An experiential luxury traveler at heart, Matt Long shares his adventures with thousands of readers every day through his award winning site LandLopers.com. I’ve followed him on Twitter for a while now and love everything he shares and creates; where to go, what to see and how to experience it all—he’s nonstop with great advice. Based in Washington, DC, Matt has been to more than 95 countries and all 7 continents. He also hosts his new, weekly podcast Explore the World Travel Podcast. (I told you. He doesn’t stop!)
1. What were you initially searching for in your travels? Have you found it?
I’ve always had a very strong compulsion to see the world, ever since I was a very young child. I don’t think I’m looking for anything in particular, rather it’s a need to satiate my inherent curiosity.
2. What has your journey taught you about yourself? What has it taught you about other people?
That it’s just that, a journey or evolution. Traveling to different spots around the world has taught me that the vast majority of people are basically good and that we all want the same things out of life. Whether you’re a tribesman in Tanzania or a stock broker in New York, everyone wants the best life they can live and for their loved ones to be safe and happy. Once we understand that, then the world starts to look a whole lot different.
3. What ideas about travel did you once have that have been proven wrong?
I don’t think I fully understood just how impactful the travel experience can be. Sure, it’s about seeing new things and visiting different spots, but it’s also an intensely personal experience. We always grow and improve as a result of the travel experience, whether it’s a very short trip or an epic journey.
4. What would you say to someone who says they’re content with staying where they are, or are even anxious about going somewhere new?
Travel is personal, there is no right or wrong. If someone is dead set against going anywhere, that’s up to them. I don’t want them to feel bad about their preferences. However, if someone is thinking about traveling but is hesitant or unsure, I would definitely encourage them to at least take the first step. Plan a long weekend somewhere and then see how they like it. We only learn by doing and we all have to start somewhere.
5. What do you want the people who follow you to come away knowing? Feeling?
I started my site in large part to help inspire people; to help them get over their fears and inhibitions and do what makes them the happiest. If I can do that for just one person, then I would be very satisfied.
6. Where is your happy place, and why?
Ultimately it’s at home. While I love to travel, I equally love being at home with my partner and dogs. I call myself a traveling homebody and I need both in equal amounts.
For more from Matt, check out http://www.landlopers.com