Escaping the Winter (and Doing a Free Online Travel Workshop!)

By Nomadic Matt | Published December 17th, 2013

nicaragua beach sunsetTwo months ago, I moved to New York City to be a homebody. Since then, I’ve only left the city once (I went overnight to Detroit to speak at a university). It’s been a wonderful experience – I’ve been going to the gym more, using my kitchen (though not as much as I would like), making new friends, sightseeing, and settling into a routine.

But a nomad can’t stay home forever and as winter sets in and a slushy goo forms in front of my building, I think it’s time to head out on the road again (at least until the weather gets better).

I hate winter and the cold. I have no problem visiting a winter wonderland, but I don’t want to live in one. A week up in the Arctic looking at polar bears? Skiing in the Alps? Sign me up! Shoveling snow? No thanks. I’ll head to the tropics instead.

So today I’m heading to Nicaragua for the holidays. My original plan was to visit the Philippines but after the typhoon, I decided against it. I felt uncomfortable going there to have fun when so many suffer. I decided that since I only had a couple of weeks, it would be best going somewhere closer and go back to the Philippines later on when I had more time and flexibility. (I also donated to the Red Cross and highly encourage you to support efforts to rebuild the country.)

I’ll be in Nicaragua for two weeks, visiting my friend in San Juan del Sur (she runs a hostel there), climbing volcanoes in Leon, relaxing in Ometepe, Granada, and exploring some other spots I haven’t decided on yet. (If you plan to be in Nicaragua, let me know. Maybe we’ll overlap.)

After Nicaragua, it’s a quick visit to Boston and San Francisco before heading off to Thailand to run my next tour.

My wanderlust has come back in full force and I’m excited to be on the road again. I feel like my travel skills have gotten a little stale. (I almost went to the wrong airport twice!) I booked a bunch of flights this week and I felt like a kid in the candy store doing so. Here’s the next 3 months in airport codes:

LGA – MIA – MGA – MIA – LGA – BOS – SFO – HKG – BKK – HKG – JFK – TXL – LHR – DFW – AUS – JFK

Crazy, huh?

One of the places I am visiting at the end of January is San Francisco to host a Creative Live session!!! Creative Live is a website that runs online classes on topics from photography to marketing to programming to fitness and, recently, travel. It’s a huge website and a real honor to be asked to run a class. I’m really excited (and really nervous) but I can’t wait to spread the message of budget travel even further!

creative live nomadic matt screenshot

On January 29th and 30th, I’ll be hosting the Creative Live. The class is called “Stress-Free Budget Travel” and takes place from 9 to 4 PST.

And it will be streamed FREE over the Internet. You’ll be able to tune in for any or all of the sessions where I’ll be explaining all of my travel knowledge to you.

You can sign up here: http://cr8.lv/mattkepnes

The modules are:

Module 1 – How to Plan Your Dream Trip

Module 2 – Cutting Spending and Picking the Right Bank Cards

Module 3 – Issues and Concerns: Safety, Loneliness, Making Friends, and More

Module 4 – Gear: Travel Insurance, Backpacks, Technology, and More

Module 5 – How to Save Money on Flights and Accommodation

Module 6 – On the Ground Tips for Saving Money in Any Destination

Module 7 – How to Live and Work While Overseas

Module 8 – Putting It All Together: A Step-by-Step Planning Guide

Moreover, you’ll get two free bonuses when you enroll:

  • 11 common mistakes to avoid (PDF)
  • 27 rules for travel (PDF)

If you miss the class, you’ll be able to purchase it later for $79 USD with the above bonuses plus:

  • A copy of the slides of from the presentation
  • How to Build a Travel Blog e-book
  • Step by step planning checklist (PDF)

I’m also lining up guest experts, so be on the look out for that!

AND there are five spots available for people to attend the course live (but you’ll have to get to San Francisco yourself!). If you want to attend, fill out this short Google form about yourself!  We’ll hang out over the two days and at the end of the course, there’s a little wrap party!

Here’s an introduction video they made too:

I’ll be announcing more about this in the coming weeks but if you are interested, sign-up (it’s free)!

And now, after a long day of travel (it took 12 hours of travel to get to Leon), it’s time to eat and drink a beer!

comments 37 Comments

Sounds great. Is there a difference between this class and your “How to Travel The World for $50 a Day” book?

NomadicMatt

This is will be an online version of that, my travel hacking book, some other tips I’ve never talked about, and some guest speakers!

Awesome! I love Creative Live. If only this class were at their Seattle studio instead. Oh well, I’ll just have to watch online.

Yay! how exciting! You’ll be in San Francisco! Sorry I missed out on the in-person opportunity but I’m glad it will be streamed. I’m happy I came across your website. I used to subscribe to all those glossy travel magazines (I still get them because my subscription hasn’t run out)…you know what I’m talking about…the ones with the beautiful pictures of amazing places that the average person could never afford…they still inspire me…but I have a new perspective. I believe in affordable travel now. And dipping my toe in travel hacking!! :)

NomadicMatt

That’s the best thing I’ve heard all day.

Hope you have a great time in Nica… we were in San Juan del Sur in July (currently in Costa Rica). Crazy-beautiful sunsets on the beach there. I’m still hoping to get up to Granada soon. Enjoy your trip!

Nicaragua was the first country I went to outside North America. Super stoked for you, I still have many friends there and hope you have a great time.

You’ll be hiking Cerro Negro near Leon I’m guessing. You can go sandboarding down it, I have a video of me on my site, though beware the quality of the boards (My foot came out and I bailed hard)

If you can, I recommend the night tour at the Masaya Volcano National Park.

NomadicMatt

I skipped Cerro Negro because I don’t like that kind of adventure sports but I did do another volcano hike. It was great. So far I’ve really enjoyed my time here!

Please let me know when you get to Austin!! We’ll take you out on the town and show you all around :)

Happy you are getting out of the NY winter (that’s where I’m from) but have lived in San Diego/Austin the past 6 years.

NomadicMatt

I’ll be there for SXSW!

Hello Matt,

Congrats on hosting creative live. That’s awesome! I am about to become nomadic myself as well. And, you are hitting up all the countries I have on my list. However, this may be a little off topic. I am trying to plan a multi-country trip flying into London, and then traveling to Italy, Spain, France, and Switzerland by train. I was wondering if you had any kind of blog post or guide that you can direct me to. I was looking around the blog, but I didn’t find one specifically for my needs. Thanks so much in advance!

Emma

HI if you want to travel my train check out interrail, it’s basically a train ticket you can buy in a number of different formats such as per weeks or countries, that allows you on pretty much most trains to get yourself around europe. If your planning on lots of trains between countries then internally to get around them its a good deal.

glad to see you are coming back thru Austin – let me know if you do a meet up here, or just need suggestions on cool things to do!

Dan Kraft

While you’re in San Juan del Sur, try to go out on the Lake (Lago Nicaragua) and visit the “isletas” (the little islands in the middle of the lake, not far from the pier. It’s a big tourist attraction, but try to negotiate with a boat driver to take you in and out the little canals and waterways.
We were on a day trip on a cruise stopping in San Juan del Sur and really loved the place. It reminded me a Costa Rica over 30 years ago. We used a tour company owned by a French guy whose name is Pierre Gedeon ([email protected]) who has lived in Nicaragua for a long time and has very good guides who showed us some really fun places.
Are you spending any time in MIA on the way back? My wife and I live about an hour north (on the Tri-rail line) and we’d be happy to have you over if the timing is right.

Keep those great postings coming! Inspiring for everyone who reads you and takes your very sensitive advice!

Buen viaje!

NomadicMatt

Thanks for the recommendation! I’ll check it out!

I’m only in MIA for the evening with some friends. Just passing through this time!

Billy

Hi matt im so upset that you were in Detroit and I missed it. I just found your website on stumbleupon a few weeks ago and I have been addicted to it ever since. I try to read as much as I can everyday. I have such a passion for wanting to see the world that i can’t really put into words. You are a big inspiration to people like me and your site is extremely motivational. And I can’t wait to be a fellow traveler like yourself!

NomadicMatt

Glad you like it and I’m happy to have you!

Mckenzie

Don’t miss sandboarding down Volcan Cerro Negro! Do it standing up. Sitting on the board is for wusses.

I’m really upset that I won’t be able to attend your class. You just had to schedule it during a time I’ll be traveling, didn’t you?

Nurit

Congrats on the gig Matt! Wish we could view it but have other scheduled plans.

Love your site. Hope u r enjoying NYC. Great that u got an editor. Please tell him/ her that the word is anyway and not anyways. ( I think it was in this post or the one about why u r placing ads on your site. ).

Jim

Enjoy your holidays in Nicaragua! I am all about escaping the cold. :)

In regards to the Philippines, I can see your point of view and respect it. For some, it may be very uncomfortable.

If anyone else has an upcoming trip planned there, I’d like to add a perspective I read from someone on the ground in Boracay. I just returned from Boracay and Manila (I had the trip planned pre-typhoon, and completed it post-typhoon).

Both places I went were not impacted greatly (if at all) by the typhoon. One of the things that may be impacted due to people not traveling there is a drop in their economy which they rely on as they enter the high season for tourism.

It was very eye-opening to see how desperately they rely on income, and how much people have to work just to acquire basic necessities.

The choice is up to the individual, and I respect whether someone feels comfortable or not, but if you do decide to go, know that you are supporting an economy that so desperately relies on income from tourism.

Again, nothing against your decision Matt, and thank you for all of your wisdom over the years! Glad you’re enjoying ‘settling down’ in NYC!

Dan

“My wanderlust has come back in full force!” It’s amazing how fast it seems to come back :) I am envious of your re-sparked adventure after a couple months in the snow! New adventures…. ah, I have to start another one soon. Have a blast!

NomadicMatt

It never ends! You can’t fight it.

Oh, the excitement of booking more flights! One of my favourite feelings ( :

Lauren

What will you be doing in DFW and AUS?!

NomadicMatt

DFW = passing through. AUS = SXSW!

Having just semi-settled down after 4 years of traveling, I’m already getting the travel itch so I can understand that it’s nice to have a base as long as you can keep going. Enjoy.

I’m all eyes and ears, will stay tuned. Inspire us and take us to more places, Matt!

It befuddles me that one would come to Texas and miss Houston, the most diverse and vibrant city in the state. Perhaps next time?

NomadicMatt

I am visiting Austin for SXSW. Only in the state for a few days!

Hey Matt

I would have to disagree with you about NOT going to the Philippines. They NEED tourist dollars in their rebuilding efforts! Which is exactly why I decided to BOOK my flights to the Philippines a week after the Typhoon.

After reading your post, I was motivated to write about my post and my American friend assisting in the rebuilding efforts in the Philippines. If anyone is interested you can read it on my site.

NomadicMatt

I’ll be going next year. For the meantime, I donated in aid relief.

Congrats, Matt. The success you’ve been able to build with this blog and your dedication has yet to cease surprising me. It’s really great how the ideas of travel are becoming more and more popular. Cheers!

Lea

I’m a big fan of migrating south for winter – I’m going to Uruguay next month and hopefully staying for awhile. I live near SF but I’m probably leaving before your talk, but good luck!

All signed up to the workshop. Fingers crossed I’m not working on the day(s)!

NomadicMatt

It will be late in the evening in the UK. Hopefully you won’t be on the night shift!

Quite honestly, I feel sorry for the countries that have way too long winter seasons, I love winter don’t get me wrong but there is something about the beach and the nice waters that just trumps all the white awesomeness.

Of all the places you could settle, you picked New York City. I live here too. I also hate the cold weather. I always plan to leave before it snows…but I never go anywhere. We have a lot in common, I keep planning to visit the Philippines also. It hasn’t happened yet but maybe 2014 will be the year. I’d like for you to go first and blog about your mistakes so my trip goes smoothly. Aren’t your readers wonderful? Ha!

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