Archive for the “Random Musings” Category

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, walking […]

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 (OK, 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 Sunday […]

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’re 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 you […]

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’re free of tourists, do […]

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 biannual 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 about […]

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’m 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 and […]