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Martin Heng was born in the UK, with the travelling gene, he says that he has visited more than 40 countries. Often his globe-trotting adventures revolved around exploration on two-wheels, an avid cyclist he has peddled through destinations as diverse as northern France, Japan, New Zealand’s South Island and Tanzania. For almost a full decade Heng was loosely home-based in Asia, but worked only enough to fund his travel addiction. What self-professed independent traveller would not dream of working for Lonely Planet? Melbourne, Australia beckoned and two years later (1999) Martin was working for Lonely Planet. He worked his way up through several positions into the demanding role of Trade Publishing and Editorial Manager responsible for coordination and publishing of all the guidebooks, a gargantuan task that is accomplished with an in-house team of some 60 staff and an army of freelance authors scattered around the globe. In November 2010, a motorist broadsided Martin while he was biking. He gained consciousness and began to comprehend the realities of being a quadriplegic. Martin has worked tirelessly with a team of medical professionals since the accident and he is now able to walk short distances with a walking aid, an incredible feat. The accident has not diminished Heng’s passion for travel; it has opened a new door at Lonely Planet with its Travel for All project and Martin’s new broad-reaching role as Accessible Travel Manager and Editorial Adviser.
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