Saying Goodbye to

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Saying Goodbye to…

Updated 5 years, 6 months ago

What’s this? Goodbye?

Sadly, yes. After 15 months, three weeks and five days I’m leaving the team.

This is emotional. A bit like Michael Caine in the Batman films. You know, when his voice gets deep and low, wavers vulnerably and finally breaks.

When he gets very emotional. Very emotional, indeed.

I won’t bury you, Master Wayne!

But it’s the right time for me to move onto something different. Of course, I’ll be sad to leave the world of; during my time at the site I’ve been a travel scribbler, social media dabbler, content cad, community overlord, volunteering presenter, PR man and just all-round backpacking dude. Working on Magazine was awesome.

There have been some top moments; helping to write and edit a national backpacking magazine, presenting live talks at universities and travel shows, running awesome social media competitions and getting on BBC and Sky News have been highlights.

There’ve been a few lowlights, too. Although, maybe I’ll wait before I’ve actually left before I start talking about those…

I’m always going to be grateful to, and in particular the site founder Tom Griffiths, for giving me the big break of working for an awesome brand, and providing the chance to ‘go pro’ at stuff that I’ve been doing freelance, part-time and voluntary for years.

I’ll miss the team – well, some of them – but I’ll also properly miss the guys who use the site. During my time here I’ve spent an unthinkable number of hours chatting to you on the boards, on emails and at meet-ups, and I’ve made genuine connections with people who share a love of backpacking.  Promoting one of the live roadshows.

Obviously I’ve travelled a fair bit myself already, but I’ve loved living vicariously through your plans and adventures. Reading about your gap years while sitting in an office has definitely given me the travel bug again, and like some kind of retired travel superhero making a comeback, I’ll be looking to don the backpack again at some point in the future.

I’ve also loved sharing your journeys and advice in the form of features and articles. I’ve got way too many favourites to pick out individual pieces, but I’ve enjoyed them all and I hope that the site continues to be all about travellers connecting and sharing their experiences with a wider travel community. I hope that always stays a site about you guys, and continues to be independently spirited; a site by backpackers, for backpackers.

So where am I going? What am I doing? Well, I’m leaving Gapyear Towers and moving to a cool agency in Norwich called Further that does search marketing and social media. I’m going to be a creative SEO content writer type person. I’m quite excited about it, and hoping it’ll help me develop a very special skillset. A bit like Liam Neeson in Taken. Presenting to an 'enthralled' audience at a event.

But although I’m officially leaving Gapyear Towers, I’ll still be part of the community. I’ll still read the content, ‘follow’ the hottest new members and chat to fellow backpackers on the boards – except instead of ‘Administrator’ on my profile it’ll say something like ‘Super Gapper’. (Hint: this means I can’t change your passwords, can’t report bugs and absolutely, positively have no power to bring back smiley emoticons…)

Hopefully I’ll also continue using the site to plan trips. I really want to do some InterRailing soon, maybe next year, so I may well continue to blog about future travel ideas and trips. And why not? After all, for me using is not just a job; it’s a way of life.  

Cheese check… Too much?

Anyway, this is it. I’ve uploaded my last article, published my last feature and scribbled my final site news story. It’s pretty much all over. All that’s left is to tie up some loose ends and attempt to steal as much stationary and as many Lonely Planet books as I can. Hanging out with some gappers at a meet-up.

But do not be sad at my departure. Legend tells of a leader that will rise up from the post-Andy ashes who will lead to site to greatness. A man referred to, quite simply, as The One. According to scholars, this man is none other than my fellow site content producer and brand spokesperson Macca Sherifi.

From now on if you have any ideas for cool ideas for articles or features, get in touch with Macca on Ok, this is really it. I’m going now (well, tomorrow).


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