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Gap issue one

in the market

A travel magazine for those on a gap year



age 7

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ISSUE ONE What is inside

Gap in the Market write what is going on this page here

write here what is here

In the know Jess Ross, 20, spent three months in Africa, volunteering at a school and travelling for a month. Why did you decide to travel abroad? I decided to go as I had a year out from University and wanted to do something worthwhile and different. I realised that I might never have the chance to do it again. Why recommend to others? I’d recommend others to go abroad to get an understanding of the way other people live and that not everyone is as well off as you, to meet new people from different backgrounds and to have fun. My top tips are: Speak to people and be friendly with everyone. Be laid back with plans and just have a general plan of what you’re going to do. Make food at the hostel instead of eating out all the time. And finally, think twice before you buy souvenirs (I spent a fortune on a load of stuff that just looks like tack in my room now!) Jess in Africa

by Emma Leech

We speak to people who have already taken the plunge and travelled abroad.

Becki Fairclough, 20 spent her summer in New Hampshire, USA, working at a theme park before travelling the United States.

Becki in her theme park uniform

Why did you decide to travel abroad? I chose to travel to America specifically to see new places/ meet new people and experience a new culture in a place where there wouldn’t be a language barrier. It was also a chance to spend a long amount of time there, longer than any holiday could offer, by working.

Why recommend to others? It’s an experience you will never forget you will come back a different person having opened your eyes to a little more. While you're young in college or university you have the best Emma Lawrence, 20 spent two months volunteering opportunities to go travelling at an orphanage in Tanzania for a long time. around. Take enough money. Pack light - there’s nothing worse than lugging around a backpack full of stuff you didn’t really need.

Why did you decide to travel abroad? Last summer was my last official summer as a student so thought I’d take the opportunity whilst I still could to go on a student/university ran project to Tanzania to help out in an orphanage and travel for the last month. I thought the volunteering would be challenging and look great on my CV. The idea of some of Africa's best safari parks and amazing tropical islands and beaches swung it for me.

My top tips are: If you're a bit wary of being in a new place that’s completely different from home it’s good to be associated with a charity. They will be able to show you around while you're getting settled and they'll be checking up on you if you're late returning. At backpackers hostels you can easily make friends as everyone is like-minded and in the exact same situation as you. Emma with one of the children at the orphanages

Why recommend to others? It’s a great way to meet new people and gain exposure to different places and cultures. It is also a great way to improve independence. If nothing else it’s an education! My top tips are: Plan the essentials ahead of time - where you will go, where you will stay, how you will get GAP IN THE MARKET: January 2011


Joe Large, 22 is an accomplished traveller visiting Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Argentina, Bolivia and Peru during a gap year.

want to see and do, but don’t make firm plans as there is bound to be stuff you wouldn’t have thought of doing, or you may really like a place and decide to stay longer. Joe, in Cambodia

best way to do that is to go and live in one for a while!

outside your local area. This makes you realise that there is more to life, and that you can do anything.

Why recommend to others? It’s a real confidence boost because you can be pushed out of your comfort zone. It is also

Emma in Romania

Megan in Australia

My top tips are: Use local travel agents as they know the best deals and trips to go on. Try and arrange overnight travel to save money on hostels. And decide on the things that you most want to do to save money, however remember that it is a once in a lifetime trip so make the most of every opportunity.

a million miles away. Take all the boring things your mum will remind you about; bite cream, hand gel, sun cream- boring but you’ll use them. My last top tip would be to take photos whenever possible, you will treasure them when you arrive home.

Why did you decide to travel abroad? To experience different cultures and places and meet new people. To do things I won’t be able to do when I have commitments like a house and job. Why recommend to others? It’s an experience that you can make entirely your own. You’ll experience things you would never ordinarily experience. My top tips are: Have ideas of stuff you may

Talk to as many people as possible, make friends and experience as much as possible. Emma Hayes, 23 spent two months volunteering in Romania Why did u decide to travel abroad? I have always wanted to travel and do something different but I didn’t really have the guts until I got to uni. I wanted to experience something new and totally different. I love learning about different cultures and the

a great way to meet peoplewhen I volunteered in Romania, I made some friends for life. Volunteering is so much more than just a holiday- the people you’re helping gain from it but so do you. My top tips are: Don’t overpack! When you’re in the middle of nowhere you’d be surprised how little you care about your appearence. Take a little reminder of home; if you get a little homesick a reminder can stop you feeling

Megan Waring, 21 studied for six months in Melbourne before touring Australia for a month with a friend Why did you decide to travel abroad? I decided to go as I thought it would be a great opportunity to see Australia, but as a student living there, rather than a tourist. I also wanted the challenge of living away on my own. Why recommend to others? I’d recommend others to go as travelling broadens your mind and really is the best way to experience people and places GAP IN THE MARKET: January 2011

Step off the S o, you want to travel foreign lands far and wide but don’t want to merely follow the crowds and visit stereotypical landmarks? But you are unsure how to uncover the hidden gems without wandering aimlessly through streets of unpronounceabletowns? Then fear not, as we have searched for all the ideal sites- so that you can find your ideal sights.

up in 2004, the site has over 2.2 million members in 237 countries. The website is unique as it is a network for people offering their sofas as a free place to sleep for individuals, groups

the couchsurfing website logo

Sofa Sleeping

members you can see photos and information to find a little more about the person you may be staying with.

Talk to Travellers

to help make your mind up.

The sidebar also has other options such as restaurants, Another website to uncover nightlife, sports and shopping, is This Many of the members also time, fellow travellers who have with a list of who has previpride themselves on not only already explored the territory ously visited the location, so offering a place to stay but also provide photographs, blogs and you can click on their profile to provide an opportunity to show reviews. The search bar at the ask any more information you off the local sights, from a na- top makes it simple to find ex- may want about it. tive’s perspective. actly what you are looking for, This is a unique chance to be whether it is a particular city, pointed out the local hotspots region or attraction. and be given honest advice on Finding authentic local cuisine where to go, what to do and When clicking on your chosen can be harder than you may what you may want to avoid. destination, the web page will first think. For those who are bring up popular hotels in the not interested in overpriced The website is useful even if area according to feedback restaurants or chain restauthe thought of catching forty from members, a list of top 10 rants, and are looking for a real winks at somebody else’s home things to do in the area and taste of the native life -experidoesn’t appeal to you. Many a comprehensive guide from members are more than happy bloggers and reviewers for you ence a supper club. to give you information via email on where to go and what A supper club in Paris to do during your stay, simply message them and you will be surprised at just how willing most will be to provide hints and tips for you to create your own unique experience.

Feast at a foreigners


he best way to discover what is out there is to explore acountry as a native. Branch away from the clichés, step off the beaten track and find something more meaning- (picture caption will go here) ful and personal to really make and even families visiting their your experience an unforgethometown. table one. The website, free to sign up, has Who better to turn to for ada hubbub of homes worldwide vice on how to live like a local, offering a couch, and in return than a local? you have the option of offering your couch to travellers. When joining, there are various options available as to what ‘status’ you wish to be; you can The first port of call to check make your couch available to in to is www.couchsurfing. others, or simply make it clear com, the world’s largest hosyou are looking for advice and pitality exchange network. Set

beaten track

possibly a place to stay.

“The best way to discover what is out there is to ask the people who know best and exploring the country as a native.” Similarly to Facebook; Couchsurfing has profiles, so you can search for a location and then look for people in the area offering their sofa. With most

Top Tip: On Google Advanced change your ‘region’ to the country you are visiting but keep the language in English to find the top search results from that country

cation, the date you would like to go and hit search to discover where the cheapest place to fly to is.

If you research before you go, then you will be able to properly plan costs and find alternatives to the pricier side of travelling. There is no reason Skyscanner searches from a range of sites, to find those fis- why you should revisit student cal flyers the best offer. Wheth- squalor and live off Superer you are indecisive where to noodles and beans on toast to survive. travel next or just looking for somewhere to kick off your adventures, this website will helps hunt out those bargains show you where in the world abroad. Ranging from ‘budget is cheapest. You can also find sleeps’, ‘budget deals’ and even Check out the reviews to make the best hotel offers, car hire covering ‘budget Britain’, this and holiday deals as the site sure it is worth a visit and see what the terms are with regards scans through companies such site is ideal if you are beginning as Expedia, Holiday Inn and to feel the pinch as a globetrotto paying. ter. Many suggest a ‘donation’ with a minimum amount to cover Europe budget guide suggests basic costs. and reviews cheap places to stay and visit with photographs for you to see for yourself. For those who love spontaneity After finishing university and the excitement of the many are hardly in the position has recently unknown then visit to travel the world with a celebrated its 50th birthday claiming that ‘young and Simply type in your current lo- limitless supply of money. Supper clubs are put on by locals for people to visit their home and enjoy a meal. This is a great opportunity to socialise with other travellers and locals as well as encounter a brand new experience in a different country. They tend to be off the maintstream radar so this site will be perfect to see whether there are any where you are planning to go.

Be spontaneous

Nomad- No Money

budget- savvy travelers turn to Let’s Go for the freshest coverage, insider tips, and an authentic perspective.’ The website, is easy to use with a list of countries and options to read other blogs, stories and reviews and look at stunning photographs from travellers holiday albums.

30 seconds with..: Sean Dodson: University lecturer and Journalist at the Guardian

It is ideal to have a basic idea of what to do and where to go, but sometime you just have to leave it up to fate.

“Make notes and take pictures so that you can share your own experiences with others on your return.”


Other websites to visit: w w w.travelwithamate. com www.moneysavingexpert. com/travel/cheap-flights By Emma Leech

Sean had a nine year ‘gap’, after leaving school at 16. He begun travelling on a tour of the West Mediterranean, starting in Athens. How could you afford to travel for so long?: “I worked in Televive on a working site during some of my time there.” Where did your travels take you to? “I visited Athens, motorbiked all round Cyprus and then went on to Haifa in Israel, eventually finishing in Cairo.” Was there anywhere you wouldn’t go back to? “Cairo. It was the most dangerous place I have ever been to. I was accosted twice in my short time there.” Would you recommend others to take time out to travel? “Definitely. I think that the older you are to go to University the better. You have more idea what you want to do in life.” What is your one top tip? “Go native. Live the life as a local to really appreciate every country.”

gap in the market: issue 1



gap in the market:

One of the best in this budget range is definitely the new EOS 550D.



Canon 550D

Canon EOS 550D will give you more than your moneys worth with features such as 18MP CMOS sensor, 14 bit A/D converting engine, full HD 1080p video shooting, 3.7fps continuous shooting, silent shooting mode, 9 focusing points, and high ISO range.


. Canon 60D


The five best cameras of 2010 :for travellers keen to capture the moment.

.Nikon D3100

This camera has an easy guide mode for beginners as well as snappy features for those in the know such as 14.2MP CMOS sensor, HD 1080p video shooting, EXPEED 2 image


. Olympus PEN E-PL1

This Olympus PEN E-PLI has both the advantages of a compact and a DSLR camera. It is compact like the P&S but has the benefits of a large image sensor like the DSLR. It is straight forward to operate like P&P, with an internal

flash built-in and is only 482g. This is the only non-SLR camera in the list but has proven itself to be able to produce SLRlike image quality with low noise level and usable high ISO photos.

Information provided by by Emma Leech processing engine, high ISO limit of 12800, 11 focus points, 3� LCD 230k dot TFT screen, 3Fps etc. As well as being relatively light on your finances, it also is lightto carry, weighing only 505g.

This is the latest mid-range DSL from Canon. It is slightly bigger and heavier than the budget model 550D above- however has a few better features including; the secondary top plate screen, the higher continuous shooting rate of 5.3 frames per second, swivel LCD screen, higher top shutter speed of 1/8000s, wider range of Exposure and WB bracketing and brighter pentaprism viewfinder.


. Nikon D7000

Nikon D7000 features similar specs as top mid-range model of D300s but weighs 140g less. However, the improvement from its budget sibling is huge

including its 16.2MP CMOS sensor, high ISO range up to 25600, HD Video recording, 2016-pixel exposure metering sensor, 100% viewfinder coverage with bright glass pentaprism, 39 focusing points and flash-sync speed of 1/250s to name but a few.

Must Visit Places

AUSCHWITZ BIRKENAU As part of our new Must Visit Places series we visited one of the most unusual yet most popular tourist attractions in Europe, a Nazi-death camp in Poland.

by Matthew Dyas “Arbeit Macht Frei” is the German phrase that greets our group as we enter the Auschwitz I concentration camp. As we pass under the wroughtiron gate, the local guide reveals the translation, “Work Makes You Free” a motto, which belies the true atrocities that took place in the Nazi concentration camp during World War II and which leaves my group and me in silence. At first glance Auschwitz I doesn’t look like a bad place. Despite the barbed wire fence surrounding the perimeter, it’s

not a stretch of the imagination to picture the rows of bricked buildings as coveted, pricey apartments, inhabited by young professionals. But then again, this wasn’t built as a death camp; it was originally a Polish barracks. Situated in the small town of Oscwiem, (about thirty minutes drive from Krakau airport) pre-1939 it was a vibrant town with a population of 12,000, 80% of them were Jewish. It’s only


when we look around do we discover what lies beneath this peaceful façade. Established in 1940, Auschwitz I was primarily a concentration camp used to house the Polish political prisoners. It wasn’t used purely as a prison for long, as the war progressed so did the idea of eradicating the Jews from the planet. The firing squad had become too inefficient; a new method of killing was needed. In the medical block our group get to visit the gas chamber, it was here that the cyanide rat-poison gas Zyklon B was first tested on people to see if it could be could be used for mass exter-

to undress under false pretence that they would be showered. They were instructed to tie the laces of their shoes together so they wouldn’t go missing, when actually it just made them easier to sell on. Another room contained a massive array of false legs of all shapes and designs because, as minations. The local guide, Lucas points out, many of the Lucas Szatko, then led us past Jews sent to the camp had lost rooms full of belongings that limbs fighting for Germany were seized by the Nazis. For in World War I yet got sent me, this is when the realisation straight to the gas chamber up kicked in. on arrival because they were of no use at the work camps. A room containing 40,000 pairs A large collection of suitcases of shoes, the guide explained was particularly chilling. Each that those sent to straight to battered leather case had the the gas chamber where asked

Clockwise from top left: Empty cannisters of Zyklon B; A selection of artificial legs; A pile of abandoned spectacles; Thousands of shoes; Suitcases baring the names of their owners.

name, and dates-of-birth of its owner written upon them in white paint. Simple maths meant we could work out that some prisoners were only two yearsold when they arrived at the camp. But perhaps most shocking is the vast piles of human hair. Just a small amount of the seven tonnes that was discovered when the Russians liberated the camp in May 1945.

Alex Graham, a 17-year-old student in my group, described how it felt at the camp: “It was sort of unbelievable, on the scale that it was done and it was so inhumane. The way it was so meticulously planned, that’s probably the most disturbing thing. “I thought the hair was going to be the worst, but it was the suitcases with the names on. It gave them an identity.”

Auschwitz actually refers to a network of concentration and extermination camps consisting of Auschwitz I, Auschwitz II – Birkenau, Auschwitz III – Monowitz and 45 other satellite camps.

Although a visit to Auschwitz is revealing, the minute drive to Birkenau is a must because that’s the place one imagines when they conjure up images of a death camp. A dark, desolate place, silent, yet a place where As our tour around Auschwitz unthinkable suffering took I came to an end, our jourplace. ney was far from over. There are many misconceptions Birkenau got its name from the about Auschwitz; the main abundance of birch trees in the one is the scale. The term area, but as we

arrive that fact is hard to believe. Now the only trees remaining are the ones at the back of the camp, shielding the view of the gas chambers and crematoria to the new arrivals. Construction of Birkenau began in October in 1941 to ease congestion at Auschwitz I and to function as one of the main elements in Heinrich Himmler’s preparations for the ‘the final solution to the Jewish question’ of the extermination of the Jews. At Birkenau, around 1.1milliion people were exterminated, 90 percent of them were Jews. In the cold Polish weather, we walked along the railway tracks to the heart of the camp, passing a replica train carriage. We then visited the different shelters were the prisoners stayed, a stable which was originally built to house 42 horses, converted to shelter over 400 men. Our last destination was to the ruins of the gas chambers, evidence that the Nazis tried to destroy when defeat was in sight. It’s hard to take everything in This page: A view from the main watchtower building.Opposite page clockwise from top left: Gallows used to hang Rudolf Hoss; Row of watchtowers at Birkenau; Brick bunks in one of the shelters; Tour guide Lucas Szatko talks to the group; Railway tracks leading into Birkenau; A hatch int ceiling of the last original gas chamber where Zyklon B was dropped in; A replica of the wall where victims faced death by firing squad; Photographs of some of the victims.

on a day visit to Auschwitz. It takes a while for it all to sink in. Jennifer Lee, 17, from Maghull summed the visit up on her return to England. “The trip brought together all the information I already knew and brought home the realism and the humanity of it rather than it being facts and figures. “It didn’t affect me much emotionally when we were there because of the sheer amount of people and unimaginable circumstances, but the day after is when it sets in because you’ve had time to reflect on it” Jennifer is right, reflection is key. As the minute silence took place on Remembrance Sunday and when I watch the abundant war documentaries on television, the memories of Auschwitz return to me. The images of the belongings, all the faces of the dead and the ominous watchtowers at twilight were all clear in my mind and that’s when it dawned on me. It helps put everything into context and that is why those, like me, who weren’t even born during the war should visit Auschwitz, lest we forget the depths of human suffering that took place.

Getting there

First practice  

first practice of magazine