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Read our interview with the winner of our Twitter photo competition

Congratulations to the winner of our Twitter competition!

19 June 2014

For the past couple of months we’ve been running a photo competition on Twitter. After closing the competition, and after much deliberation amongst the team, we’ve chosen our winner: 18 year old Alex Bowen, from Kent, with this beautiful photo of some blesbok in South Africa.

Twitter Winner

We had the pleasure of having a chat with Alex about travel and photography.

What do you do?

I have just finished 6th Form at Dartford Grammar School, currently awaiting my results before deciding whether or not to go to University. I hope to go to Nottingham to study International Relations for a potential career in diplomacy (something that could allow me to travel). However, my future is currently undecided and wide open! At the moment, though, I am working in a pub/restaurant to get some work experience and to save some money for university and travelling.

Tell us about your winning photo!

It was almost a year ago now, but I believe the animals were Blesbok! Nonetheless, there were hundreds of wildebeest among other animals in Kwantu Game Reserve that I volunteered at as part of a school trip. The photo was taken on an evening drive around the reserve while participating in a game capture which involved catching different species of animal, (in this case blesbok), in order to spray them with anti-flea liquid for their protection.

It was a life-changing experience, booked through a Twin programme too!

The experience really opened my eyes to the idea that there are so many possibilities in the world, for example, instead of getting a generic, boring office job, you could become a ranger and spend years in the open, working with people and animals while performing roles that are evidently beneficial to the world like animal conservation!

If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go?

If I could, I would travel anywhere and everywhere. As much as I loved my time in South Africa, my dream would be to explore places that are currently unexplored or have been barely touched by human hand. To be able to be one of the first people to venture in to these places and document the unknown world would be such an incredible experience. In addition to this I wish to visit ancient sites such as the Great Pyramids, Machu Picchu and other incredible ruins. Travelling the world is my long term dream and I aspire to eventually enter a career in which I could make travelling my job, such as creating nature documentaries.

Any plans to go travelling soon (on a gap year/over the summer)?

At the moment I am saving money up in order to travel, as to potentially be able to have a gap year after University, for I would not be able to fund it now. However, I am heading to Canada later on in the summer to visit family and to travel around the Rocky Mountains. After university I hope to have saved up enough money to take a gap year off, either backpacking or just travelling around the world, experiencing different cultures and ways of life. One of my plans is to create a travel blog, including videos and photos, which could hopefully get me into the world of documentary work and possibly form a career out of it.

If you could take part in any of Work & Volunteer’s programmes, which would you choose?

There are so many different choices that it makes it very difficult to answer this! Following on from my time in South Africa working on a reserve, if I had the chance I would love to take part in the Amazon conservation experience in Ecuador. I have always wanted to see the Amazon Rainforest, and this opportunity would not only enable me to do this, but also to be part of an essential conservation programme. However, the marine research and whale shark conservation sounds exhilarating too!

Thank you to everyone who took part in our competition, we have had a great response and it was really difficult to choose a winner. Look out for future competitions, and consider taking part in one of our Work & Volunteer programmes for an amazing experience and, of course, fantastic photo opportunities!