Twelve months ago, global insurance and investment brand AXA launched the 2014 Great Global Adventurer game, looking to find the winner of a once-in-a lifetime, all expenses paid trip around the world.
It’s the ultimate gap year for students and recent graduates – the chance to travel for up to 8 months, experience two six week paid internships, and complete voluntary work experience.
Over 25,000 people played across 204 countries and provinces, a huge response. The game itself lasted 147 days, with some incredible entries and really tough challenges along the way. But after several weeks of intense play, one deserving winner was chosen; graduate Will Moore. Before setting off on his experience of a lifetime, Will said:
“I’ve always had a bucket list of travel destinations for places like the Great Wall of China, and it’s brilliant to now make them a reality. I’m incredibly excited to enter the world of work in a different country, and meet current AXA graduates to find out what they’ve learned since joining the firm.”
Will left for the first leg of his incredible trip on 5th September, heading to the far flung reaches of China and Hong Kong, with a route through Shenzhen, Fuilin, Yangzhou, Chengdu, Xi’an, Shaolin and Beijing.
In true traveller style he got stuck into the local cuisine straight away, sampling everything from Dragon Fruit on a sleeper train and authentic Chinese noodles in Yangzhou, to some rather pungent smelling tofu in Hong Kong as part of AXA’s #IChallengeWill.
Of course, no trip to China would be complete without a visit to the jaw-dropping Great Wall of China. And after hiking up a steep mountainside in the wide open countryside, Will was lucky enough to experience its spectacular views as the sun set, before setting down his tent and roll mat for a night under the stars. Definitely an experience to remember, according to Will:
“China is one of the most beautiful countries I have ever visited. Villages surrounded by huge luscious green mountains, eclectic street markets, bright colours and sounds. If you’re thinking about going, take a good camera and plenty of batteries to capture as much of this as possible!”
And as any seasoned traveller will tell you, it’s a good idea to try and pick up the language when visiting new places. Having mastered some of the basics like “hello” and “how are you?” (and surely “one beer, please”), Will has found that when it comes to Mandarin, a fearless approach is needed and even just a little knowledge can go a long way.
Next on the agenda is Cantonese, as Will swaps the beauty of the Great Wall for the fast-paced investment world in his six-week internship. And with a swanky new apartment, freshly dry-cleaned suit and custom-made shirts, he’s ready for business before setting off on the next part of his amazing, action-packed, and pretty enviable adventure!
Keep up with Will and his incredible journey by following the Discover AXA social pages: