Matthew Kemp

Kempo Abroad

Matthew Kemp

Who Is Kempo Abroad?
A 20 year old originally from Norfolk, England who is currently living in Loughborough studying Physics at university there. I love to travel and hike and coming from one of the flattest parts of the country, this usually happens at the same time 😊 I came across this quote from Mark Twain and I think it sums up my attitude towards travel very well:

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

Travel History And Future
I grew up with family holidays to Europe, including trips to Portugal and the Spanish Islands and one amazing trip to Florida but it wasn't until 2009 that I ventured off on my own. This was in the form of a 3 month trip to the USA and involved 10 weeks volunteering with a group called American Conservation Experience and then 2 weeks touring the cities on the west coast. After this the diagnosis was not looking good, definitely a case of the travel bug but first, 4 years of university! This is to include a year on a paid work placement and the savings from this will be used to fund a round the world trip in 2014. In the meantime I have taken to seeing some of Europe's capital cities and have so far been to Lisbon, Budapest and Amsterdam and am heading for Prague in September.

5 of the best

  • The view from Devil's Bridge: Sedona October '09
  • Experiencing Thanksgiving: Flagstaff November '09
  • Night out in Budapest: September '10
  • The amount of Lisbon we managed to see in just one day: July '10
  • Luxurious hotel in Denver after weeks of bunk beds or a sleeping bag: December '09

5 of the worst

  • Having to come home: Los Angeles Airport December '09
  • -15 degrees night time temperature while camping: Lake Tahoe, November '09
  • Rain in San Diego (usually has ~10 days rain a year, just my bad luck!): December '09
  • Greyhound buses: Las Vegas November '09
  • Flight delays: Stansted, JFK and Denver especially

Europe » Hungary » Central Hungary » Budapest » Pest September 21st 2010

A measure of my excitement for this trip is that i was up before my 6am alarm. Not the best time to start the day but easyJet conspired against us by not flying to Budapest from Stansted so we had to make the extra trek to Luton. After two buses and two train journeys plus a quick walk through London, we got to the airport right on time for check in. Lots of boring queuing ensued before i finally got the chance for a sit down and some have lunch after security. The flight was pretty full but Laura managed to get a window seat for herself which meant i was in the middle :/ Thankfully the flight is a short one (2hr30) so not long enough to get too cramped up. Once we arrived at ... read more
One of the museums
More Heroes Square

Europe » Portugal » Algarve July 8th 2010

After the busy few days around Lisbon, it was time for a lay in. Neither of us surfaced until midday by which time the Wimbledon final coverage had almost started. We grabbed some lunch before watching the match along with Sarah and Duncan. After this we wanted to head to the beach, the sea was warm and the sun was out: perfect. Back to the house for dinner and then me and Alex were left on our own as Sarah and Duncan left to babysit. We took the chance to watch some comedy followed by the Godfather part 2. Monday and our last day with the Snows. Another pretty relaxed day: more lay ins and the last Godfather film and packing ready to move base to my godparent’s house. First, off to the airport to meet ... read more
Home From Home
Forum Algarve

Europe » Portugal » Algarve July 3rd 2010

For me this was certainly not my first time outside England but for Alex it was, he had only got his first passport in time for the holiday! The journey started out reasonably early from Heacham and we got to Stansted via car and a few trains. Nice and easy check in, despite longer queues in the bag drop line than the check in line, thanks Dad. Very smooth flight and after the mammoth distances of my adventures in the States, the 2h40 seemed like nothing. Alex loved flying for the first time and is still talking about the experience as if it is the best thing ever, I guess I'm just used to it. So anyway, we arrived in Faro at about 3.40 and Duncan was there to greet us and take us back to ... read more
Hilly Lisbon
Martim Moniz Square
The Original Plan

North America » United States » California » San Francisco December 16th 2009

Back to California and back to the rain. Nice and easy ride from SFO to downtown and to another USA hostel. Plenty of time to unpack (mostly living out of a locker) before heading off to the nearest grocery store. Tea then movie time in the special movie theatre with some familiar faces from San Diego. Switched tour days because grayline apparently don't do Yosemite on fridays, even though the site let me book it. This meant the city tour/woods trip was first so more of a lay in than for Yosemite. Anyway, the city tour was good unlike the weather: still raining and quie misty meaning the views of the city weren't as good as they could have been. The tour took us to all the major parts of the city: Fisherman's Wharf, twin peaks, ... read more
Bay bridge
Capitol building
Golden gate park

North America » United States » California » San Diego December 11th 2009

Sooo after arriving at Phoenix airport, i said my goodbyes to the others who were going straight home. Then off to my internal flight which took a mere 1 hour 10 minutes. No problems getting my baggage or finding my shuttle so after a quick journey downtown, i was at the hostel. Checked in by a cool Californian dude who i ended up talking to lots over my 3 night stay. A bit of food before off to bed early. Day one in San Diego and time fore the city tour. Lots to see including the Gaslamp quarter, old town, La Jolla, Coronado and Balboa Park. Really good 3 1/2 hour overview of the city and the guide certainly knew his stuff. After this it was down to the harbour for my cruises. One hour to ... read more
More old town
Pacific beach

North America » United States » Arizona » Flagstaff December 10th 2009

Yes that's right, the project got changed. That wasn't the only surprise when the van arrived on Monday morning. Apparently it was too cold to camp out and so we discovered we would be heading back to Flagstaff every night, which meant i had seen the last of camping in America. Day one: Someone at Cedar house slept in and so we didn't leave Flagstaff until 8, arriving at the Wupatki maintenance yard around 9 to be told there was no work there for us and that we would be working back at Sunset Crater. We got there and after some discussion and posing with a sign to find a good location for it, we were ready to start putting it in place. We were ten told the chosen spot had already been assigned for something ... read more
Last ACE day
Leaving breakfast

North America » United States » Arizona » Flagstaff November 29th 2009

So after rushing back from Phoenix it was time for another project. Back to Wupatki for 3 days of pueblo stabilisation, supposedly. Day one and after the short trip we found out the park guys didnt know we were coming and so we had no work for the short project. What followed was 3 days of visiting the sites around Wupatki and sunset crater. This was interesting, don't get me wrong but i was annoyed because i had been looking forward to working to restore the pueblos. Sites on the first day included the main Wupatki ruin and a large petroglyph site on the edge of the Navajo reservation. Then we headed back to camp early to set up camp and eat. Day two and more pueblos, this time Wukoki and then off to visit Sunset ... read more
Strawberry Crater

North America » United States » Arizona » Flagstaff November 29th 2009

California is always hot right? Wrong! Back to the freezing cold after the heat of Vegas. The aim of the project was to cut down trees to reduce the chance of fire in a high risk area. Day one and LOTS of traveling. Problems with the trailer lights meant we didn't get away until 8.45 on the mammoth 16 hour journey through Arizona, Nevada and into California. We arrived just before midnight and the temperature was deceptively warm as we set up camp. Day two and snow snow snow! Not very cold at this point and the snow made the camp look very picturesque. After breakfast we were told we had the day off while the 4 supervisors got a head start with cutting down trees. This gave us the chance to head out to the ... read more
Lake + mountains...
Me and Florian

North America » United States » Arizona » Flagstaff November 10th 2009

So if last project was in an oven, this one was most certainly in a freezer. Very cold in Zion national park this week, after an unseasonably warm week the week before, which is just bad luck on my part if you ask me. We had snow, icicles and water freezing at camp with lows of -5 degrees. Day one was mostly devoted to travel, although the journey significantly shorter than last time to Parashant. We arrived at about 3 pm so had plenty of time to set up camp (alongside the emerald pools crew) and then head to the visitors center and museum to act like tourists for the afternoon. Day two came around after a very cold night and we woke up to find that both crews were combining to go up to a ... read more
Lava Point lookout
View from Lava Point lookout
Happy Halloween

North America » United States » Arizona » Flagstaff October 27th 2009

Yes I'm back, back from the oven that is Parashant national monument. Seriously hot there, the highest recorded temperature during our stay was 38 degrees in the shade and when you are working 10 hour days that kind of temperature is not funny at all. Day one was a very dull day indeed. We had been told that the journey was roughly 6 hours. In fact it was 11 hours from Flagstaff to Parashant, via Utah and Nevada. We arrived at our camp site for the project at 6.30 pm and so were setting up our tents in a new place in near darkness. Day two came around after a very good nights sleep and it was time for the work to begin. The worksite was a matter of feet away from where we had camped ... read more
Pile of vegetation
Lake Mead
The Parashant crew

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