Archive for the “Random Musings” Category

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 […]

Why Tourists Ruin the Places They Visit (and What to Do About It)

Last summer while I was living in Sweden, I met up with travel writer Doug Lansky, the man behind several worldwide destination guides for Rough Guides. We were talking about travel (of course) and began discussing the philosophical question about whether, as traveler writers, we end up destroying the places we love by sharing them with the world. By writing about those off the beaten track destinations, those little local restaurants and quiet parts of the city where you are […]

Getting Back to What Matters Most

I had an awful realization a few weeks ago. The last time I went abroad and crossed an ocean in the process was when I went to Africa in December. That is so long ago (at least for me). And this realization might have led to that nightmare I had last week in which I was trying to get this really sweet Air Canada deal to Europe but no matter what I did, I never could get a confirmation. In […]

Taking Time to Answer Your Feedback

A few weeks ago, I opened my bi-annual reader survey. I do it because your feedback matters and I like to make sure I’m best serving you in your quest to travel more without spending craploads of money. I received hundreds of amazing responses (yes, I read them all!). The detail you provided in the open response questions was phenomenal and since you took the time to write out such great responses, I want to take the time to talk […]

Updates on Life, Speaking, and My First Reader Tour to Europe

My life is a whirlwind right now, which is why this blog has been so quiet lately. I just spent 10 days in Austin, Texas attending the SXSW film/music/tech festival, and in addition, I’ve been finishing my book tour, doing lots of interviews and events for my new book, and overall, just trying to keep my head above water. I’ve been sort of neglecting the blog. March hasn’t seen many posts and probably won’t. That’s not to say I have […]

The Settled Life in New York City

It’s been almost a month since I signed my lease and picked up the keys. I’ve bought a bed. I’ve unpacked my bag, hung up my clothes, and filled my fridge with food. I’m settled. I have roots. I have a neighborhood. I am no longer fully nomadic. Am I at least semi-nomadic? I don’t even know. People keep asking me when my next trip is. “I don’t know,” I tell them. I’m currently on my book tour until April […]

Paris is NOT a Touristy Destination

As winter continues and the days get colder, I find people begin to think of travel: warmer places, tropical beaches, and spring trips. My inbox fills up more than normal with questions on where to escape to, what to see, and things to do. And lately there has been a common theme to these emails: people want to get off the beaten trail and avoid the “touristy” stuff. “I don’t want to go to Paris. It’s too touristy. Where else […]

The End of My Solo Travels

“Africa will change you,” people said to me,”There’s something about it that affects us all.” Well, Africa didn’t change me. I’m still the same old me, but that doesn’t mean Africa didn’t teach me something or, should I say, reaffirmed a long felt feeling. If 2012 was defined by anything, it was my personal struggle over coming to terms with settling down. 2012 was an internal struggle between knowing I was ready to settle in one place and my desire […]