Archive for the “Random Musings” Category


I woke up in a haze. “Why is my iPhone screen cracked? Did I break it while I was sleeping?” Half awake, I looked closer. No, not broken, just a deceptive-looking black-and-white album cover. I was simply groggy, confused, and slightly stupid from the few hours of sleep I had gotten. I opened the window shade and looked out the window. The sky was changing from black to a rainbow of colors as the sun ushered in a new day…one […]

Am I Really Just a Debbie Downer?

A few weeks ago, I ran a survey, and some of you commented on how negative I’ve been. “Quit your whining,” they said. Now, the comments did make me think a bit. Have I been overly negative the past year? After all, I do get the occasional blog comment telling me to “slow down” or that I’m “just not as chipper” as I used to be. At least not as consistently chipper as I used to be (see my Japan […]

My Hostel Horror Story: When My Roommate Shit in Our Dorm Room

Over the years, I’ve had some bad hostel roommates. They’ve been rude, messy, dirty, smelly, drunk, loud, and everything in between. Two girls in New Zealand were so bad they inspired me to write a post on hostel etiquette. But through it all, I’ve kept staying at hostels. I love hostels because of their gregarious social atmosphere. Hotels seem too sterile when compared with the energy and camaraderie of hostels. As I’ve gotten older, more set in my ways, and […]

Out of Europe and Into America

Last year, I wrote about how after all these years of travel, I was ready to slow down and become semi-nomadic. My last year-long trip around the world ended in March, but as many of you have noted, I still don’t seem settled down. I keep moving around. I had a plan to stop. I intended to settle in Sweden through the end of the year, but after not being able to find an apartment, I abandoned those plans. After […]

Answering Your Survey Responses, A Brand New Site Design, and Picking the Europe Contest Winner

A few weeks ago I asked you to complete my annual reader survey. I got a lot of responses (thank you!) and I spent hours going through all of them. Your feedback lets me know what I am doing right and wrong, and what I need to improve on. I take all constructive feedback to heart, and since you took the time to respond to my survey, I wanted to take the time to respond to you. Spelling/Grammar – “Hooked […]

Nomadic Matt’s Annual Reader Survey (Plus, Free Trip to Europe Update!)

It’s that time of the year again where I reach out to you and ask for your help on improving this site. I want to make this site as useful to you as possible so each year in September, I ask everyone to tell me what you like, don’t like, and what I can provide you to help you travel more. I created a short survey that you can fill out. It’s 9 questions long and will take about 3 […]

Why Working In Travel Makes Me Want to Bash My Head Against a Wall Sometimes

Over the years, I’ve tried to turn myself into a more professional journalist, writing longer and more detailed guides on how to travel on a budget. Blogging may be the cool, new thing, but I think bloggers can still learn a lot from traditional journalists. These articles I write usually turn out to be a big success, but they take a lot of work: I fact-check, talk to people, spend hours running numbers, and even obtain quotes. I’ll usually work […]

Announcing My Flight Contest Winners (and Other Housekeeping Items)

Let’s take a break from travel today to do a little housekeeping, including announcing the winners of my miles giveaway! The Airline Ticket Winner Remember two weeks ago when I announced that I would be giving away all my airline miles? Well, the contest is over and I picked two winners. They were chosen randomly using the random number generator site, There were a total of 5,230 entries. These two won: Prize #1: Olivier P from Canada wins this prize […]

Cruise Culture: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Tourism

Last month, I took my first cruise as an adult (previous cruises had been with my parents) and found it to be a very culturally eye-opening experience. I broke completely out of my norm of independent travel and stepped curiously into mass consumer travel. Instead of hostels, figuring out local buses, and street food stalls, it was a lush stateroom, endless buffets, and planned events. Instead of young and independent travelers, it was families celebrating anniversaries, birthdays, and quinceañeras. And […]

What I Loved (and Hated) About My Cruise

So what does this nomadic backpacker think of the cruise he went on? IT WAS AWESOME. It was so enjoyable that when it came time to head home, I didn’t want to leave. I missed it. I was surprised, because before I left, I didn’t really have high expectations for my cruise. After all, a cruise ship is simply a floating resort. How great could all that sitting around and relaxing really be? Wouldn’t it get boring? Apparently not. I […]