Here I Go Again

traveling on the roadMy life is a series of stop and go’s. I travel for a while, I rest, I travel again, I rest- repeat for years. Back in May, I was getting tired of traveling. I’d been too long without a break. I’ve since spent the last 3 1/2 months living in New York City and Boston and gaining back my love of travel. Now, after my much needed rest, I’m back on the road again.

Time away from traveling allowed me to do many awesome things. I got over my burn out. I started a consulting company. I began writing for AOL and the Huffington Post. I got to see Wicked in New York City. I caught up on my movies. I got sucked into True Blood. I got to LIVE in New York City and explore some of what the Big Apple has to offer. I got to miss New York City. I saw friends in Boston. I saw my parents and my dog. I watched Pink Floyd perform an epic rendition of “The Wall.” Yes, I did many cool things.

But I’m a traveler. It’s where my heart is. Life on the road is happiness for me: the adventure, the excitement, the new beers in each country to try. So now it’s time to sling my backpack over my shoulder, wave good bye, and journey to places unknown.

A long time ago, I wondered how travel changes with age, responsibility, and work. All I want to do is be a traveler. Me and the road. A partnership made in heaven. But as this site has grown so too have my responsibilities with it. And now, I can say that a big blog does affect how you travel. I’m currently on a press trip in Canada. I’m trying out a new train service they are offering. I’ll be going from Toronto to Montreal over the course of 5 days with stops along the way. Then I’ll be visiting my friends Sean and Dawn in Florida. I haven’t seen them since 2008 when we traveled Thailand together. It’s a long overdue reunion. Then it’s off to Blog World Expo (a big blogging conference) in Las Vegas for 4 days before a two week press trip to Australia.

I’m not one to complain about free travel but until the end of this year, most of my travel relates to this website. Conferences, press trips, meetings, and events. While I love it and the opportunities these events bring, sometimes it makes me sad. These things get in the way of my one true desire- to just simply travel. My friend Jason says I’m not ready to let go of that part of my life when I could just do that. He’s right. I still want to be that intrepid backpacker who has just started his RTW trip and doesn’t have a care in the world. There’s nothing wrong with what I do now. I love where I am in life. I wouldn’t change a thing. But lifestyle changes are hard. We often want to hold onto that piece of our lives that so defined and shaped our lives. The times and events that make us who we are are sometimes hard to move past.

But life changes. There is nothing I can do about that. As my life changes, how I travel will also change. But at least I’m on the road again and in the end, that’s really all that matters to me.

  1. You’re very wise to recognize this. I’m sure you’ll always follow your heart, because that’s the impression I have from following your blog. Truly, there is a time for everything and everything has its time. You’ll instinctively know whether it’s going right or not, and travel has taught you that you have the courage to change it if it’s not right.

  2. I hear ya, friend! That’s why when I get back from the Bahamas next week, I’m taking a hiatus for a few months and enjoying just being in California. I’m not a RTWer like you, but I’ve spent more time than not out of the country this year–Borneo, Rwanda, South Africa, UAE, Bonaire and beyond–and I’m ready to just stay put for a bit!

  3. It does seem like you (almost compulsory but not quite) work is defining your travel now rather than you setting your own destinations. As long as it works for you then it’s fine, personally I’d get a bit fed up with that style of travel though (conferences, events and meetings ?) and limit my promotional tours if I was in your situation.

  4. I’m sure that once you’re on the road, you will not even think about that anymore, because you will be living it, for real.

    Have a great and safe trip. Keep being such an inspiring writer!

  5. Johnny

    Were all afraid of change, as you said it defines and shapes who we are and were afraid especially when the change is negative and even when a change is “positive.” I’m sure your aware that good things are happening in your life because of all your hard work you’ve done to get where you are now. Some are reluctant to accept and visualize the change taking place as positive.
    My brother and I purchased your e-book sometime ago and was one of the reliable sources that helped us understand and pursue the career path were on currently. Things are happening for us now that are positive and Fuckin lizard brain still puts his 2 cents of advice in and become hesitant but I recognize this pattern now. I haven’t eliminated it and I have to tell you honestly apart of me is afraid of what’s happening – “Things are starting to happen,” in a positive way.

    This is what your going through and with your experience and knowledge you’ll find a way to fuse the responsibilities with your passion of travel. You’ve accomplished so much, congrats and keep going.

  6. Don’t spend your time wishing to ‘back in the day’ when you were a fresh RTWer. Enjoy the experience for what it is now…if you’re not happy with it then change it…isn’t that what this is all about? Don’t get me wrong, just b/c we travel doesn’t mean we have to be happy all the time but we should be looking forward to what will make us happy.
    Say hi to Dawn and Sean…they, along with you, were some of my first inspiration!

  7. I could have written this post, Matt. I share a lot of the same thoughts and feelings (perhaps because we’re a similar age, and have been travelling for roughly the same length of time).

    I often wondered how your blog might affect the future of your travels. As I head back ‘home’ to England to reconnect with my roots, it’s easy for me to let things settle with my travel blog (because it is small, and not in the least bit an income-earner for me), but for you, you can’t easily have one thing without the other… and I suspect (press trips aside) you wouldn’t want it.

    I think you’re doing a great job for the genre, and I know that in between the conferences and meetings your mind will be slumped on a Thai beach, or scrambling up some distant peak with a bunch of carefree, footloose travellers.

    I’m sure you’ve met as many older travellers as I have (i.e. 70+, and they’ve invariably been travelling since time immemorial), so you’ll appreciate the feeling that travelling is far more than an act — or an episode — within our lives; it’s a philosophy. A set of beliefs which guide us through our lives, whether we’re strapped into a backpack, or chained to a desk.

    This isn’t earned by the length of an individuals’ journey, but by the depth of it. Those of us that skim hastily across the surface will indubitably feel the warm wind of friendship in our faces, and the spray of new cultures; but those of us that simply float, might sink a little into this world, and really start to see the reality of its creation. The small things that matter; and the larger things they circumnavigate.

    Wherever you end up — whether it’s a blog post or not — I hope your journey is as fulfilling as the ones in your wake.

  8. Like you say, Matt, at least you’re, “on the road again and in the end, that’s really all that matters.” As a professional musician, it can be difficult at times, when the work side of it seems to take precedence over the passion side. But when I remind myself how cool it is that I get to make a living making music (rather than flipping burgers), it makes [most of it] all better! I can only imagine that the same is occasionally true for you and travel. Thanks for the post!

  9. I can really relate to this post. I have an amazing life here in Houston that I adore, but I’m now moving from a sometimes long-term traveler (5-month or less trips) to digital nomad backpacker without a home. Yes, I’m moving up to bigger and better things, but at the same time, it’s hard to say good-bye to where I am at now. I’m not complaining and neither are you, but we are mourning the life we live now and giving it up to take our lives to a completely new level of epicness.

    Cheers to being epic!

  10. I enjoy reading these posts when you describe the trials and triumphs of long term blogging and travel. I think with anything, especially when travel becomes a business there’s a desire to capture the original referent – the innocent, unblemished feelings of a baby RTW traveler. Business can be an interloper, the great thing is you DO recognize the need to take those breaks, and recharge again.

    I wonder if I’ll hit that wall when I need to stop, I hope to stem that with longer stays in places.

  11. Hey Matt, I’ve just started my long-term travel adventure so I can kind of see where you are coming from. It’s great to have a successful business, and I hope to one day be as successful as you, but I can definitely see how the level of responsibility must take away from the joy of spontaneous travel. So i’m going to go out today and really enjoy my freedom :)

  12. Hi Matt. Interesting points.

    As a constant global nomad since 1988 and having visited the remotest parts of the world – most of the Developing World – I have always wondered about that travel-for-work-direction as I believe that’s it’s a trap against free will. And spontaneity, which is for me, the lifeblood of exciting travel.

    That’s is why I have never desired to be a guidebook researcher, a journalist, travel photographer, a commercial/mainstream traveler, or have want a massive blog following; cos it limits freedom.

    And travel is the ultimate freedom … (well I suppose, death/the afterlife is possibly more freeing? …)

    Anyway, enjoy the world. Regards – Michael Robert Powell

  13. Congrats on gettin’ to stretch your legs again! Hope Canada treats you well, Fall in Montreal is amazing. It’s mega photo-genic. Safe travels

  14. We share the same belief: you need to settle down once in a while to appreciate traveling.

    After a long time on the road, that mountain, as amazing as it is, is just another mountain. Same with the waterfalls, the churches, the castles, etc.

    It all becomes a blur and pretty soon you’re wondering just what exactly you are out there doing. It’s only when you sit down, get back in a routine and develop that itch to leave again that travel is at its best.

Leave a Comment