“I’m a travelling adventurer who gets around in a wheelchair ever since a motorcycle accident I had when I was 18. After a long and difficult process, I learned that there were plenty of things I could still do. I started to exercise, drive, work… But the whole time, I was yearning to fulfil my dream of travelling the world.
Finally, that day came. I’ve spent the last seven years living and travelling all over the world. I love to travel and discover new, fascinating cultures, incredible people and spectacular landscapes. I like experiencing and living life to the utmost without letting my circumstances limit me. There’s a whole world out there to discover!
Right now, I’m studying tourism at the University of Girona. I work offering motivational conferences on empowering others through resilience and a positive attitude, and I’ve also given training workshops and awareness talks.
I’m itching to travel again! You can follow me on Instagram @intrepid_manu”
I travel because…
It’s the best way to learn—it provides all sorts of experiences.
How many countries have you visited?
Over 60, across five continents. Mostly on my own, as a backpacker.
Choose one country and tell us why.
Wow, that’s a tough one! It isn’t just the country, it’s the moment, the people you run into… There are all sorts of variables. Today I’ll choose Vietnam, for the people.
Is there anywhere you’d never visit again?
I don’t like to close doors, but I’d have to say really touristy places like Iguazu Falls, Christ the Redeemer or Machu Picchu. They’re packed with tourists from sunrise to sunset, and that keeps me from being able to enjoy them. I’d suggest going first thing in the morning, before the stampede arrives.
Imagine your ideal destination.
A hike through a forest of sequoias or a deserted beach in the Caribbean. I love wild, natural spaces, even though they aren’t complete without some sort of cultural exchange.
What travel story makes you laugh the most?
One of my most recent trips comes to mind… I was in Cuba, and Señora Dalia invited me to her house for dinner. After that, we danced and laughed with some friends to the sound of son cubano.
Now the opposite: what travel story frustrates you the most?
Being discriminated against because of my handicap: not being allowed to take a van in Thailand, or being blackmailed in Laos when I needed to get off a boat.
If you had a magic wand, what would you change about travel or destinations?
I’d get rid of the part of globalization that’s destroying the authenticity and humanity of lots of destinations and cultures.
My biggest struggle is…
To make everyone realize that we should all have the same opportunities to travel.
What’s your favourite travel novel?
A classic: Around the World in Eighty Days, by Jules Verne.
What’s the best type of music to travel to?
The sounds of nature: the wind in the trees, the silence of the desert, the crashing waves…
Name three things you would take with you to a desert island.
Someone to share it with, a pocketknife and a water filter.
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