Archive for the “Random Musings” Category

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, random.org. 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 […]

What I Learned on My Vacation (or Thoughts on Being a Travel Writer)

“Isn’t your life a vacation?” people asked me before my cruise. “You’re always traveling!” Yes, I am always traveling but it’s not a vacation – travel for me is work. It’s fun work and I’d rather be a travel blogger than back at my old cubicle job, but it’s still work. All these blog posts and wonderful tips don’t come naturally. I hunt everything out, do research, and follow up so visitors to this site have the information they need […]

How I Spent My Seven Day Cruise Vacation

Last week, I took a vacation. I was burnt out and needed some time to myself. I decided to do something nomadic backpackers don’t normally do…ever – I went on a cruise. After all, a cruise is the quintessential vacation, right? What better way to relax than to go on one! The cruise was actually a lot more fun than I thought it would be but I’ll save the blogs about the cruise for later. For now, let’s talk about […]

Welcome, New Readers! (What I’m All About!)

Over the last few weeks, I’ve gained a lot of new readers through a plethora of conferences and lots of guest posts around the web. So, as I go on vacation this week, I wanted to take some time and say hello to all the new readers of this site and let them get to know a bit about me and the site. What’s Nomadic Matt all about? In 2005, on a trip to Thailand, my whole life changed. I […]

Why This Independent Backpacking Nomad is Going on a Cruise

A lot of people hate cruises. Oversized boats filled with oversized people. There’s a particular disdain for them among backpackers and other “real” travelers. “Cruises aren’t travel,” people say, “You don’t get to experience the local culture. You don’t get to explore the places you visit. You are shuttled from place to place in pre-fabricated tours in gigantic groups.” Cruises are considered fake travel for people who want to pretend they are traveling some place without having to do any […]

The Shape of Things to Come on This Blog

In my life, time always seems to be in such short supply. I had hoped coming home from Asia and “slowing down” would allow me to have more time to relax but it hasn’t….yet. After heading home in April, I had a million things to do (read: taxes) before I was off to Japan for three weeks, and then to Las Vegas for a conference. But now, I am finally going to slow down like I had said I would months […]