VisitEngland launched a competition to find someone to take up the challenge of a 70-day trip driving around England in a camper van. Rachel Kershaw was announced as the winner after submitting a quirky video of her home town and passing the final interview process.
Rachel is following the Olympic torch as it weaves across the country, she’ll be covering it all via Facebook, Twitter and her blog on the VisitEngland website.
We caught up with Rachel before heading towards Lands End for the start of the Olympic torch relay.
What was your inspiration for applying for VisitEnglands Fan in a Van competition?
It was a great opportunity to see all parts of England, some that I have seen and others that I hadn’t, A perfect opportunity this year with olympics. It’s a once in lifetime opportunity and you only live once.
What was the interview process like?
We had to produce a video so we did one of Newcastle & Gateshead video but really had no set agenda, we just had a good time. We managed to charm our way into St james park on to the pitch and even into the changing rooms. I’m glad its happen quickly so that I don’t have to think about it too much but it’s going to be a fantastic adventure.
Where have you been in England before? Where are you looking forward to visiting the most?
I grew up in Rochdale so most of my travels were in the Northwest, Lancashire and Yorkshire countryside. My Mum and Dad don’t actually have passports so they inspired me with their love of England.
I’m looking forward to going back to Liverpool and Manchester but in terms of new places, I’m really looking forward to visiting Bath and Cornwall.
What equipment are you taking with you on the journey?
I’m taking a hand-held video camera, point and shoot digital camera, Mac Book Pro. Camping and caravan club organized spots to camp.
(Note: GoPro fans will be interested to know Rachel also has a GoPro camera with her for the 70 day journey.)
How are you providing updates to your followers whilst on the road?
I’m kind of taking an organic approach to tweeting. Hopefully I’ll get interaction with people when I’m passing through peoples home towns. I’ll be updating the VisitEngland blog in the evenings with blog posts, photos and videos along the way and also the VisitEngland Facebook photo album page.
What does London hosting the Olympics mean to you?
I think it’ll give England an opportunity to show off what it has to offer. To highlight what we have right on our doorstep. It’ll be especially great for children, gives them inspiration. The overall buzz will sweep people away and everyone will come together. The English people have a great sense of pride that you’ll see during the Olympics.
Do you have any Olympic tickets?
I haven’t got any, but my friends who have are really excited, people will love the experience on TV and in pubs whether they have tickets or not.
What do you think the legacy of the Olympics will be?
I think the Olympics will open people’s eyes to what their own country has to offer. English locations will be all over the TV. In tourism terms I think it will really inspire people to come to England and to visit all these great places the country has to offer.
You can catch up with where the Fan in a Van is via her blog on the VisitEngland website.
Main Photo by VisitEngland