Embracing the Adventure: Holly’s Sabbatical

In a world where backpacking often seems reserved for the gap-year crowd, Holly Lynam, our Junior Marketing Executive, as ever, is challenging the norm by embarking on an exciting journey through South East Asia whilst on sabbatical from The Brand Marquee.

Having gone straight from college into the professional world, Holly found herself reaching for some culture and travel. With just a week before she jets off for some new adventures, we thought it the perfect time to find out what motivated her leap to the unknown…

“I always thought the only acceptable time to go backpacking would be during a gap year, which I bypassed, going straight into work. Don’t get me wrong, that was still the best decision I could have made. However, I’d started to realise how much of the world I want to see and experience, so decided, there’s no time like the present!”

It’s all about the food

Well not quite, but for Holly, this exploration of new countries and culture promises some incredible food highlights. A self-proclaimed Asian foodie, she has a particular affinity for trying to recreate authentic recipes at home. “I’m convinced even my best attempts won’t taste as good as it does out there, so I can’t wait to try some street food and real cooking. Although with all the interpretations of Asian food we get over here, I’m also tempted to check out an English/Irish pub to see what their take is on our food choices.”

The appeal of her destination choices extends beyond its delicious food and Holly can’t wait to see some of its unique sights, with a particular anticipated highlight being the Sky Bridge in Langkawi.

Personal goals and experiences

Holly’s journey is not merely about sightseeing; it’s for personal growth and unique experiences. If you’ve had the pleasure of meeting Holly, you’ll know she’s sociable and chatty, and one of the key things she’s looking forward to is making friendships that will last a lifetime, connecting with people from different corners of the globe. She’s also looking to build her confidence and independence, “I would like to say I am a confident person, but when I’m around people, I tend to rely on them. I believe having to navigate and organise everything by myself on this solo trip will help me learn that I can achieve anything I set my mind to.”

The big plan

As someone who has organised some incredible events for our clients, the planning was always going to be a breeze for Holly. With flights, accommodation, and select events booked, Holly’s striking a balance between planning and spontaneity. Her approach involves a loose itinerary, allowing her the freedom to embrace each destination fully.

“I have my first week planned out; a silent disco at the top of Marina Bay Sands Hotel, enjoying a Singapore sling at the famous Raffles Hotel, exploring the Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur, and riding the cable car and sky bridge in Langkawi. For the following few weeks, I haven’t planned anything specific, just locations – Koh Lipe, Phi Phi Island, and Krabi. However, I have a few exciting things planned when I’m over at Koh Samui, Koh Tao, and Koh Phangan, such as attending the half-moon party and swimming with pigs! After that, I will be visiting Bangkok, Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, Koh Rong, Ho Chi Minh City, and Hanoi, where I’ll be doing an overnight stay on a boat at Hanoi – recommended by my colleague, Vicky.”

Professional development

Taking a sabbatical rather than leaving her job, Holly’s grateful for the opportunity provided. “I’m so thankful to Susan for allowing me the chance to travel. I yearned for the adventure but didn’t want to have to leave The Brand Marquee behind to achieve that. I love my work here; it’s been a great start to my professional career. There’s so much room to learn and grow, so I’m excited to see what lies ahead when I return.”

Holly’s upcoming journey through South East Asia is more than just a backpacking adventure; it’s a chance to explore new cultures and experiences, see new sights, and evolve both personally and professionally. She’ll be terribly missed whilst she’s gone, but we can’t wait to welcome her back in the summer.