Archive for the “Random Musings” Category

Escaping the Winter (and Doing a Free Online Travel Workshop!)

Two months ago, I moved to New York City to be a homebody. Since then, I’ve only left the city once (I went overnight to Detroit to speak at a university). It’s been a wonderful experience – I’ve been going to the gym more, using my kitchen (though not as much as I would like), making new friends, sightseeing, and settling into a routine. But a nomad can’t stay home forever and as winter sets in and a slushy goo […]

The Grass is Never Greener

As I lay on a beach on the island of Ko Lipe, my Kiwi friend Paul turned to me and asked, “Backgammon?” “Of course,” I said. This was a daily occurrence during our month long stay. We’d play for hours before heading to our favorite restaurant in the “town center.” The owner would teach us Thai and local Chao Lay while laughing at our inability to handle spicy food. We’d laugh along with him, share some jokes, and head back […]

How Do You Decide What Travel Content to Trust?

Every so often a debate bubbles up in the travel blogging world about the ethics of taking sponsored trips or posting sponsored content or links (i.e., content or ads that someone paid you for). The debate rises to the top, the opposing sides argue why they are right, and the discussion fades away, never really resolved. Recently that debate surfaced again and, while I normally never blog about blogging on this site, I’m breaking my cardinal rule because I want […]

Help Me Improve This Website

Now that I am home and settling down, I am making some long awaited improvements to this website. Over the next month, I’ll be making some design and navigation changes and I want your feedback on what I can do to make your experience better. I often run surveys to get your input and gauge how I’m doing in helping you travel. It’s time for more feedback. What articles are missing? What stories and tips would you like to see? […]

Home: The Death of a Nomad

When I decided to move to New York City, I had this vision of what would happen: I would move to NYC, settle down into my own amazing apartment, decorate it with lots of cool stuff, join a gym, take cooking classes, and, in between all that, take numerous trips to JFK airport and jet set around the world. I’d come back, stay for a few weeks, and do it all over again. I’d be able to balance my twin […]

Thoughts on Becoming a Tour Guide (And Highlights From Europe)

I knew it was going to be hard. I knew it was going to be a lot of work. I just didn’t realize how much work or how stressful it would turn out to be. Earlier this year, I decided to start organizing tours. In May I put together a tour through Europe and planned to take ten readers on an epic two week journey through Paris, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and Stockholm. I organized day tours, meals, hostel accommodations, train tickets, […]

And Then, It Was Time to Lead My First Tour…

Today is the day. Today I’m flying to Paris — but this time, it’s not to lounge by the Seine while drinking wine (O.K., there will be some of that), this time it’s to lead my first tour for ten readers and make them even more passionate for travel. Back in May, I announced that I was leading a tour through Europe and the response was overwhelming. Now, after months of planning, I’m leaving to meet the ten participants on […]

I’m Going on Vacation (And Other Important News and Updates)!

For the past month, I’ve been trying to play catch up and I’ve failed at doing so, in part because I was enjoying finally being home in NYC and in part because I had friends from Sweden visiting for two weeks. Now that they are gone and I look at all the projects and stories I want to write, I feel stressed out. I’m excited to finally get a lot done and launch a few amazing projects that will help […]

IMPORTANT and URGENT Message for All RSS Readers!

Do you read this site via RSS like Google Reader? Then I have an important message for you that requires urgent action. On July 1st, Google will be shutting Google Reader down. That means you won’t have easy access to all the great travel tips and stories featured on this blog but here are two easy things you can do so you don’t miss any posts: 1. Find another feed reader and add this: http://feeds.feedburner.com/MattsTravelSite You can use Feedly, which […]

The Accidental Traveler

I can count on one hand all the places I visited before I was 23. Travel wasn’t part of my upbringing. It wasn’t something my family did outside of the occasional road trip to visit my grandmother in Florida. In college, I skipped studying abroad because I was afraid I might miss something. I went to Montreal twice because when you’re under 21 and can’t afford Spring Break in Cancun, Montreal is the closest place to go when you live […]