My journey on Twitter

For those of you who follow me on Twitter, you will have noticed I’ve just changed my name from @maccathegapper to @backpackermacca. There is a reason for this – I’ve finally graduated from gapper to backpacker.

When I first joined the world of Twitter, I was @slumchums, my first travelogue and website.

SlumChums represented who I was while backpacking and travelling. I pretty much ‘slummed’ it around the world, hunting out the cheapest accommodation I could find and living off an extremely tight budget. How tight? Well, I spent £10,000 in 20 months, so I’d say pretty tight!

The ‘chums’ comes into it from travelling with a friend for six months. It was always our aim to make as many friends on the road as we possibly could, both locals and foreigners alike. We really wanted to immerse ourselves in a particular culture and society, to really have an alternative experience, not only with each other but with other people too, hence SlumChums.

Anyway, towards the end of my round the world trip I started thinking about the next step; I had to get a job.

One of the reasons I travelled in the first place was to work out what I wanted in life. Like millions before me, I said “I’m going to become a travel writer”. The only thing is, I did.

After completing a journalism diploma, I got a job as sub-editor at Gapyear.com, the social network and travel advice website.

As I wasn’t travelling anymore, I felt it was time to hang up the boots of SlumChums. I could hardly claim I was slumming it anymore living back in the UK, and I’ve always felt travelogues have to be exactly that – about travelling.

As I was giving advice and information on gap years, I adopted the name @maccathegapper. I tried to epitomise the perfect gapper, and it was my job to inspire people to take that first step and do something different with their lives.

As time moved on I became travel editor. However, time moving on was exactly the problem.

Aged 27, and someone who hadn’t taken a gap year since 2009/10, I felt conflicted giving advice to people taking a gap year when it was years since I last took mine. I have to admit it, I felt a little out of touch with it all.

However, if there’s one thing I’ve done a lot of since my round the world trip its backpacking. Even though it’s been only for two or three weeks at a time, I’ve fitted in a number of trips, and as I’ve already stated, if there’s one thing I know inside-out its backpacking.

So, after two and a half amazing years at Gapyear.com, it’s time to move on again. Now that I’m a freelance travel writer, I’m planning a number of backpacking trips to show you that it’s still possible to have a round the world experience concentrated in two weeks to a month.

People who have already been on a round the world trip and returned back to society often can’t afford to take more than a month off because of jobs and other commitments, but that shouldn’t stop you from backpacking and travelling – I’m going to show you that.

So, after two and a half amazing years at Gapyear.com, it’s time to graduate from @maccathegapper to @backpackermacca. Just make sure you continue to follow my journey on Twitter – I promise you I won’t disappoint…