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.

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

Hannah Dartnall - Product Manager

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!

Katie Green - Operations

Katie Green

Katie got the travel bug in 2009 when she spent a month Interrailing around Europe, and since then has travelled to countries across 5 different continents. Having started work in the travel industry in 2013, she then took a break in 2015 to spend a year in Australia where she lived in Sydney - 5 minutes from the beautiful Bronte Beach and worked as an au pair/personal hair stylist to two little girls (and their older brother). Other travel highlights include camping on the Great Wall of China, seeing the Big 5 on Safari in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater, and doing a cross country trip in the USA from San Francisco to New York. Talking about and planning travel is her absolute favourite thing to do, so working for Real Gap Experience and getting to help others plan the trip of a lifetime really is her dream job!

  • Number of countries visited - 31
  • Favourite Destination: New Zealand - easily the most beautiful place I've been, the people are crazy friendly, and you'll never run out of exciting things to do!
  • Best Travel Moment: Throwing myself out of a plane at 16,500 feet...so good I did it twice.
  • Next Adventure: Either climbing Kilimanjaro (I'm still kicking myself for not doing it the first time I was in Tanzania!) or exploring South America.

Hannah Jacobson - Marketing

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, Panama, Argentina, Brazil and Morocco to name a few! When she's not away travelling, Hannah takes care of marketing for the Real Gap Experience brand so you can thank her for the inspiring social media posts which keep popping up on your feed!

  • 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

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!

Chris - Product Marketing Manager


Chris looks after the product content for the website, liaising with overseas partners to get fresh marketing material, whilst also producing sales materials, overseeing product development opportunities, and working on improvements to the customer experience to make sure our travellers have the best experience possible before and after booking! When not in the office he has a keen interest in photography and also being in the great outdoors. Chris has travelled to Europe, North America, Asia, and Australasia.

  • Number of countries visited - 16
  • Favourite Destination: Italy - good food and incredibly history.
  • Best Travel Moment: Road tripping through rural America
  • Next Adventure: Norway - to experience some of the world's best landscapes and scenery!

Sophie Harper - Copywriter

Sophie Harper

Traveller, cake eater, and dance floor enthusiast, Sophie is RGE's resident wordsmith. Having worked her way around numerous publishing companies, she has written about and edited content for food, photography, and craft magazines, but loves travel writing the most. From writing up itineraries and destination descriptions, to blogs and summaries, Sophie gets to spend her days researching different countries and dreaming of travel adventures yet to be had – and the list is becoming seriously lengthy!

  • Number of countries visited - 20
  • Favourite Destination: So many to choose from, but I love Europe's historic walled cities, like Bruges in Belgium and Guérande in France – they're just magical places.
  • Best Travel Moment: Being told off by a matronly restaurateur for mishandling the goi cuon before being shown how to do it properly and then having it fed to me in Hoi An, Vietnam. Oh, and walking along the beach at sunrise in Byron Bay, Australia. It felt like I had the world to myself for a moment.
  • Next Adventure: Japan or Canada – or maybe both in one trip!

James Jeremy - Technical Director

James Jeremy

James is in charge of everything technical at Real Gap. From making sure the websites are up to scratch to fixing a dripping tap. He ensures all the systems are running well and that you the customer gets the right information, at the right time, in the right format. James has spent most of his working career in the gap year industry starting 2004. He has travelled to many places and seen lots of Asia, Africa, Europe and Australasia.

  • Number of countries visited - 25
  • Favourite Destination: Wales - (yes that is Wales in UK = awesome motorbiking)
  • Best Travel Moment: Temple Tour in Cambodia on dirt bikes
  • Next Adventure: Probably a trip to Wales to yes, ride dirt bikes ;)

Nick Corden - Web Developer

Nick Corden

Nick has previously spent a semester studying in Melbourne Australia, using the opportunity to travel up the east coast of Australia from Melbourne to Cairns, seeing Sydney, The Gold Coast, and stops in-between. After that he hopped across to New Zealand and spent time backpacking down under. Now he works on the website, adding features and keeping things running.

  • Number of countries visited - 7
  • Favourite Destination: Whitsunday Islands - Sun, Sea, Snorkelling and the most beautiful beach ever!
  • Best Travel Moment: Watching the sunrise from the top of a volcano in Bali
  • Next Adventure: South East Asia - So many countries there left to see