The gapyear.com Moderators
Moderators are more than just the people who delete spam and edit your board posts when you say something naughty. They are the guardians of the community, the heartbeat of the social network. They are gapyear.com's Top Guns, the guys who roll up their sleeves and get stuck in and answer questions from our online community time and time again. We usually approach members to be site moderators when they've been active for a certain amount of time, have made a high number of quality posts and generally proved themselves to be helpful, friendly and trustworthy. But there's no reason you shouldn't approach us youself, so if you feel like you'd like to be a moderator then get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll see if you're the type of person we're after!
Gary's (imaginative) username is Garybliss123. He joined the site in 2006 while planning a trip to Australia. Since then he has travelled parts of Europe and Asia, where he has lived for more than four years now (currently he's teaching in China). Gary has been a regular member of gapyear.com due to the variety of information and resources gathered from it, which he says played a massive part in helping him gain the confidence he needed to travel solo around the world. Gary's dream is to learn a language fluently and take a long trip to Central America.
Darren, who goes by the user name Rollingcrock, drank, gambled and grinded himself into a self loathing rut before deciding to leave the North East of Scotland to... well... leave the North East of Scotland. Soon after he found himself in Beijing, scared out of his mind, a nervous wreck and not truly knowing if he would sink or swim as a traveller. Darren has spent six months in China and South East Asia before speanding a year living in Brisbane, Australia. In between jobs he travelled to New Zealand. Darren's also lived in Germany for a year with his very German girlfriend.
Nick, also known as Wristy, has been on the site since about 2006. He's travelled extensively through most of Europe, parts of North America, small bits of South East Asia and the eastern side of Australia, plus a year studying in Germany. He's pretty knowledgeable on trains and hostels in Europe and how to get around the continent. On gapyear.com he loves the wide mix of people and large pool of expertise on the forums and has made some friends for life on the site. Outside the site Nick plays golf, has a season ticket at Portsmouth FC and speaks fluent German.
Lou's username is Denton32. She has been using gapyear.com since 2008, back when she was planning her first trip to Australia on a Working Holiday Visa. She has now travelled all over Oz and she's currently living in Darwin, but still has plans to continue exploring the remote corners of Australia. Lou has also done two extended trips in South East Asia and a couple of shoestring adventures around Europe. Outside gapyear.com she is a keen photographer and has her own (awesome) photography website.
Martin, also known as m.garratt, stumbled across gapyear.com in 2004 and was inspired to head off round the world. After a whirlwind six months of planning and saving he jumped headlong into the exhilarating world of independent travel, landing in the hectic streets and alleys of Delhi and has never looked back. His journey continued through India, South East Asia, Australasia before overlanding through Southern and East Africa. After a few short journeys, travel has resulted in Martin reconsidering his values and he now works to improve children's lives.
Warrick's username is, predictably, Warrick. He joined the site in 2005. Since then he's visited every continent with the exception of Antartica, and is planning on ticking that box very soon. His main area of expertise is South America, but can offer advice on travel pretty much anywhere; particularly making the most of short trips. He's also your go-to-guy if you're in the market for a sarcastic comment or thinly veiled innuendo. Off-site Warrick works for an oil company, which means he spends a lot of time travelling in the Middle East and Asia.
Adam's username is Lunny. He joined the site in 2002, and his first big trip took place in 2003 when he took in South East Asia, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and the USA. Since then he has travelled around most of Europe but nowadays he teaches English in China. His favourite thing about gapyear.com is the regular meet-ups that are organised by the site members. He thinks they are a perfect starting point for newbies to practice meeting randoms on their travels. Lunny's ultimate dream is to own a chain of cool hostels throughout South East Asia.
Clare's username is Merry. She joined the site in 2002 and became a backpacker during a four-year gap year between college where she worked and travelled. During this time she took in a round the world trip, InterRailed through Europe, spent a year working in Australia and another year in New Zealand. Oh, and she also explored South East Asia. She is particularly knowledgeable on women's health and solo travelling. Clare reckons the best thing about the site is number of people that will listen to your ‘there was this one time in…' travel stories without getting bored.
Amber's screen name is Ambermarie. She joined the site in 2006 and took her gap year in in 2007. She's travelled solo through Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka and India, where she spent three months volunteering at a children's charity. She's also spent a month living on a boat in the Amazon rainforest, six weeks teaching English in Hong Kong and then three weeks travelling through China. She's now living in Japan for two years on the JET Programme. She loves gapyear.com because it's open and friendly forum where anything goes.
James goes by the name James1985 on the site. He's been using gapyear.com since 2004. James has travelled through the majority of Asia and much of Europe. He thinks the best thing about the site is the banter; he can often be found lurking on the gapyear.com boards offering advice about the Far East and engaging in chat that some might argue needs moderating itself... Outside of travel, you will find him mostly watching sports (football, rugby or Formula One) and playing computer games, though usually travel-related stuff gets in the way.
Lexi's screen name is Alexandra_q2. She joined gapyear.com in 2007 and is a hugely experienced traveller, with areas of expertise including travel health (particularly malaria prevention), rucksacks, travel kit, climbing Kilimanjaro and trekking. Lexi thinks the members understand each other, which makes newcomers feel welcome and old-hats feel a sense of responsibility to guide the newbies. Off-site she works as a Sales Support Executive for a charity challenge tour operator. Outside work Lexi's hobbies include hiking / walking, cooking and photography.
Hannah uses the moniker Hdsimmons when she's on gapyear.com. She's been a member since 2004 and has travelled extensively through South Africa, South East Asia, Australasia and the Americas. Her travelling skills and expertise include being very good at planning and sorting provisional routes, plus knowing lots about overlanding, especially in South / Central America. She loves that on the site there are always answers given by friendly, helpful and knowledgeable people. Hannah works in the City to fund her holidays, but spends hours planning the next adventure.
Nikki goes by the name *nikki180188* and she joined Gapyear back in 2009. A self-confessed hippie, Nikki can be found on the boards ranting about plastic bottles ruining the ocean, animal welfare, tree hugging, and of course - where to get a good veg / vegan meal while on your travels. Nikki's first trip of 10 months took in South East Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and two months crossing the States by bus. A year later she was back in Asia, visiting Borneo, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos. While planning her first trip, Nikki used gapyear.com every day for advice & ideas.