There are more than 200 societies at Newcastle University and throughout their time at uni, most students have thought about joining at least one. Although there isn’t one focused solely on travelling, the truth is that a huge variety of them include weekend trips and holidays as a part of their main activities.
A number of different clubs and societies, from ski and snowboarding to cycling and dancing, use joint trips to not only develop their skills but also as a way to strengthen bonds amongst society members. Charlotte Hill, women's captain of the Surf society, reveals the society’s travel schedule:
“We normally run two weekends away at the start of the year. One to Newquay in Cornwall and one to Scotland” says Charlotte. “Then we do an annual trip abroad in the Easter holidays”. While the surf society does take its preparation seriously for the weekend of competition at BUCS, Charlotte claims that most of the other trips are casual, with focus on having fun, partying and, of course, surfing. “The week abroad always helps bring people a lot closer” she says. “You’re living, eating and surfing constantly together with them for 5 days and so you get a chance to mingle with people you might not have done so with on socials, or get to know better the ones you already have.”
For that exact reason, it is not uncommon to find people who join societies with travel in mind. Brett Bradshaw, the current president of the 20 minute society, reveals he became a member because of the early Mystery Holiday the society hosts: “My friends had been on the holiday the year before and I heard how good it was”. Reminiscing on the details of his first trip with the society three years ago, a five day experience in Budapest that granted him great friendships, he claims the experience is “everlasting [...] we still have the same whatsapp’s group from the first time I went on the holiday going now, where people still comment and ask questions.”
From there, the 20 minute society has also been to Krakow in Poland. So what’s next for the 20 minute society? As always, the location of its future trips remains uncertain. “That’s one of the main selling points of the society” Brett says, referring to the Mystery Holiday. “We give people the dates, the prices, everything. They just don’t know where they are going until we get to the airport”.