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Travelling the world as an intern is now a reality

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Hendric Tay loves globetrotting so much he started The Travel Intern to satisfy his wanderlust.

Soaring through the skies and waking up in another beautiful country as part of your internship is no longer a fantasy. 

As impossible as it may sound, 31-year-old travel enthusiast Hendric Tay made a globetrotting internship into a reality. 

Now he helms The Travel Intern, a content marketing agency that does travel content to bridge the gap between travellers and travel companies. They send their interns overseas to experience and document their travels for their website. 

Youth.SG visited Hendric at The Travel Intern office located in Bukit Merah, where he introduced us to the small yet homely workspace that makes pretty much every intern's dream of travelling the world come true. 

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This hand-drawn sign on the front door records the number of trips they have gone on. 
PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTH.SG/BRENDA TEO 

"I started The Travel Intern with a few friends to share our love for travelling and to create content that'll be useful for fellow travellers," said Hendric, who used to document his travelling adventures on his travel blog

Starting his own company required Hendric to quit his stable nine-to-five job and pump in his savings into the venture. Knowing that he did not want to miss out on experiences in life and live with regrets, he took the calculated risk of starting The Travel Intern.

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Even in The Travel Intern's early days, Hendric (front) and his team conquered dare-devil attractions and brought back exciting experiences to share. 
PHOTO CREDIT: HENDRIC TAY 

"It cost me late nights and lots of thinking of what we could do for the company to progress. But for something that I enjoy, I think it's worth it," said Hendric, who believes in the life-changing experiences that travelling brings. 

Hendric's parents initially thought that he was simply taking a break to travel. It took them some time to realise that this was something Hendric really wanted to do in the long run.

"Of course, they still ask me occasionally if I want to go back to my previous job, because it's easier," said Hendric with a laugh. 

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"Now, my parents have warmed up to the idea that it's a legit job and they can see that I enjoy what I'm doing, even though I spend many late nights working," said Hendric. 
PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTH.SG/BRENDA TEO 

After setting up his dream company, Hendric still had to face the challenging reality of running a company with high operating costs. 

"Running The Travel Intern requires a lot of financing and passion since it is a passion-driven business where we actually send our interns and staff out to travel," said Hendric. 

The team eventually made the difficult decision to cut down on some trips to sustain the company's finances. Even then, they still try to send their teams overseas each month. 

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Hendric said: "We believe that there is a certain authenticity when someone travels and comes back to write about it." 
PHOTO CREDIT: HENDRIC TAY 

Beyond bringing back authentic stories, sending interns on trips also helps develop their perspectives of the world. 

"One of the most memorable trips I've ever had was to Karula in India, when three in a team of five had never been to India before," said Hendric. 

He explained that many people tend to have the misconception that India is an unpleasant country to visit, but he thinks otherwise. 

"I've been there five times and it was nothing like that at all. It's pretty safe to travel around and honestly, I feel that it's safer than many parts of Europe," he said. 

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Hendric (right) said: "It was memorable that the team managed to see the beauty in many things that Singaporeans are close-minded to." 
PHOTO CREDIT: HENDRIC TAY 

As with all trips, unexpected and unplanned incidents always take place. Since The Travel Intern's community of interns and staff are generally young and inexperienced, searching for solutions on the spot is no simple task. 

Hendric said: "Sometimes the team faces tricky problems, such as an attraction being closed down unexpectedly, bad weather and more." 

Even though inexperience is a challenge, Hendric does not really mind it as he sees learning experiences for everyone. 

"Without an experienced team member, everyone gets to learn how to solve the problem themselves, and everyone can then grow together," said Hendric positively. 

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"The fact that there is a community of people who belong to the brand and believe in what they do really kept me going," said Hendric. 
PHOTO CREDIT: HENDRIC TAY 

From starting his own company to seeing it grow in terms of brand recognition and paid projects, Hendric seems to be living the life. 

But being someone who has been changed by the eye-opening experiences travel has brought him, Hendric explained that fulfilling his personal dream has led to him wanting to do the same for others. 

He said: "It's no longer just a dream of travelling, because now, I'm in the midst of helping more people chase their dream of travelling." 

BANNER AND TEASER PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTH.SG/BRENDA TEO

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