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Matthew

Matt caught the travel bug aged 15, travelling overland from London to Belgrade. A degree in Oriental Studies included a semester at Peking University and several summers working and travelling through most Chinese provinces and neighbouring countries. Matt then joined the Royal Navy, serving on five continents and seven seas. Matt has visited over 140 countries, and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society. His hobbies include piano, scuba, and snowboarding. He still calls the UK home, but mainly lives in Africa. He speaks English, Mandarin, French and Portuguese.


Interview

Q: How did you fall into tour leading?

A: Having recounted a tour of North Korea for several years, I persuaded a large number of acquaintances to visit too. The tour company offered me a free trip in exchange for leading the group.

Q: What do you like most about tour leading?

A: Seeing amazing places in new ways, through the eyes of my fellow travellers.

Q: Where is your favourite part of the world?

A: Asia, for its vast range of cultures, cuisines and landscapes. Colonial and indigenous cultures seem to have merged better here than on other continents.

Q: What was your biggest travel highlight?

A: I hope the biggest is yet to come. My top three so far: swimming with sharks in Palau, desert camping in Sudan and hiking across the Falklands.

Q: What’s the craziest request you’ve ever had from a client?

A: A gentleman who wished to donate his suit to our local guide in Pyongyang, but hadn’t brought anything else to wear.

Q: What’s the one thing you couldn’t travel without?

A: A sense of humour.

Q: Which famous person would you most like to travel with?

A: Shackleton.

Q: Have you ever made a cultural faux pas?

A: Some that I know about, and others I perhaps don’t…


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