Wednesday, 9 January 2013

ISTD Quotes and Photographs.


"On safari it was good to see the wild animals in their natural habitat, how close we were able to get and the fact that they were WILD. Also seeing the Masai tribes people, being invited into their homes to see how they lived, compared with the contrast of the people living in the towns and cities. Although hectic wouldn’t have missed a thing, so many best bits.  Most memorable has to be a cheetah with her four cubs, waiting for ages for them to appear from behind a tree, then walking in front of our jeep and the mother going on top of a termite hill for a good vantage point and in a split second saw a young gazelle all alone and made a kill. Second week in Zanzibar was breathtakingly beautiful and relaxing, just what we needed after the safari."

Lynda Morse

Photography: Rob Morse


"Center Parcs can be summarised as a fun filled, active holiday with so much to do that you can’t possibly fit it all in within the stay. From the moment you arrive to moment you leave you don’t stop. There is the most amazing swimming pool for everyone to use which caters for all. Exhilarating rapids and slides for the kids, sauna and hot tub and a lazy river if you’re so relaxed you can’t swim. 
The activities are so various that whilst I was horse riding in Longleat forest my mum was relaxing in at the spa and my sisters rock climbing. Even when it rained there was plenty to do indoors and you didn’t even notice when you were swimming as you’re wet already. You fall in love with the surroundings and feel like you’re a million miles away from reality. The cycling routes are beautiful and you make friends everyday on a different path to somewhere you hadn’t already explored. 
Center Parcs pleases everyone, even if you’re not the most active. I can’t think of a time that I was bored or wanted to leave. The weather didn’t affect our stay and the swimming pool was open so late you could swim in the moonlight. It’s a holiday I would continue to do throughout life, things will never get boring and you can enjoy your stay with friends and family."

Hannah Allen


"Inter-railing was a great experience for me. It was great to visit so many countries on just one trip, I saw amazing sites like The Duomo in Florence, The Brandenburg Gate in Berlin and many more. The inter-rail ticketing system is really easy to use, but there is always someone to help on the train if you need it. The nightlife throughout the countries was really exciting and a great change from what I'm used to, the people were always really welcoming. Not only did I have an amazing time visiting many places I also gained a lot of confidence. Being away from home and having to depend on myself was a challenge but I think it has really helped me mature as a person. If anyone was considering going inter-railing I would say go for it! You see amazing things and meet amazing people."

Steph Buck


"I've recently just returned from a trip to New York, I'd been once before and I couldn't wait to go back. I enjoy city breaks because there are always people around and something going on, the atmosphere is electric. I love to shop and I find that there is always so many good stores in the city environment, that I can go all day and come back to my hotel weighed down by bags! There are also so many exciting sites, especially in New York. The Empire state was phenomenal and it was so exciting to look down on this buzzing city, Central Park was a contrast as it was a lot more relaxed with people strolling through, ice skating and horse and carriage rides. I've only just come back and I'm already planning my next trip as I found that you see something different each time. I think people would enjoy a city break if you like a fast paced holiday where you get to see a whole list of amazing things."

Rachael Ford

Photography: Rob Morse


"In 2009, I went backpacking for 6 months around Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, LA and New York. It was the first time that I had been away from home for that long, so I learnt a lot from the trip about independency and confidence. I first landed in Bangkok which is like another world, everything is so manic and busy, but as I travelled through Thailand I realised that the rest of the country is completly different, with peaceful temples and beautiful islands. After that I spent 3 months in Australia. I experienced a lot such as climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge, seeing Ayers Rock at sunrise and snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef, but I also met a lot of great people who are still good friends today. New Zealand was the adventure part of my travels, I went skydiving, caving and white water rafting. I also swam with dolphins, hiked a glacier and went sandboarding. New Zealand was an unforgettable experience, and was the best part of the trip for me. Following that, I went to Fiji which is a beautiful country where I island hopped, bathed in mud pools, swam in waterfalls and relaxed on the beach! Finally I spent a few days in LA seeing the Hollywood Walk of Fame and other famous sights, and a few days in New York exploring places like the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty. I learnt so much from this trip, and I think it changed me as a person."

"In 2011 I travelled to India, Nepal and Singapore. India is a totally different country to any i've been to before. The Taj Mahal is an incredible thing to see in person and the food is amazing, but I found that a lot of patience is needed to travel India! I experienced a sunset camel ride, local villages and the beaches of Goa. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in India, but I would only recommend it to people that have previous experience in travelling. After India, I went to Nepal, where I had the most incredible time. I spend a few days in Kathmandu, before beginning my trek of Everest Base Camp. The trek was very hard work and the evenings got extremely cold, nevertheless it was the best thing that I have ever done. The views throughout the entire trek are amazing, and the sense of achievement that you get when you reach Base Camp is massive. I would recommend the Everest Base Camp trek, or trekking any other part of the Himalayas to anyone that is willing to put in some work to see some breathtaking views and have a totally different experience.  Finally I spent a week in Singapore before travelling home. While I was there, I took the cable car across to Sentosa Island where I went Universal Studios and Underwater World. I also went on the amazing Singapore Flyer, which is the worlds largest observation wheel. During this trip I went to three completely different countries, and enjoyed every bit of it."

Kim Gough

Photography: Rob Morse

Charity Work

"In 2008, I went to Tanzania to volunteer in a centre for physically and mentally disabled children. We spent a lot of time before the visit fundraising and raising awareness of the cause, which meant that we could bring colouring pencils, footballs, medical supplies etc with us. I would recommend volunteering because it is extremely eye opening and rewarding. You learn a lot about different cultures, and it is amazing to see the smiles on the childrens faces when you arrive. During our time there, we helped with the day care, where we played with the children and lifted their spirits. We also visited homes of the children that we not well enough to make it to day care. We went to the local school as well to teach some basic English lessons, and we also visited the local elderly home and brought medical supplies there. Whilst in Tanzania, the group took a few days out of volunteering to see a bit more of the country. We spent a day on safari and saw all the incredible animals, and we also spent a day trekking to see some amazing views. I would love to go back some time, and I really would recommend it to anybody who is interested in taking part in a new experience."

Kim Gough


"My clubbing experience was in Ibiza! There was so much to do and it was great to be surrounded by people a similar age to me. Ibiza is known for its nightlife and for me it didn't disappoint. My favourite party was the 'zoo project' it was a great excuse to get dressed up and there were people on the street who could do themed make-up and body paint. I went during the night but it's something that goes on all day. I also loved seeing David Guetta at Pacha, the atmosphere was really crazy and energised and I felt like I had to pinch myself to check it was real. During the day it was nice to chill by the pool or go to Bora Bora beach and for a more relaxing evening you could go to Cafe Mambo and watch the sunset with a cocktail. I would recommend this to anyone as it's something everyone talks about and should experience at least once! You'll love it!"

Jess Thompson


"I went skiing for the first time five years ago and I've been almost every year since. For me it's the perfect break away. For most of my life I'd gone on beach holidays with my family but I decided to break away into something different, as lying on a beach all day was something that never really appealed to me. Skiing is so different and exhilarating, every day is different and there is so much to explore. It's also great to see the the progression you make over your holiday. The lodges I've stayed in have always been really homely and the views of the mountains are breathtaking. It's always nice after a tiring day on the slopes to come back and relax in front of the fire. Also, if you are a beginner there is no need to worry as the instructors are always very helpful and help you to improve quickly. You can also hire pretty much all of the equipment so you don't have to buy many expensive purchases. I think anyone looking for a different experience should take a look at skiing as it is a very fun and active holiday."

Sammy Gough


"I've been camping with my family my whole life and now I go with my friends. I love the outdoors and being in the fresh air is great for me! There are so many activities to do like hiking, surfing, horse riding or on a more relaxing day going round the local shops or a trip to the beach. I've looked into other holidays but I've found that they are over priced and with camping I get the most for my money. If you've never been before you could stay at a caravan site or go all out with a tent. I find that going back to basics for a week or two really makes me appreciate all the comforting things of home. I would recommend this kind of trip because you get to experience things here in the UK whilst having a fun filled, action packed experience."

Rachel Hodgkins


"I went to Bodrum in Turkey for 1 week at the end of August! Booking the holiday was really easy as everything was taken care of by the travel co-ordinators from hotel, to flights and transport etc. The resort was lovely and the food was good. We went into Bodrum Town for day drinks and to do some shopping which was nice, lovely scenery and the hotel organised out travel there, it was quite busy but I really liked the atmosphere. Every day we would get up early for breakfast and get quickly down to the pool so we could get sunbathing, it was boiling every single day and there was never a cloud in the sky! Something I enjoyed that we had was a Turkish bath which consisted of a huge soap room where you were washed and got your skin exfoliated! We then had a facial and a full body massage which was very relaxing and definitely worth it. Loved the weather there, the food was nice and loved being all inclusive meant I never took money out with me! The Turkish staff at the hotel were so nice, absolutely brilliant and the  reps were great to! I would definitely recommended a package holiday to others in the future if you want a relaxing hot holiday and don't want the stress of organising everything."

Tom Randall

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