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#GoodbyeTNS – 17,278 air-miles and the making of a student travel editor

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As The National Student closes its doors at the end of the week, current Travel Editor Katie Treharne tells us what the platform means to her.

When I try to explain the significance of my time working at The National Student, it does not come to me in a sentence or a word, as you might expect of a writer. Instead, it conjures up moments.

I remember sitting in my box-room, a fresh second-year university student, typing vigorously on my laptop. I remember stepping off a plane into the Portuguese heat, shaking hands with the tourism board representative, and sinking my teeth into my first pastel de nata. I remember cruising upon the ocean in the remotest islands of the Philippines, legs dangling over the side of the boat, surrounded by limestone peaks and tumultuous jungle, head running wild with images and words I could use describe the feeling of peace and awe that had fostered inside of me.

With The National Student, I found my voice. I harnessed my skills in editing and gained confidence as a travel writer, commissioning editor, and travelling press-member. I built relationships with other writers and editors, students like myself who are also beginning their journey into media and publishing, as well as many friends and acquaintances met abroad.

When I applied to write for The National Student, it derived from a desire for connection. I wanted to write, not just for my university modules, but about things I was passionate about in the moment. I began with a fierce opinion article about a Louis Theroux documentary I believe missed its mark and then, as I grappled with developing my own style, my passion for all things travel came to fruition.

Reporting on a media familiarisation trip to Centro de Portugal.
Image courtesy of the Centro de Portugal tourism board, featuring Katie Treharne.

When the opportunity arose for one writer to travel to Centro de Portugal to dive (quite literally) into its surf culture, I was still merely a contributing writer, eager (and, admittedly, nervous) to take on new challenges and opportunities. In Portugal, I surfed the waves of surfer-hotspot Peniche, interviewed expert surfboard engineers, and took rigorous notes on the monster waves of Nazare from a clifftop. Writing upon my return, it seemed as though I was still kicking and gliding in the ocean’s froth.

When I had the call from Camille, asking me to join the editorial team as Assistant Travel Editor, I was ecstatic, and again when I moved onto the position of Junior Travel Editor. From the go, I learnt how to sub-edit, ensure compliance with laws on GDPR and plagiarism, and, importantly, how to source unique, hot ideas and angles.

A few months into my editorial role, I had the call asking me to represent the magazine on a second media familiarisation trip to the Philippines. With less than two weeks to prepare, I dusted off a final-year assignment and put university on pause to fly halfway across the world, armed with pen and paper and a camera.

Working for The National Student, I gained an invaluable insight into the notches and bolts of a thriving digital magazine and media platform. I will always owe a debt to the magazine and its employees, especially Lucy and Camille, for believing in me as a writer and editor, and for giving me the opportunity to create memories I can only attempt to immortalise in words.




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