Today’s live chat guest, Matt Kepnes, is one of the first travel bloggers I met when I began blogging in 2006. In fact, he’s one of the first travel bloggers and his site Nomadic Matt is certainly one of the most successful. Matt recently published the revised version of his latest book, How To Travel The World On $50 A Day, and is here to answer your questions on traveling more while spending less.
Thank you everyone for participating in the chat!
Matthew Kepnes runs the award winning budget travel site, Nomadic Matt. After a trip to Thailand in 2005, Matt decided to quit his job, finish his MBA and head off into the world. His original trip was supposed to last a year. Over seven years later, he is still out exploring and roaming the world. He’s scuba dived in Fiji, was a poker player in Amsterdam, taught English in Thailand, got lost in a jungle in Central America, and broke down in the middle of Australia’s outback.
In 2009, I interviewed Matt about another book of his on how to make money; he’s back today for one hour from 5-6pm US EST to take your questions on how to travel the world for $50 a day. Ask Matt about blogging, his travels, plus smart budgeting for your next trip all in the comments right below!
For a variety of reasons ranging from the time of year to me missing the mark, some posts slip under your collective radar. I recently highlighted some of your favorite travel photos from 2014 as well as the most popular articles in previous years but wanted to brush some digital dust off these posts you may have missed from the past year.
- Posted January 16, 2014 – There are an estimated 17.5 trillion unused frequent flyer miles currently in limbo and the airlines aren’t making it easier to redeem them. Much of that has to do with how mysterious collecting and using miles seems to be. You might find you’ve already got an upgrade or free flight waiting after reading article.
- Posted February 27, 2014 – Those of you who are subscribed and received my bi-monthly newsletter yesterday know there are some changes in store for 2016’s tournament. That doesn’t mean however that most of this advice isn’t still valid, help your city win, plus add some money to your pocket.
- Posted May 15, 2014 – I spent a lot of time in Ukraine last year, watching its capital city recover from revolution as the rest of it moved closer to war. Visiting Maidan was a moving experience you might want to see for yourself, after evaluating the security situation.
- Posted June 3, 2014 – A lot of times we see children begging when traveling to certain parts of the world, unsure if we should give or certain we shouldn’t. Whatever side you’re on of the argument, unfortunately, the realities are a lot worse.
- Posted June 17, 2014 – You might be surprised at the amount of radiation you’re exposed to on a given flight, though more likely to impact your health is the lack of mobility in tight airplane seats. There are ways you can protect your body so you travel more comfortably through space and slower through time.
- Posted July 15, 2014 – Many scholars believe chess’s rise in popularity around the Balkans during Communism is in large part because it provided one of the few socially acceptable creative outlets. The average age of these players gathered near Hostel City Center seems to further suggest this might be the case and if so, they’ve picked the ultimate game.
- Posted October 16, 2014 – If you’re at all interested in athletics, science, and travel, you’ll find this interview with Dr. Yannis Pitsiladis, whose life overlaps with all three, fascinating.
- Posted November 4, 2014 – Live chats are one of my favorite monthly events on this site because of the wonderful guests we’ve all had an opportunity to meet. Travel means many things to everyone and so some like Romain, it’s about risking safety to tell the world what’s happening in it.
- Posted December 16, 2014 - One of the biggest challenges I’ve taken on in some time, immersing myself into a language to learn it at a deep level I can use on my travels. Here’s what the 3 month course with italki is like and how I’m progressing.
What Posts Stand Out For You?
Looking back on 2014, what types of stories would you like to see in 2015? I’m planning some of my most ambitious travel plans over the next 12 months and look forward to hearing your feedback. What you like or don’t – I’m all ears in the comments below!
A few weeks ago when I posted the gadget lists of these travel bloggers, you not only learned that a Roost Stand for your Macbook might be something you’re missing out on, but also got a taste of some travel blogs I follow. It’s been a while since I introduced you to the travel blogosphere, a digital ecosystem where most sites fade after a round the world trip (hardly any from my 2008 list are updated anymore) but just as many blogs are born of new adventures.
When I asked you recently, these were some of the travel blogs you read and would recommend to other travelers.
The one blog that came up most frequently in your recommendations was WanderingEarl.com, a site and blogger I happen to know well. (We’re co-hosting our second tour of Istanbul this April.) Time Magazine ranked Wandering Earl as one of the 25 best blogs of 2012, which has only gotten better since. Earl has been traveling full time since 1999; some of his most popular posts include how he affords his lifestyle and that time he got held up in U.S. Customs, after an accidental meeting with the Taliban.
A previous live chat guest of mine, Uncornered Market was the second most recommended blog you told us we should be reading. In what can often seem like a blogosphere of solo travelers, Audrey and Daniel are a couple who’ve been traveling for 12 years together. Their stories are both inspirational and insightful, like How To Travel The World Without Killing Each Other. For more you can get started with Uncornered Market here.
There are a few things about this blog that make for unique travel stories. In Sophie’s own words:
Sophie’s World is a blog about the world’s curious and often unsung corners. And travel with kids. I (Sophie, that is) write the majority of the articles. But, perhaps unusually for a travel blog, the kids – Alexandra (no longer a kid, really) and Catarina (13) often share their take on things, too.
Barry and Julia who recommended Sophie’s World write Turkey’s For Life, another travel blog you should be reading as well. Julia and Barry recently celebrated their 5th year blogging about Turkey with a Fethiye focus; continuing to make everyone hungry for Turkish life with their recipes, photos, plus stories like this one from New Year’s Eve, in one of the most beautiful places on Earth.
Another former live chat guest of mine, Jodi is also the person who let us all know about the Roost Stand for 11″ Macbook Air so many of you emailed me about. Jodi, author of The Food Traveler’s Handbook, quit her job as a corporate lawyer in 2008, eating around the world to our benefit.
As Audrey describes herself,
I grew up traveling but started doing so seriously when I turned eighteen. Since then I have traveled through Europe on three occasions, backpacked through northern Argentina, gone to India to attend a wedding (where I coincidentally cheated death on a rickshaw thrice in one night and bribed a cop within hours of landing in Mumbai), lived and worked in Korea, and am currently backpacking around South East Asia and wherever the wind blows.
Which Blogs Would You Add To The List Above?
There many more sites readers like Jenna and Yap said were on their short lists that I couldn’t include here. Although I wish these 8 travelers could have had blogs in their day, of all the travel sites you follow, what compels and keeps you coming back to them? Feel free to share links to those sites and your own in the comments below, with upvotes for your favorites already listed.
During the past 12 months I’ve posted nearly 60 articles on foXnoMad amounting to many thousands of words, most of which are colored with pictures taken with using my Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS10. One things you might not know about this site is that almost all of the photos used are taken by me and although they’re the minority compared to sentences, those pictures often have a big impact on you.
When the Olympics Games end the structures built to host them are often re-purposed, demolished, or left abandoned after the closing ceremony. Olympic villages are most often converted into housing, stadiums taken over by local sports teams. In the case of the Winter Olympics, many event-specific constructions like the bobsleigh track can’t be used for anything else but Sarajevo‘s leftover 1984 course was used to host the Luge World Cup – until it became a front in the 1991 Bosnian War. See the rest of the pictures here.
In the middle of the Arabian Sea off the coast of Somalia’s pirate waters, is the Yemeni archipelago Socotra. Of its 4 islands, the main Socotra island is one of the most remote, visually stunning, culturally intriguing, and least visited places on Earth. See more pictures from Socotra here.
Huddled with a group of journalists a few hours after returning from Ukraine’s eastern border with Russia, I’ll never forget one of them saying in a dead serious voice, “shit’s about to blow up here.” I couldn’t help but agree in what was my last night in Donetsk, where I spent several weeks, watching tensions rise as pro-Russian demonstrations became more frequent and fervent. See the rest of the pictures here.
There are few offers sweeter to a traveler than, here’s a new car and an open road: go find the most interesting places you can. I was handed the keys to Ford’s 2015 Transit Connect minivan mutated unminivan in Las Vegas right after the 2014 Star Trek Convention, aiming to combine the best science plus fiction stops along the way to Chicago. See the photos from the entire trip here.
Somewhere along your travels there’s a chance of unwittingly stumbling upon what you’ll soon realize is a perfect cafe. Positioned near the old fortress walls of 2013’s best city to visit Sibiu, Romania is Pardon Cafe And Bistro, where I shyly entered upon the recommendation of a local. See the rest of the pictures here.
Kiev, Ukraine’s Maidan Nezalezhnosti is visually intimidating yet conversely welcoming for a city center that resembles a war zone. Translated into Independence Square, locals simply refer to it as Maidan, a word that has grown to carry with it deep connotations in Ukraine. See the rest of the pictures here.
Did I Miss Yours?
Another very popular set of photos were those of the costumes and cosplay from the 2014 Las Vegas Star Trek Convention where you can also see me practicing my bat’leth moves. To take a longer visual RTW trip you can browse through my country specific galleries and let me know your favorites I missed in the comments below. Happy New Year!