For a number of years Matt Long has been living his dream one adventure at a time, and writing about it on his very successful blog at Landlopers.com, leaving his full-time job in 2012 to pursue wholeheartedly. He describes himself as a typical Gen-Xer and former cubicle-dweller who has a passion for all things travel. He shares what he’s learned while travelling with a refreshing and thoughtful honesty, as well as decoding the ‘art and science of travelling the world’ in his own unique way. Wego’s Travel Editor was lucky enough to have a chat with Matt in between flights.
I love that you describe yourself as a ‘recovering cubicle dweller’. What was the epiphany that moved you to take off around the world?
Well let me be clear, I’m not nomadic. I have a house, partner, three dogs and led a pretty normal home life. But of course I do travel a lot more than the average person. I hated my job for a long time, but needed to be pushed out of it, which I was. After losing my job I realised that this is what I was meant to do and started working even harder to make it my new career.
Where was your first journey to and when did you first begin to write and share your experiences?
My first? Well my first trip overseas was to Paris when I was 17. I was an exchange student for a month and ended up falling in love with the city. It’s still my favorite place even today. I started writing about my experiences on LandLopers three and a half years ago as a way to help people explore the world and have more fun while doing it.
What do you find are the most frequent mistakes travellers make when travelling and how would you advise them to make the most of their experiences?
I think people try to do and see too much. I understand the logic, we only get a limited number of days off a year and want to make sure we put them to good use. But by over planning, people actually end up making their trips worse and not better.
Are people more adventurous today?
I think adventure activities are more accessible now, which is the difference. Even 30 years ago, trekking to Peru to visit Machu Picchu took great effort. Today it is much easier to visit and have the adventure experience of a lifetime. The same can be said for adventure experiences around the world, so it’s this accessibility that is making people more adventurous I think.
What should travel bloggers do better, there are so many new ones on the horizon, is just writing down your experiences enough to be successful?
No. A common mistake travel bloggers make is thinking that they are traditional travel writers or journalists. We’re not, and that’s a good thing. We exist on multiple platforms, from our sites to a multitude of social media platforms and can amplify our messages accordingly. We’re writers, photographers, videographers and social media experts; we are truly multi-media specialists and we need to think of ourselves in that way.
What was the most fascinating and surprising experience you’ve had while travelling and what did it reveal?
I’m always surprised by how much I end up really enjoying certain countries. It just shows that whatever preconceptions we have of new places are usually wrong and that it’s vital to go into a new situation with as open a mind as possible.
Favourite destination yet and why?
That’s a hard question because it depends “favourite for what?” My favourite city is Paris, my favourite adventure destination is New Zealand, my favourite country as a whole is South Africa, my favourite views are in Croatia, some of my favourite food is in Jordan”¦ and so on.
Favourite travel bloggers and why?
Because they’re awesome, I enjoy reading:
Unbravegirl, Velvet Escape, Wild Junket, The Planet D, Legal Nomads
What other destinations are on your list?
Anywhere I haven’t been in all honesty. Some I’d really like to visit sooner rather than later though are: India, Central Asia, more of South America, the Arctic and the South Pacific.
Best travel advice you’ve ever received?
Would you do all it again, and what would you do differently?
I’m always worried about that. I wouldn’t do anything differently for fear that I’d screw something up. I’m pretty happy with my life right now and wouldn’t want that to change.
About: Matt has a true passion for travel. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer. Also follow Matt on Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus.