The following is a guest post from Matt Tebbit who runs the site Inca Trailz. Here Matt helps travellers to plan and organise their visits to Cusco, Peru and treks to Machu Picchu. I asked Matt what first inspired him to travel and you can read his story below.
I first got the travel bug at the tender age of 16. My older brother had just come back from a month’s backpacking around Europe and my head was swimming with his stories of sleeping on French beaches and the wild parties he had been to. I was hooked, it seemed so different to the mundanity of what I’d experienced before and I wanted in. Unfortunately it would be another 5 years before I eventually headed off, but once I did I never looked back.
It takes many things for someone to leave their life behind but for me the big push I got was when I broke up with my girlfriend. We’d just finished the year at uni and I was looking forward to spending the summer with her. She obviously had other ideas and I found myself heart-broken and with no plans for the next 3 months so I did what any sane person would – got together all the available cash I could, bought an Interrail ticket and booked the cheapest flight I could find (Ryanair to Klagenfurt for a princely £35).
The next month (that’s all I managed until my cash ran out) was a whirlwind of experiences. I managed to travel over 1800 miles and took in 10 cities all over Eastern Europe. Along the way I met people from every walk of life from the Slovenian barber who cut the hair of British soldiers in World War 2 down to the traumatized teenager still recalling the horrors of the Serb/Croat war.
After just a month I had seen more of the world than I had in my previous 21 years and I loved it. There were people out there who didn’t see their futures working nine to five jobs; the world was full of culture, interest and intrigue and I wanted more. Money had other ideas though and after 4 short weeks I found myself with only a pocketful of Hungarian Forints (the equivalent of about £30) that I had left over from my stint in Budapest. Not wanting to back down I hopped on the first train back to Budapest and managed to eke out my money for another week.
In many ways that was the best week of the trip. I spent my time in the Szechyeni hot baths, listening to a choir that practiced in the acoustically perfect domes of the bath house. Once I could no longer afford the entrance fee, I would walk to Sziget Island and sit by the fountain there reading the compiled works of George Orwell, listening to the classical music pouring out over the sound system, watching the rainbows shimmering on the water. Unfortunately it had to end, I made the call home to my parents telling them I had no money and asking them to book me a flight home and so ended a summer I would never forget.
Luckily for me the travel bug never left me, it drove me on to follow my feet and to experience new things. I now find myself 10 years later living on the other side of the world in the magical country that is Peru. For now I’ve settled down but the travel bug never leaves you. I still dream of all the places I haven’t yet seen and the people I haven’t yet met and I know one day my feet will lead me on again.
A big thank you to Matt for sharing his story and if you also have an inspirational travel tale you would like to tell, please get in contact with me.
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