Who we are

Real Gap Experience is about challenging yourself, broadening your horizons, learning new skills and seeing new things in a new light. It's a unique opportunity to do something different, whether you've got two weeks or two years.

We help like-minded young travellers to see more of the real world, do more with their time and become enriched by the experience. Working abroad. Adventure travel. Volunteering. Sports. Adrenaline. See the world your way because it's a travel experience like no other and one that stays with you for life.


Martin Gruhn - Travel Adviser

Martin Gruhn

I have been with Real Gap for over six years and have visited around 25 countries so far.

  • Number of countries visited - 25
  • Favourite Destination: Africa - it has so much to offer. Lovely people, beautiful places and the wildlife is just amazing.
  • Best Travel Moment: Being face to face with a lion at one of our game reserves. Hopping some of Thailand's beautiful islands has also been amazing.
  • Next Adventure: Round the world - stopping at Asia, Australia, New Zealand, North and South America.

Oli Standen - Travel Adviser

Oli Standen

Oli is a physical geography graduate and a keen kayaker, a sport that has taken him to various corners of the globe. If he's not exploring or planning his next trip, he's talking travelling and helping others sort out their adventures.

  • Number of countries visited - 18 countries across 6 continents
  • Favourite Destination: India - a vast country from the snowy peaks of Himalayas to the sun drenched beaches of Goa with fascinating cultures, vibrant colours, awe-inspiring scenery, delicious food and so much more.
  • Best Travel Moment: Kayaking down the most incredible (and terrifying) rapids on the White Nile, Uganda. The cold beer and sunset after was pretty special too
  • Next Adventure: India is calling me back, but very keen to explore Nepal as well.

Hannah Jacobson - Operations

Hannah Jacobson

Hannah graduated with a degree in Business Management back in 2013 and then took a gap year to Asia. During her travels she experienced Holi in India, camped on the Great Wall of China and climbed Mount Bromo in Indonesia (to name a few!). Since then she's been addicted to travel and in the last few years has visited Iceland, Mexico, Egypt, Costa Rica and Panama. When she's not away travelling, Hannah makes all of the arrangements to ensure that everybody's trips run smoothly and she's here to answer any question you have about your trip!


  • Number of countries visited - 24
  • Favourite Destination: Panama - such diverse wildlife and great beaches
  • Best Travel Moment: Watching the Northern lights in Iceland from a hot tub!
  • Next Adventure: I'd like to explore some more of Africa next year - in particular Victoria Falls

Tia Scott-Williams - Copywriter

Tia Scott-Williams

After graduating with a BA in English and American Literature and Culture, Tia came straight to Real Gap Experience to work as a content writer. She loves writing up itineraries and researching all of the exotic destinations that Real Gap Experience has on offer. Exploring new cultures is high on her list of priorities, and she is particularly drawn to city destinations. New York and Paris are among her favourite places in the world, but she also loves far flung destinations in India and the Caribbean. She's passionate about putting the excitement of travelling into words, and scouting out her next big adventure!

  • Number of countries visited - 11
  • Favourite Destination: India - because the people are so friendly and the food is amazing!
  • Best Travel Moment: Getting lost in the winding streets of Venice
  • Next Adventure: Costa Rica - I hear it was voted the happiest place on Earth!

Jane Mclellan - Operations Director

Jane Mclellan

Jane is an avid traveller, having taken 3 gap years and worked abroad. She brings her passion for adventure and knowledge of travelling to Real Gap Experience, where her job is to make sure gap year travellers get safe, interesting and unique programmes that deliver big on the fun factor. Jane has been working in the gap year travel industry since 2003, and has written about her own amazing globetrotting experiences. Her gap year highlights include an epic round the world adventure and trips to South and Central America and Africa! Jane makes it her priority to visit all of the destinations on offer at Real Gap Experience and knows the people who run the projects, tours and accommodations personally, making sure her travellers are always in good hands!

  • Number of countries visited - 46
  • Favourite Destination: Australia - Food, wine, amazing beaches, incredible wildlife, surfing, scuba diving, sailing & sunshine!
  • Best Travel Moment: Bolivia, 3 day 4WD adventure on the salt-flats
  • Next Adventure: South Africa - Safari in Kruger National Park

Katie Penberthy - Operations Manager

Katie Penberthy

Katie puts her globetrotting kudos to good use at Real Gap Experience, making sure everything is in order before our customers jet off! She's been to a whopping 5 continents, visiting exotic locations such as South Africa, Israel and Cuba! Her travel highlights include an road trip around Jordan and experiencing the adrenaline activities in Slovenia. Katie spent her gap year teaching across South East Asia before graduating with a BA in International Development, so she knows what it takes to plan an awesome adventure! It's this knowledge that ensures our travellers explore the world confidently and can bank on an incredible Real Gap Experience with Katie dedicated to every step of their journey.


  • Number of countries visited - 34
  • Favourite Destination: Vietam - The hospitality of the local people and the amazing food!
  • Best Travel Moment: Hiring an electric bike and whizzing through the countryside in Myanmar
  • Next Adventure: Seeing some parts of South America - hopefully Bolivia!

Emma Kerkin - Travel Advisor

Emma Kerkin

Emma has travelled to Australia, Thailand, Bermuda and many destinations in Europe. Her trip highlights include a 3 day camping experience on Fraser Island, snorkelling in the crystal clear waters of Koh Tao and learning to ski in the French Alps.



  • Number of countries visited - 18
  • Favourite Destination: Australia - because of the relaxed lifestyle and friendly people, amazing beaches and snorkeling, stunning scenery and the adventure activities.
  • Best Travel Moment: Sailing around the Whitsunday Islands
  • Next Adventure: Peru - Trek the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Alice Dickinson - Marketing

Alice Dickinson

After graduating from Cardiff University with a BA Hons in English Language, Alice joined Real Gap Experience as a social media and marketing coordinator. Since taking a gap year in Kenya doing voluntary work, she has had the 'travel bug' and to this day believes it's the best thing she's ever done. Alice now enjoys demonstrating the kind of adventures others' can experience.

  • Number of countries visited - 14
  • Favourite Destination: Kenya - there's something so special about a simple life and Kenya made me appreciate the simple things in life.
  • Best Travel Moment: Borrowing clothes from a passer by to be allowed into into St. Peter's Basilica cathedral, Rome.
  • Next Adventure: Australia, New Zealand + South East Asia!!!

Hannah Dartnall - Product Coordinator

Hannah Dartnall

Hannah is a bit travel mad! She has so far visited 33 countries worldwide including Laos, Sri Lanka, India, Zambia, Namibia, China, Uganda and Canada to name but a few! She has lived in Ghana for 2 years and embarked on an epic 2 month adventure across Asia before returning to the UK! Hannah has over 7 years of experience in gap year travel and looks after all of our product.

  • Number of countries visited - 33
  • Favourite Destination: Ghana - My home for 2 years - a beautiful, friendly, diverse country that never fails to surprise and amaze me!
  • Best Travel Moment: A driver stopping the tuk tuk to tie the bike and seat back together with a piece of rope!
  • Next Adventure: Spain - exploring the beautiful city of Seville!

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