Archive for the “Travel Advice” Category

18 Lessons from 5 Years Around the World

Five years is a long time to be on the road. Five years spent living out of your backpack, with no permanent home or address. I never thought I was going to travel this long. It was only gong to be a year, maybe 18 months tops, and then I’d go back home, find a “real” job, settle into life, and by now, I’d be married, have a house, 2.5 children, and be complaining about my retirement fund to my […]

That Time I Lost My Passport

I’m a man of routine. Whenever I fly, I put my boarding pass in my passport, and then put both of those in the magazine pocket in front of my seat. I flip through the bad in-flight magazine. I put it back. I tune out to my music. Grab my passport and exit the plane. Except this time, I missed a step. Stepping out of the restricted area at the airport, I suddenly had an awful realization. “Oh shit!” I […]

How to Overcome Your Fears

Fear. It’s what keeps us from living our lives and achieving our dreams. And it is the most common reason why people don’t travel. Whenever I talk to people about long-term travel, they tell me they wish they could do what I do. They tell me all their travel dreams then they come up with common excuses as to why they can’t realize them: They fear not being able to afford the trip. They fear they have too many responsibilities […]

Maximizing Your Vacation Time

Ask anyone what their favorite things to do are and travel will be somewhere on the top of that list. But most people aren’t taking gap years or long term backpacking trips, they are taking short holidays. My recent reader survey showed that over 50% of my readers take a holiday that is 4 weeks or less. So when you can’t spend months in France, how do you make it feel like you just did? When my friends ask “Matt, […]

Why It’s Great to Travel Without a Plan

I’ve become a notorious last minute planner. When I first started traveling, I planned everything out. I knew where I would be on what day, where I was staying, and how I was getting there. Yet over the years, I’ve begun to travel with less of a plan….if any at all. In two weeks, I’m going to Europe and I just booked my flight. I still haven’t booked my hostel. And, while I have a general idea of the route […]

Don’t Have (Travel) Regrets

When I was in university, many of my friends did a semester abroad. They all came back with great stories and experiences. They made it sound great and it was something I always thought of doing. Being in a foreign country, learning a new language, reinventing yourself, meeting foreign girls, and being able to legally drink. For a college student, it sounded like the perfect experience and a chance to really grow. Except I never went. I was always too […]

Now is the Best Time to Travel

Life is stressful. Working, bills, the economy, errands, love, family, commuting- lots of stress. It all adds to the mountain and causes us much anxiety. When people feel stress, it’s important we relieve it and one of the best ways to do that is to travel. Travel can refresh us. It is like a time out from life- just like from grade school but this time it is fun. It slows us down, makes us stop and smell the roses, […]

How to Make Your Money Last

I get a lot of questions about travel in my inbox. Often the questions are simply “what’s the secret to traveling” and “how can I do what you do“. Lately, I’ve been getting some questions about budgeting and making the money last. How is it that I’ve made my money last so long? This a great question and an important thing to discuss so this blog post is long overdue. Telling people I have been traveling for three years usually […]

Staycation

There always seems to be a new term entering the travel lexicon- traveler, tourist, flashpacker, voluntourism, and staycation. Everyone always likes to define something. Then again, I guess giving it a name means you can feel like you know it. The latest word that seems to be catching on is “staycation”. O.K., the word has been around for a while but when friends on Facebook tell me they are taking a staycation, I know the word has gone mainstream. A […]

Don’t Learn a Foreign Language

A few weeks ago, I was at the Taiwan Lantern Festival. I went with my guesthouse owner’s nieces and a Korean guy who stays at the guesthouse long term. We were walking around and they were mostly speaking Chinese. They were discussing one of the niece’s boy problems. I guess all that teenage angst and romance you have when you are 16 is universal. Though they were speaking Chinese, I knew what they were saying. I followed along, I laughed, […]