Charity Challenges with The Different Travel Company

At Mary Ann we’re delighted to be working with Different Travel to offer some amazing charity challenge events. Check out our Events page to find out more on that. This is a guest blog post written by Ruhubia Akbor – Marketing and Brand Executive at The Different Travel Company.


On Boxing Day 2004, our founder Sarah Burgess’s post-Christmas slumber was disturbed by a satellite call from a cruise ship for which she planned itineraries. She was told of a massive earthquake and tsunami that had hit South-East Asia. The next few days were a whirlwind of re-routing, planning and taking in the horror that had occurred.

But amidst the turmoil a plan was formed and 10 days later the Different Travel Company was born.

In a matter of months our first groups travelled to devastated Sri Lanka and Thailand to help with the massive task of rebuilding the countries and their tourist industry. Over the following year, we built homes and businesses, cleaned beaches and refurbished schools. Not only did our teams bring hands-on help but also important tourism income to destinations whose communities were struggling to make ends meet as a result of the scarcity of visitors following the tragedy.

That was the beginning and over the years the Different Travel Company has evolved to work with a wide range of charities, organisations, colleges, schools and groups to offer short-term build or project trips worldwide, classic charity challenges such as trekking the Sahara or climbing Kilimanjaro, and also trips which combine a physical trek or challenge with making a practical difference at a project in the destination country.

Contrary to the perceptions that short-term volunteering is ineffective, we have proven the positive impact that short-term assistance has had on our host communities. When a team comes together to repaint a hospice or refurbish a school, the entire project can be completed in just two days. These outcomes are a credit to our project co-ordinators and team members who have such determination to make a difference. Underpinning everything we do is ensuring our trips are safe, responsible and sustainable.

Our ethos of helping communities both here at home and abroad is upheld by ensuring that everyone benefits from one of our trips – the local community, the participants and of course any UK charity which is supported by the participants.

We work closely with a number of UK charities, including international aid, hospices, animal, mental health and children’s organisations among others, who in turn benefit from their supporters’ participation. We provide charity challenges, both in the UK and abroad to help them to achieve their fundraising targets whilst also providing a unique and memorable adventure.

We are amazed at what has been achieved so far and delighted that so many people have joined us on our adventure holidays, charity challenges and builds, to fantastic destinations all over the globe.

Our participants have gone to see the sights, participate in physical challenges and work alongside the local people and have returned with open eyes, experiences of a lifetime and memories that will last forever.

The Different Travel Company is an ATOL bonded tour operator that specialises in overseas charity challenges and adventure holidays. If you would like to take up a challenge and raise vital funds for Mary Anne Hospice please visit or email for more information.

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