Random Musings

backpackingfriendshipmemoriesRandom Musings



a man gazing out over a city landscape at sunset
Spurred by the writing of my subsequent guide about my years on the highway, I discover myself wandering the halls of reminiscence reminiscing about my last decade of travel.

I dig by outdated photographs and journal entries. I search Fb for individuals I met years in the past. Tales and faces lengthy forgotten zoom again into my thoughts as I ponder the place they’re and what they’re doing.

These whose lives briefly intersected with my very own on the freeway of life.

The five backpackers who inspired my original trip. The woman from that hostel in Prague who welcomed me into her pal group once I was too afraid to say hi there. The Dutch guys I spent weeks touring with in Australia. The motley crew I spent a month with in New Zealand. My friends from when I lived in Bangkok. The oldsters I picked up on my highway journey throughout the states. My first Couchsurfing host. Or this group of loopy cats I spent a month in paradise with:

sharing a meal with new friends

As strangers in a distant land, we had been one another’s assist. We had been the perfect of associates, companions in crime, and someday lovers.

But, as all of us wander additional alongside life’s path and solid our head backwards, we discover one another’s mild fading like a star being snuffed out, till at some point, it’s gone and nothing however mud stays.

new friends

What occurred to the parents I hitched with in Iceland?

The place are all these individuals now?

The place are the Spaniards from Valencia who I partied with in Florence?

What occurred to Lennart, the man I performed poker with in Amsterdam?

Does Jen, a German woman and my first relationship on the highway, nonetheless stay in Australia?

The place is that American couple from Bocas del Toro whose data I forgot to jot down down?

The place are these individuals I met in Thailand that impressed me to give up my job?

These people I stay with at that hostel in Taiwan with?

friends goofing off on a sand dune

I met these people in Thailand and visited in Bordeaux. I keep in mind this present day. The place are they now?

The place are the numerous others I spent days, hours, and minutes with in hostels all over the world? Those who wandered unfamiliar streets, partied into the evening, broke bread and laughed with me?

What are they doing? Do they nonetheless journey? Did they make all of it the best way all over the world like they hoped? Are they pleased? Married? Do they like their jobs? Are they wholesome? Are they even alive?

And have they got comparable ideas?

Do they give thought to the individuals they met? Do they arrive throughout a photograph on Fb, sit again, and get misplaced in reminiscence?

goofing off before rafting

These guys made me understand I labored an excessive amount of once I traveled….and I don’t keep in mind their names.

Is there somebody on the market proper now telling that story a couple of loopy evening in Prague and together with me in it?

Wandering your previous is like wandering a minefield of emotion – pleasure, pleasure, disappointment, remorse. They’re all there. Each reminiscence stirring collectively its personal parts of every emotion. There are such a lot of individuals I miss and marvel about. I do know it’s silly to assume that everybody will keep in your life without end. Individuals come, individuals go. Rising aside is a reality of life. Individuals, life, and conditions change.

matt with new friends

What occurred to those cool dudes??

However that doesn’t make me marvel any much less.

Our paths might not intersect once more and the reminiscence of them might fade (actually, what was the identify of that couple from Bocas?), however their impact on my life will stay with me without end.

Possibly, like me, they want they’d stayed in contact somewhat longer, stated sure to that picture, and stare out on the sky hoping they’re being considered too.

As we go our separate methods on this lengthy twisting journey, possibly that’s as a lot as one can actually hope for.

I’d wish to assume they’re telling their pal/liked one/child, “There was this one time….”, remembering me, and saying “That was a cool man. I hope life is treating him properly.”

Sure. Sure, that will work for me.

That can hold me going till the subsequent time I wander again into this room and wipe off the mud once more.

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Random Musings

My Mother Stated This Weblog is Boring


Matt in the Loire Valley
Final month, my mother informed me she thought this weblog was boring. “The place’s all of the enjoyable stuff? I wish to see extra photographs of you touring. I don’t care about these different updates.”

“Mother, I stay in Austin now. You realize I’m not on the highway that a lot,” I replied.

“I do know however nonetheless….I wish to see extra stuff. It’s simply far more attention-grabbing, honey.”

“Okay, Mother,” I say and transfer the dialog on.

However you recognize what? She’s proper (shhhhh, don’t inform her I stated that). This web site has gotten somewhat boring.

There aren’t many new adventures, photographs of unique locations, and thrilling tales from the highway being posted, as a result of, nicely, I’m pretty non-nomadic these days. I spent extra time within the US final 12 months than I did overseas.

I really feel this fashion each few years, although. “It’s OK,” I feel to myself, “I’ll be on the highway once more, and there might be new content material, tales, and ideas for my web site.”

However these days, as I’ve come to phrases with my transfer from nomadic to extra stationary, that’s not true. Final 12 months, I solely did two massive journeys, and after I return dwelling from my present winter journey in New Zealand, it’s uncertain I’ll take one other journey till the summer time.

Even when my mother doesn’t prefer it, I’ve come to phrases with this transformation.

Possibly sooner or later, I’ll sling on my backpack and some weeks will once more flip into a couple of years. The long run is unwritten.

However, after vacillating so long between staying and going, I’m fairly pleased being “stationary Matt.” I’m presently writing a brand new e-book. I signed up for Swedish and cooking courses, and I’d like a relationship that lasts pasts my subsequent worldwide flight.

So, as I put down roots, I’m left at a crossroads with this web site.

Journey is what I do — and I’m blessed that I get to share my tales and ideas with everybody right here. It’s superb assembly folks on highway who inform me that this web site impressed their journey, saved them cash, or helped them enhance their life. It’s really superb in each sense of the way in which.

However I’m not nomadic anymore. The children you see on Instagram or YouTube channel filming loopy movies can take up the nomad mantel. I’m going to sit down dwelling, write, observe my Svenska, determine how to not overcook my dinner, and browse a e-book.

So the place does that go away us? Is that this my “it’s not you, it’s me” breakup submit?


Whereas “the nomad” is now simply “the traveler,” I’m not going anyplace.

Whereas I’ll nonetheless weblog as a result of I like to jot down and am by no means wanting concepts, updates received’t be as common as they have been previously. As an alternative, I’ve determined to show this web site from primarily a weblog into primarily a journey useful resource. There’s massive plans afoot to spruce up, increase, and refresh each single web page on this web site.

This 12 months has one other focus and that’s group. I wish to use this platform to attach vacationers with one another. We’re going to launch a significant, main, main meet-up program in a couple of weeks so folks can meet one another whereas studying about journey. There might be native chapters, occasions, audio system, and gatherings. I’m organizing a convention within the fall.

There might be additionally extra movies, webinars, FB lives, and Q&As. My YouTube channel is coming again. I’ll be interacting extra on social media, sharing folks’s tales, and answering your questions.

The workforce and I are dedicated to utilizing this large platform to deliver folks collectively, spotlight group members, and discover enjoyable methods to take what we now have on-line and produce it into the actual world. We’re going to be much more social this 12 months!


After I began this web site, there have been all the time tales to share. I used to be all the time on the transfer. Without end the nomad I assumed to myself.

However life isn’t static. The individual I used to be and the needs I had at 25 are usually not the identical at 36.

I’m not finished touring. Removed from it. I like each journey I take. There’ll nonetheless be how-to blogs and journey tales — simply not as many.

However that doesn’t imply there aren’t different methods to serve vacationers.

So whereas the “weblog” might be a semi-ghost city, the group and useful resource a part of this web site might be extra energetic and bigger than ever. My objective is to increase the attain of the “cheaper, better, smarter” philosophy and switch extra folks into vacationers.

So, sure, Mother, the weblog could also be boring, however a lot extra is going on this 12 months than only a weblog about Thailand.

And that makes me (and I hope you) excited for what’s to return!

P.S. – In case you’re in New Zealand, I’m having a meet up in Christchurch on Wednesday, January 17th at Dux Central. Sign up to attend here. I’m additionally having a meet up on January 23rd in Queenstown too. You may signal for that by clicking here!

P.P.S. – In case you’re a trainer and would love funding in your college journey, we’re accepting purposes for our subsequent FLYTE grant. Click here to learn more.

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anxietybloggingRandom Musings

A Yr in Evaluation (And a Wanted Break)


Matt hiking in the mountains
As daybreak broke on this 12 months, I used to be excited for a contemporary begin. Last year, I dealt with panic attacks and anxiety from taking on too many projects, a breakup that left me heartbroken, and a mini-identity crisis from settling down.

However that “best worst 12 months of my life” set the stage for a 12 months by which I shifted my priorities and targeted on growing routines. On a private stage, this was a stable 12 months.

I reduce my travels in half.

I now love waking up, opening my fridge, and making breakfast.

My panic assaults are gone.

I learn much more.

I drink much less and prepare dinner extra.

I joined a gymnasium.

I developed routines.

And, whereas my insomnia isn’t gone, I’m beginning to sleep quite a bit higher.

However no 12 months is ideal.

I changed one habit (touring) with one other (work). On the street, it was simple to fill a day with thrilling adventures. However now that I used to be dwelling, what was I going to do? I did the one factor I knew i might default to: work. And I labored on a regular basis. I irritated my staff on the weekend by sending them work. I launched extra digital guides and revealed a brand new version of my print information, How to Travel the World on $50 a Day. We modified the positioning’s design. I did two talking excursions. I ran three excursions.

And, within the course of, I burned myself and my staff out.

As this 12 months ends, I’ve come to understand that whereas I benefit from the stability in my life, I gave up the one factor I needed most by slowing down: time.

Time to be taught languages and begin hobbies. Time to learn and calm down. Time to discover New York. Time so far. Time to do regardless of the hell I really feel like doing.

Whereas I’m higher at managing time, I nonetheless have too many initiatives going directly. As my good friend Steve lately instructed me, “Matt, I received drained simply listening to what you might be doing. I can’t think about what’s it like to truly do it.”

There’s a sure irony in that, whereas I preach the significance creating time in your life for what you need, I haven’t adopted my very own recommendation.

The reality is I’m a workaholic. I’ve been since I used to be I used to be a child. I used to tug 60 hour weeks at my 9 to five. I don’t know the way not to work.

I feel that’s why I really like being an entrepreneur. It’s simple to at all times create initiatives and construct stuff.

However I take it too an excessive: I simply work. After which work some extra. I write, I weblog, I begin new web site and initiatives.

However I have to cease that. I have to unencumber time. The common life is just 29,000 days and, as I barrel nearer and nearer to the statistical half method level of my very own, it’s time to reside a extra purposeful life.

And so, as I’m off to Thailand after which New Zealand by January, I’ve determined to take a mini-break from running a blog. In reality, whereas the panic assaults are gone, the situations that created them nonetheless haven’t gone away.

I have to work on that.

Final 12 months was a revelation. This 12 months was a realization:

This new me remains to be a piece in progress.

One factor I beloved about this 12 months was that I lastly received offline whereas touring. I didn’t carry work with me. I allowed myself to totally benefit from the locations I went. I didn’t rush off to seek out an web connection or get bothered if one didn’t exist. I would like extra of that. It makes me love and admire journey.

Once I’m doing that, journey isn’t work.

This isn’t a kind of “omg running a blog is a lot work so I’m taking a trip” posts. I plan to nonetheless write and be on social media. That is taking a step again and making an attempt to determine find out how to discover steadiness.

I’m not searching for work/life steadiness.

I’m simply searching for steadiness usually. I need to cease feeling like I’m 5 minutes away from a panic assault.

Whereas there are two large neighborhood bulletins coming in January (We’ve been engaged on them for months and they’re freaking superior. They’re designed to get individuals collectively in actual life and discuss journey.), new weblog posts might be few and much between till I return from New Zealand.

If final 12 months taught me to remain put, this 12 months taught me the necessity for steadiness. Multitasking is an phantasm, and settling in a single place made me understand simply how simple it’s to fall into “the busy entice” of recent life. The web, with its 24/7/365 schedule means, with out correct restrictions, it’s simple to offer it your 24/7/365. And that’s now a superb behavior to have.

2018 might be a 12 months of focus. It is going to be the 12 months of stepping out of “the busy entice.” It’s time to be taught to say no to issues I don’t love and reclaim the world’s most restricted and valuable useful resource: time.

(On a closing word, thanks for the whole lot. You all are superb and I’ve loved your emails, letters, and random run ins on the road! Thanks for coming to all of the meet-ups! This neighborhood is superior and I stay up for seeing and assembly extra of you within the new 12 months. Thanks for at all times being there. Have a contented holidays and an incredible new 12 months!)

P.S. – The winner of the free journey around the globe contest has been picked. I’ll be saying it tomorrow. Simply have a number of extra particulars to work out Keep tuned!

P.P.S. – I’m internet hosting a meet-up in Bangkok on Christmas Day! Let’s seize drinks and discuss journey Observe the Facebook event for updates.

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flyteRandom Musingsstudy abroad

Let’s Ship One other Set of College students Overseas (Thrilling Updates from FLYTE)


students from Anacostia D.C. Public School in Cuba
Journey is a robust agent for change. It broadens our horizons, fills our lives with associates, provides us unbelievable recollections, and (typically) helps us discover goal in our lives (at the least it did with me).

Not everybody can journey and it’s a great privilege to do what we are able to do. Whether or not you saved up for a yr, discovered work abroad, gained a visit, or struck it wealthy shopping for Bitcoin, to have the ability to journey is to do one thing few on this world get to do.

Take into consideration the primary time you traveled abroad. Bear in mind these emotions of freedom, risk, and pleasure? Bear in mind what bought you hooked and made you say “I have to do extra of this!”?

Properly, for youths, journey might be much more life altering than for adults, as a result of it exposes them to completely different concepts, cultures, and other people at an important developmental time of their life.

And, over the previous few years, I’ve been specializing in making an attempt to get extra highschool college students abroad.

I bear in mind the varsity group I met on my first ever journey overseas in 2003 and enthusiastic about how fortunate these children have been to have that have. I bear in mind assembly Conor and Carolyn, children of my associates Dani and Craig, whereas in Bangkok. They have been all on a yr overseas and being homeschooled alongside the way in which. Now, as adults, they nonetheless view that journey as considered one of their most formative life experiences. It made them higher individuals.

However not everybody has dad and mom to take them on round-the-world adventures or ship them to check overseas. Most excessive faculties don’t have the sources to keep up their artwork and health club lessons, not to mention ship college students on journeys exterior their group.

BEST Academy students visiting Chichen Itza, Mexico

Two years in the past, I began FLYTE, the Foundation for Learning and Youth Travel Education, as a strategy to make journey and examine overseas attainable for many who lack the sources to do it on their very own. Since then, we’ve run three journeys: we’ve despatched a category from Atlanta to Mexico; one from DC to Cuba; and one from Newburgh, NY, to Ecuador. And we’ve raised over $100,000 in donations to make that occur.

All advised, we’ve helped ship round 45 college students abroad on instructional journeys, serving to to create a constructive affect on their lives.

And none of this might have been attainable with out YOU. Over 1,000 readers have helped get this group off the bottom!

So let me say straight away: thanks, thanks, thanks! Prefer it’s superb! Greater than me, the scholars, dad and mom, and academics of the faculties you’ve helped are blown away by your generosity.

At the moment, I wish to point out FLYTE once more for 2 causes:

First, we used the summer time to make some enhancements to the web site and group. We now have a brand-new web site that now options our previous journeys, a brand new volunteer program of us can be a part of, and a brand new system that now permits for annual donations (yay!). Moreover, we’re now extra lively on social media, so comply with us for updates on our college students, academics, information, and photos from the coed journeys. You’ll be able to comply with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to remain up to date on our packages!

With interns and volunteers serving to us out, the group is transferring ahead. We’re going to have in-person fundraising occasions in early 2018, we’ve set a objective of making use of for 2 grants per thirty days, and we’re reaching out for extra company donations. In actual fact, we bought an $11,000 donation from the Golden Rule Basis! (Yay!)

We’re a company on the transfer – and I wished to share that with you!

students from Excelsior Academy in Quito, Ecuador

Second, and maybe extra importantly, we’re now accepting functions for our subsequent grant award. In case you are a highschool trainer in the US and wish to take your college students on an abroad journey, come apply for funding and allow us to assist make that journey a actuality!

As a college accomplice, a few of our necessities embody:

  1. At the very least 40% of your college students are receiving free or reduced-price lunches.
  2. Your college students are aged 14-18 and enrolled in highschool on the time of this system.
  3. Your whole college students are authorized residents of the U.S.
  4. You’ve gotten assist out of your college directors and management to take your college students overseas.
  5. It is possible for you to to have at the least three chaperones on your journey who will be capable to pay or elevate the funds for some or all of their bills.

When you’re a trainer who wish to ship your children on an abroad journey, click here to learn more and apply. You’ll see extra of our necessities and expectations there.

(In case you are not a trainer however know academics who is likely to be , share tat hyperlink! Assist us unfold the phrase and attain extra individuals and college students.)

Lastly, like all nonprofits, we work off of donations. Throughout this giving season, let’s assist children expertise the world and switch them into life lengthy vacationers and world residents! The extra funding we now have, the extra college students we will ship all over the world.

You are able to do one time or reoccurring donations! You’ll be able to click here to donate.

Furthermore, in case you join on a recurring foundation, you’re serving to to make a way more profound long-term affect by enabling us to fund journeys to much more faculties. Plus, you’ll additionally get the next advantages:

  • Unique announcement of our chosen accomplice college and vacation spot earlier than anybody else
  • Quarterly newsletters with updates from our faculties and companions
  • Lifetime 25% low cost on my guidebooks
  • Members solely entry to comply with alongside on the journey through pictures and movies

To enroll, merely click on right here, choose month-to-month and your required donation quantity. (Once more, you may click here to donate.)

This summer time, we despatched a bunch of scholars to Ecuador. It had a profound affect on them – all due to FLYTE and the way’ve you made that attainable. Right here’s a video of the scholars speaking about their expertise:

***In a time when everyone seems to be closing their borders – bodily and metaphorically, I believe it helps educate children there’s a greater world on the market, there’s an actual world utility to what they’re studying, and the world is stuffed with alternative. For teenagers who come from socially and economically depressed communities, this concept we take with no consideration is commonly a life-changing revelation.

So let’s change somebody’s life – and the world – collectively.

P.S. – I’m internet hosting a meet-up in Bangkok on Christmas Day! Let’s seize drinks and speak journey. Particulars are TBD, however it is going to be held someplace on Khao San Highway. Comply with the Facebook event for updates.

The publish Let’s Send Another Set of Students Abroad (Exciting Updates from FLYTE) appeared first on Nomadic Matt's Travel Site.

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