A round-the-world trip from Cashel to Australia, via Russia, Mongolia and China has started this week for one lucky Cashel man, and we can all follow his adventures as he blogs and tweets his adventures.
Darren Gayson, from the Dundrum Road, was one of five world winners in the ‘See the World with Spar’ competition and last Monday he took his first flight of the four month journey, from Dublin to Hungary.
The 21 year old will travel from Hungary to Slovenia on to Italy, back to the UK, then to Denmark, Norway, across to Russia then take the vodka train from Moscow to Mongolia and into China a journey of 14 days by train, before flying to Australia, Zambia and South Africa. Then home to Cashel for Christmas.
Darren will be celebrating his 22 birthday in Italy, but that’s not what he’s looking forward to most. Speaking to The Nationalist before his departure, Darren said he can’t wait to fly into Livingstone in Zambia and see the Victoria Falls. “It’s going to be great!”
It’s not just a ‘holiday’ for Darren however, as part of his prize is to send tweets as he travels and write regular blogs about his adventures and discoveries.
The story began for Darren a few months ago when he saw the competition advertised on Facebook and Twitter. He entered a bit late, he says, but he made a video of himself and posted it online on the competition website. Points were gained for all the views, likes, shares and retweets and Darren quickly became the number one rated video in Ireland with 11,500 views of his video.
At the end of May he attended an interview in Dublin and from there proceeded to Amsterdam as part of the top two finalists from Ireland. There he had to make a cross-media report on Dutch culture and present it to a Spar conference. Four days later, back in Cashel, he heard that he had won the only prize in Ireland.
Darren says the trip is going to be “brilliant! I want to get more people to follow me and get as much information to people as I can. I hope to get some great videos.” He said he also can’t wait to find out about all the different cultures and foods.
Darren says he really wants to learn about the local cultures in the countries he visits, and tell those stories on his Facebook and Twitter.
“I have to find my way around each country. Spar are funding me and I have to take pictures and make blogs.”
There are other winners taking part in the trip but they all have different travel routes. There is an element of independent travel to the trip, starting with Darren finding his own way from Hungary through Slovenia to Rome, this week. But that just makes the trip more exciting, he says.
Darren has no experience in computers and he describes himself as ‘self taught.’ He made his entry video in two hours and two days later was first in Ireland. The video explained ho he was and contained pictures and videos of him ‘acting the fool’ to catch peoples’ attention. He hopes he will do a good enough job on his travels that it may catch someone’s eye and could lead to a job when he returns home.
Darren is the son of Tommy and Anne, of Dundrum Road, and has two siblings, Danielle and Thomas.
To follow Darren’s adventures go to @PaddyDarren on Twitter or Darren Gayson on Facebook. You’ll find links to other pages and a link to download a smartphone app.