Ko Lanta: The Thai Island That Remains Paradise

It all started with two French girls. It was 2006 and five months into my first round the world trip. I had arrived in Thailand two weeks before, ran into a friend, and jetted off to Ko Phi Phi, a place I didn’t enjoy. Another friend e-mailed me about a beautiful, out of the way, hidden island near the Malaysian border called Ko Lipe and suggested I come. It sounded perfect. “I’ll be right there.” I replied. But then I […]

Launching Nomadic Matt’s Community Forums (and a Blogging School!)

Today is a big day for this site and the start of many changes and improvements. After spending the winter on the road, I’m back in New York City with no trips planned until mid-May. I plan to rest, take advantage of spring, explore this amazing city, and start tweaking and improving this website. I have a lot of ideas and projects in my head, some of which will require your help! You’ll be hearing about them in the next […]

How to Play, Feed, Bathe, and Protect the Elephants in Thailand

Elephants have long been important to Thai culture, where they are a symbol of religion, history, royalty, and power. According to Buddhist legend, Queen Maya of Sakya, Lord Buddha’s mother, dreamed that a divine Bodhisattva on a white elephant touched her side. She later became pregnant and since then elephants have had a strong connection to the divine and royalty in Buddhism. As Thailand is a Buddhist society, this is one reason elephants are held in such high esteem (the […]

See Something Different and Visit the Stone Carving Hermit of Nicaragua

Nicaragua is a place that attracts visitors with its surf, beaches, hiking, volcanos, and delicious food. You’ll never be short of something to do. But if you’re looking for something different and personable, travel north to Esteli and search out Alberto Guiterrez, the town’s stone-carving hermit. He’s not easy to get to but he’s worth the trek. I got lucky. A friend of mine connected me with a local named Rodney McDonald, who runs a great program teaching communities about […]

50 Random Travel Questions and My Answers

At the end of January, I hosted a Creative Live session on budget travel. Creative Live is an online education site that hosts multi-day educational courses on a variety of topics. They offer really good courses and get phenomenal, world class teachers. Over 10,000 people watched my two day course and Creative Live said I had one of the most active chat rooms ever in their business vertical. (How cool!) Because of all your awesome activity and questions, I couldn’t […]

Why T-Mobile is the Best Phone Carrier for U.S. Travelers

A long time ago in a state far, far away (Massachusetts), I used AT&T as my cellphone service provider. I had been using them since I was nineteen. When the iPhone first came out, I bought it because I could remove the original AT&T SIM card, insert a local SIM from the country I was in, and still have a handy dandy smartphone to Tweet from. So I unlocked my phone (hacked it so I could use it overseas) and […]

How this Indian Couple Navigated a Complex Visa System to Travel the World

As an American, it’s easy for me to travel the world. My dollar goes far (though not as far as it used to) and I only have to worry about visas to a few countries around the world. Yet not everyone is blessed with a golden passport (EU, British, Canadian, Australian, and New Zealand passports fall under this scope, too) and it can be very hard to not only save money for travel but also obtain a visa to most […]

How to Learn the Basics of Any Language for Your Next Trip in Four Steps

I’ve always been bad at languages. I barely made it through high school Spanish and have forgotten all the French I hired a tutor to teach me. I’m cursed. Or so I thought until I became friends with Benny Lewis from Fluent in 3 Months. Benny has mastered a method for learning languages that has helped me break languages down into smaller, more easily learnable parts. With his help, I’ve remembered a lot of my Spanish, learned Thai, and know […]

How Oneika Gets Teaching Jobs Around the World

I’ve featured a lot of readers on this website – solo travelers, couples, young and old travelers, Brits, Canadians, and Americans. But there are still a lot of viewpoints I haven’t covered. So today’s reader interview brings some more diversity and perspective to our series. Today we talk to Onieka, a thirty-something single black traveler from Canada who teaches in Hong Kong. A lot of e-mails ask me about racial prejudice on the road and since it’s a perspective I […]

How to Take a Cruise for as Little as $30 Per Day

Cruises can be expensive affairs. First, ships reel you in with a “cheap” room and an onboard credit but then smack you around with high-priced drinks, non-included restaurants, and dollar-a-minute Internet. A couple of years ago, I went on the Oasis of the Seas (one of the largest boats in the world) on a seven-day cruise around the Caribbean. The listed price of this cruise? $800 USD. That’s expensive for a week of cruising. You could go to Southeast Asia for […]