By Kate Bullivant
Sitting with a group of ‘Gap Year tragedies’, discussing tales of full moon parties and tubing in Laos is definitely not everyone’s idea of fun. Luckily the Travel Society is far from that. It is a new society aimed to bring together anyone interested in travelling whether you’ve never left the country before or have been travelling twice around the world already. Anyone is welcome and it’s a great way to meet people who can offer priceless first hand travel advice and experience.
The society had its first social on the 5th October at Vodka Revs, which was a great way to meet everyone. As this society has just started, it was interesting to figure out what people wanted to get out of the society. Most people wanting the chance to meet others who’ve been to places they want to go, or potentially find a travel partner.
Setting out into the unknown can be extremely daunting, even if it is for 2 weeks in the summer holidays. Although I can’t knock how useful travel guides are, it’s also great to get a more personal opinion. So come along to the next social and grab the chance to chat to people who may be doing the same as you, or even better have already been to the same place you are headed.
At the fresher’s fair, the Travel Society stall was tucked away up stairs so organisers Katy Hands and Katie Smith thought they would have difficulty getting noticed. However I spoke to Katy Hands to find out why they decided to start the society and she told me about the amazing response they’ve had and are still getting towards the society.
Why did you start up the travel society, especially at the beginning of your third year?
One afternoon in an attempt to put off work we were sat around chatting and comparing our travel experiences, where we would like to go in the future and where we had been. We realised that it would be great to meet people with similar interests in travelling, there was no society for this we thought that it would be such a good idea to start one. Although both Katie and I are in our third and final year, opportunities like this don’t come around very often and even though it increases our workloads we couldn’t deny how exciting it would be so we thought we would have to give it a go. We were both surprised and excited from the interest that we received at the welcome fair, over a very hectic three days we had an incredible 804 people and more have signed up since. We have a diverse committee of 14 members managing different aspects of our society that helps to drive it forward.
We aim this year to have a range of events, from talks to socials that will get people together. We want everyone who has been travelling or perhaps wants to travel for the first time whether during university breaks or after university (like myself) to join up and get involved. We love the idea of people making friends who they could go off and travel with.
What would you say was the overall purpose of the travel society?
We wanted to create a forum for people to share stories, swap ideas about travelling and find potential travel partners. Through talks, socials and our website our members can gain information on travel essentials and opportunities around the world. We have a very diverse group of members from all corners of the world with many different cultures so by sharing experiences we can promote a safer and more informed way for our members to travel.
So what can we look forward to in the future?
This term we are currently organising a trip to Dublin during reading week for three nights from the 1st Nov – 4th. For details visit the website and go to the events section where you can find all the information. After the success of the first social there is a second on the 27th of October, so come along and meet other travel-crazed people. We are also going to be organising talks from a range of experienced travellers and travel companies, so keep an eye on our Facebook page and on the website. In the less immediate future we would also like to work with other societies such as Manchester RAG to raise money for charity and help them to raise awareness of events that would be of interest to our members such as the Charity Hitch and Jailbreak.
If you want to get involved then check out the website www.mutravelsociety.co.uk, and have a look at the Face book page, Manchester University Travel Society.