Here at Real Gap Towers, we love what we do and we LOVE where we work! We're all obsessed with travelling and have covered our fair share of air miles in our quest to see as much of the world as humanly possible (FYI: our Aussie General Manager Matt wins this one; he's been to 66 countries! #champion)
Nicky MacFarlane - General Manager of Real Gap UK
I’ve been a Real Gapper since: October 2010 and have worked in the travel industry since graduating. It’s got to be one of the best industries to work in, not only because you get to experience some amazing travel experiences but also work with some fantastic people. Real Gap has to be the most fun places I have worked, there's a great buzz in the office and as a team we pride ourselves on our first hand travel knowledge and we love to share this with our Real Gappers!
My favourite place in the world is: Vietnam. It’s such a diverse country and travelling between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh city was a great introduction. My favourite town was Hoi Ann.
My favourite ‘once in a lifetime’ travel moment was when: I travelled to French Polynesia to lead a tour group of Astronomers to view the Total Eclipse from a remote Atol in the Pacific called Hao. To experience such a unique natural phenomenon was fantastic, but to also have the opportunities to travel to Tahiti and camp out under the stars in such a remote part of the world was a once in a lifetime experience.
Top tip: Don't miss out!
Matt - General Manager of Real Gap Australia
I’ve been a Real Gapper since: March 2010. Why is Real Gap special? Every day we get to make someone’s day, as we send our customers off to live their dream.
I've visited: 66 countries (I'm not listing them all!)
My favourite place in the world is: I’ll never pick just one! Zanzibar or Philippines for that perfect exotic island life, Galapagos or Kenya for awesome wildlife adventures, Himalayas or Andes for wild mountains, Guatemala, Ecuador or Nepal for culture and colour.
My favourite ‘once in a lifetime’ travel moment was when: I sat alone on a ledge at the head of Modi Khola valley in Nepal after a long day’s trekking - the views were incredible. The sun started going down behind the snow-capped Himalayas and as the temperature plummeted a spectacular wall of perfect white cloud, tinged orange by the setting sun, was sucked in extreme slow motion up the valley towards me, eventually enveloping me in its soft cocoon. An incredibly spiritual moment – well over a decade ago, but still gives me goose bumps.
Top tip: Just do it!
Lisa - Head of Sales and Customer Operations
I've been a Real Gapper since: November 2006. I’ve worked for the Daily Express, BBC and an online DVD seller over the years but Real Gap is by far the BEST company I’ve ever worked for. I love the buzz of the place, my colleagues and most importantly, the amazing adventures we help send thousands of travellers on each year.
I've visited: 26 countries
My favourite place in the world is: This is such a hard question – Mongolia blew my mind, China is a firm favourite, Russia was an awesome adventure, Sri Lanka was beautiful… but I think I love Hong Kong the most.
My favourite ‘once in a lifetime’ travel moment was when: I woke up on my 28th birthday in the middle of the Mongolian Steppe, opening the door of the tent to see a lone horseman cantering across the valley in full traditional Mongolia dress. It was like a scene from a Ghengis Khan movie - amazingl
Top travel tip: Don't take too much stuff with you! Keep it simple - essentially it means you have less to worry/lug about!
Rob - Sales Team Leader
I’ve been a Real Gapper since: Feb 2014. I love working in an environment where everyone shares a passion for rewarding travel experiences, and my team all strive to provide the best possible service to our customers – a brilliantly refreshing & positive approach in our market
I've visited: 18 countries
My favourite place in the world is... (it's very difficult to pick just one...) but Cape Town clinches it
My favourite ‘once in a lifetime’ travel moment was when... I released baby turtles into the sea at sunset in Barbados, a totally unplanned and “stumbled upon” experience that the locals were kind enough to let us share with them
Top tip: Don’t be afraid to talk to all and everyone, you know never know when you’ll make a friend for life by asking someone “How’s your day?”
Claire - Business Development Manager
I have been a Real Gapper since: April 2014. I love Real Gap because the team is awesome! (Lunch on Brighton beach is pretty good too!)
I've visited: 18 countries
My favourite place in the world is: Borneo. There are so many reasons I fell in love with the place - the fact that they embrace multi culture (I remember one street having a mosque, temple and church etc) all side by side is incredible. Secondly visiting Sepilok and meeting the Orang-utans was an obvious highlight, but what really took my breath away was staying in the jungle in Sukau. Early morning walks in the rising mist, night time nature trails and sitting around with just a guitar, a few beers and the locals company in the evening…. awesome!
My favourite 'once in a lifetime' travel moment was when I: sat next to the King of Malaysia watching the Colours of Malaysia parade in Kuala Lumpa.
Top tip: Don’t put it off and dream about it… Life is for living!
Martin - German Business Development Executive
I’ve been a Real Gapper since: April 2010. I love working with a lovely bunch of people; we're not just colleagues - we're also good friends. Another reason why I love my job is because I get to send young travellers around the world every day, providing them with one of the best experiences of their lifes.
I’ve visited: 22 countries
My favourite place in the world is: That's a tough one…seeing the Big 5 at Kruger National Park, dancing to African music at the Bushfire festival in Swaziland and playing some football with the kids in Tofo/ Mozambique was incredible.
My favourite ‘once in a lifetime’ travel moment was when: our guide in Kruger National Park shouted “lions, lions” and stopped the car. I turned around and saw six/seven lions right next to me…one of them was looking at me right in the eyes!
Top tip: Do it, or you'll regret it!
Dan - Travel Specialist
I’ve been a Real Gapper since:
October 2012. I love Real Gap because I get to spend my days helping to plan our customer's trips of a lifetime. Not only do I love to travel but I also love recommending and advising people on amazing new experiences.
My favourite place in the world is:
My favourite ‘once in a lifetime’ travel moment was when:
our random guide failed to turn up for Machu Picchu walk to Aguas Caliente. Did it stop us? Course not! We walked for hours down a train track at the base of Machu Picchu mountain following a pack of seven stray dogs…that’s adventure right there!
Top travel tip:
Try and immerse yourself in local culture, talk to everyone, experience everything some of the best experience you will have will be unexpected.
Sophie - Travel Specialist
I’ve been a Real Gapper since: September 2013!
I’ve visited: 14 countries
My favourite place in the world is: I think my favourite place has to be Tanzania. Kilimanjaro, safari and paradise Zanzibar - what more could you want? I’m off to Nepal in October to do Everest Base Camp however, so I’m pretty sure that could take the top spot!
My favourite ‘once in a lifetime’ travel moment was when: I lived in Mali (West Africa) for three months in 2011, and was there when they celebrated Tobaski (Eid-al Adha). We were invited to spend the day with one of our Malian friends and his family. Everyone bought amazing new African clothes; I felt incredibly honoured to be part of such a special occasion.
Top travel tip: Say yes. Obviously use your common sense, but when are you going to get the chance to do some of the things you’re offered again? Whether it’s trying a new food or jumping out of a plane, it’s a story and a memory you’ll have for the rest of your life!
Helena - Travel Specialist
I’ve been a Real Gapper since: September 2013! Love chatting to our Real Gappers every day and planning some amazing trips! Youngest in the group and proud!
I’ve visited: 13 countries!
My favourite place in the world is: South Africa or Bali! Both beautiful places with lots to see and do. Animals are my absolute favourite to see when I go travelling, and the Safari’s in South Africa are a MUST, as well as visiting some gorgeous and very well trained elephants in Bali.
My favourite ‘once in a lifetime’ travel moment was when: I visited a South African Zulu Sangoma (witch doctor/fortune teller) and she spoke to me about my life with very strange accuracy! It was amazing and actually quite haunting, left me a little awe struck!
Top travel tip: Try everything that you can! You will regret not doing this or not doing that. Just take everything as a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Chris - Travel Specialist
I’ve been a Real Gapper since: Sept 2013
I’ve visited: Here and there, South-East Asia is my stomping ground though!
My favourite place in the world is: Kampot, Cambodia. Super chill weekend spot when I lived in Phnom Penh. There is a river running through the town which you can jump in from guesthouses posted along the banks, Bokor Mountain you can drive up and have the most amazing view from the abandoned catholic church and half complete derelict French mansion, also spots to go caving….
My favourite ‘once in a lifetime’ travel moment was when: I was in Thailand over Songkran, Thai New Year, in Bangkok. A 3 day long water fight all over the whole country! Beats the UK New Year any day!
Top travel tip: Listen to that feeling inside telling you to go for it, whatever it may be. It’s your head telling you not to jump in, and you’ll regret not giving everything a go, guaranteed!
Holly - Flights Specialist
I’ve been a Real Gapper since: April 2014. Everyone in team Real Gap is awesome, it's like working with your mates. Being able to talk about amazing places all day is great and it's a brilliant feeling knowing you're sending people off to live their dreams!
I’ve visited: 12 countries
My favourite place in the world is: This is a tough one. The inner child in me would say Florida, the shopaholic in me would say Genoa and Paris, but I think for the beauty and culture I would have to say Egypt.
My favourite ‘once in a lifetime’ travel moment was when: I went diving in Greece which was amazing, and quad biking across the desert in Egypt was incredible as well.
Top travel tip: Try something you wouldn't usually try, feel the fear and do it anyway!
Danielle - Customer Operations Coordinator
I’ve been a Real Gapper since: October 2012! I love working here in the office as it’s like we're a little family. We work hard but have fun while doing it!
I've visited: 27 countries
My favourite place in the world is: AFRICA!!! I know this is a continent but I love it. If I had to choose a country it would have to be either Tanzania for the people, Kilimanjaro and the Serengeti or Malawi for the people, its beauty and the lake.
My favourite ‘once in a lifetime’ travel moment was when: I reached the top of Kilimanjaro and I realised that I was on top of Africa. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done but also one of the most amazing things.
Top tip: Just go with the flow, have no expectations, be open minded and make the most of every opportunity!
Hannah - Customer Operations Coordinator
I’ve been a Real Gapper since: December 2012 (with a cheeky 4 months travelling before coming back!). Being able to talk about what you love all day and getting to share your own tips and experiences is great!!
I’ve visited: 27 countries (and adding China to the list in August!)
My favourite place in the world is: Ooohhh, I think it would have to be New Zealand just because of the amazing scenery and of course the Kiwi Experience!!!
My favourite “once in a lifetime experience” was: Skydiving over Lake Taupo in the North Island of New Zealand – the lake is almost the size of Singapore and you can see the curvature of the Earth – INCREDIBLE!
Top Tip: Don’t take life too seriously – travelling is all about taking life with a pinch of salt. What’s the harm in a bit of gecko poo in your bed!