many of questions that I had about camp. 

I left for the states on the 10th June, not knowing too much about what camp life would really be like. When I arrived I stayed with a host family so I could get over my jetlag and ease into American culture. They were some of the best people I met during my time there. They picked me up from the airport, took us out sightseeing and for dinner, picked us up on our weekends off so we could have a little break from camp life, and looked after us before we flew home. They were so welcoming, and as they were a family that had attended the camp themselves before, they definitely settled any nerves! 

The camp itself was very basic. We had no electricity, no flushing toilets and lived in platform tents. The experience itself was a challenge, especially when it came to removing spiders or seeing a snake every now and then. But having everything so basic, made me more appreciative of everything that I have at home! 

Our day to day routine was very similar to other camps. We would get up around 7, attend flag, go to breakfast and then the activities would start. Being waterfront staff, meant that I got to spend my entire day at the waterfront, taking part in the activities. These included swimming, kayaking, sailing and windsurfing. The campers go to experience a lot of the waterfront, as well as arts and crafts, but we always had some crazy all camp games to end the day. We also had fantastic themed weeks, such as pirates, the hunger games and harry potter, which was obviously very popular!  

After an amazing 9 weeks, saying goodbye to 24 of the best people I could have ever met was so difficult. Camp friendships are a little different as you are not only friends, but you’re also your own little family. I can now say that I have friends all over the world thanks to camp in America. 

I was lucky enough to travel after camp for 3 weeks. in this time I went too Florida, San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Washington DC and New York. I got to visit some beautiful places, and experience things I never thought I would.  

If anyone is in two minds about whether they should apply or not, my advice would be to go for it! You will not regret a single minute when you are at camp and it will be the best experience of your life.