WORLD DEPARTURES

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The Independent Travel
"We are absolutely not looking for wannabe models", says Tricia Jones of Fire and Ice, "but we want to offer someone the chance of a free adventure in exchange for wearing our clothes."

The clothing company prefers not to use professional models for its catalogue, and instead searches out "fit bodies and friendly faces" to take on an adventure; the next, in October, is to Indonesia, Brazil or Costa Rica. Volunteers spend 12 days on the trip and are unpaid, but all expenses are met.

Prospective applicants, who should have "skills in summer sports plus an open mind and an easy smile", should send details and a picture to Tricia Jones at 71 Sherriff Road, London NW6 2AS; enclose an SAE if you want the photo returned.

A two-week trans-America train trip for pounds 775 is excellent value, and the timing of this classic rail journey - mid-October - is good for weather and scenery. Explorers Tours (01753 681999) has put together the New York to San Francisco trip, and the price includes return flights and two nights in hotels at each end of the journey.

Take off for Mongolia a week on Monday: Explore Worldwide (01252 319448) has a departure on 31 July for a two-week trip to the world's most landlocked country. Starting in the capital, Ulan Bator, the expedition includes a jaunt to the Gobi Desert and an exploration of Genghis Khan's old capital, Karakorum. The price is pounds 1,295, including flights on Aeroflot.

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