Luca Alfatti, a former DipHE Paramedic Practice student and scholarship winner is an award-winning overland tour guide. In 2012, Luca won the Wanderlust World Tour Guide Award, making him one of the best travel guides in the world!
Luca got the travelling bug at the age of 21, when he hopped on a plane to the USA to work at a summer camp – despite the fact he didn’t speak any English. Nowadays, Luca is fluent in four languages, including his native Italian, and can say ‘thank you’ in at least 15. He claims this as one of his most useful skills, one that gets him a long way when travelling to some of the most remote tourist destinations on earth. Luca has led tours across Europe, Asia, Africa and all around Central and South America. In 2013, he co-led the first ever commercial tour through the remote Wakhan Corridor in Afghanistan. His adventurous expeditions certainly aren’t for the faint hearted. In the Wakhan Corridor, it takes six days of travelling through mountainous terrain before you even arrive at the trailhead to start the 12 day trek.
For Luca, studying to be a paramedic was a natural extension of his well-established first aid skills that he has used when working as a guide. Now qualified, Luca hopes to return to guiding and use his knowledge to give some level of medical help to those who reside in the challenging environments he visits. He donated his £5,000 World Guide Award bursary to a charity which provides shelter and vital medical care to women and children in Guatemala after he witnessed the lack of essential services available to women in the country. In addition to the financial support, Luca set up a Central American trip which took its travellers to the charity centre while he was working for overland tour company, Dragoman, a feat which he says makes him “very proud”.
In addition to his guiding, Luca is a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society, which is the highest level of membership an individual can achieve and requires you to be nominated by two existing fellows before being elected by the council. Luca dedicates some of his spare time (though how he has any is a mystery!) to attending RGS events where he helps to advise aspiring explorers on their upcoming adventures.
Luca’s dedication and positive attitude allowed him to continue to train for and plan trips for his summer breaks whilst keeping up with a 45 hour a week university course! Despite the physical demands of his job and the time constraints of his course, Luca said that he enjoys what he does so much that he has “never found the job hard”. An Edge Hill University scholarship has proven to be just the start of his success.