A Word from the Founder, Ben
I have always had a keen sense of wanderlust and curiosity about the world. From a young age, my parents always impressed upon me the importance of experiencing and understanding other people's cultures and ways of life. From trekking through the rainforest spotting wildlife to skiing in the Scottish highlands before I could confidently run, travel has always been a part of my life.
My passion to explore new cultures grew at school and university (and in fact it became the focus of my degree) and decided that when the time came, I would try and see as much of the world as I could. I realised that the best way to travel is through immersing yourself in a society and taking your time to truly experience a place.
I decided to leave for Canada and lived there for a year. From working on the mountains of Whistler, manning the lifts and snowboarding everyday, I was introduced to the gastronomic delight of…Poutine (!). That ignited my passion for food and led me across the country in a Greyhound Bus where I landed a job as a chef in Quebec - when I instantly regretted not spending more attention in French class!
My next step was to come back to Europe, and specifically Central/Eastern Europe, which is where I truly discovered my love for the continent. I first went to Prague where I used any free time from my job working in ecology to explore the beautiful city, walking its winding streets and fairy tale landscape. During this time, I went on a weekend trip to Budapest with friends which is where my life took another ‘random’ turn...
I fell in love with Budapest and everything about it – from the overall vibe, the beauty of the people and the city to the natural baths, history and ruin bars. It was my mission to find a way to live there and feel like I truly belonged in the city. In a fortuitous turn of events, I went on a walking tour of the city - and that's where I found my calling. My guide, Gabor, took me around my favourite city, inspiring me with all his amazing stories behind the city and its monuments. I realised there and then, that I wanted to be the one who inspired others.
So I moved to Budapest and started taking tours around the city everyday. It was great challenging everyone’s expectations about the city that I had grown to love and now called home. It was during this time I heard about a potential job as a European Tour Manager and decided this was my next step. How great to be able to inspire people not just about one city but the whole continent.
After travelling through the Middle East (and fulfilling a personal dream of seeing Petra) I returned to London and began the long and arduous training trip across the whole of Europe. That led me to managing tours with travellers from all around the world, showing them countries as diverse as France and Macedonia, aboard different modes of transport from coaches to sailing boats.
After three years of managing every aspect of European tours from getting travellers enthused about the Habsburg's on rainy days in Vienna to late night hospital visits in Albania, I feel like I have seen it all.
From this, the idea of Ever Thought of Trying was born.
Rather than just visiting for a day or two and having to cram everything in, I believe that the best way to truly experience a place is to immerse yourself in its culture.
Be it through their food and drink, by learning the local lingo or by simply tackling nature on a bike or surf board, you can join in my mantra:
‘Experience rather than visit’