In this edition of Celebrity Travel Addicts, we speak with Matt Long, the self-described Gen-Xer and adventurer behind the travel blog LandLopers! We chat with Matt about having a love of seeing the world at a very young age, his new travel podcast, his favorite things to do in one of his top destinations around the world, and much more! Check out his dream travel destination and find out where he’s headed next!
How did your passion for travel get started?
I’ve always had a passion for seeing the world every since I was a little kid. I don’t know where this wanderlust came from, but it’s been part of me forever.
How many days/weeks are you traveling in any given year? What are the types of places you like to visit?
Well, I do have a home life so I like to balance things as much as I can. In the perfect world, I would travel about 1 week a month. Of course this varies throughout the year, but it’s a good average. I love going anywhere I haven’t been before. I have an insatiable curiosity and am generally happy to go about anywhere.
You run a travel website called LandLopers. Can you tell us a bit about it? What makes it stand out from other online travel content?
I started the site in 2010 because I realized that other people aren’t as obsessive about travel as I am and I wanted to share my experiences. It was geared towards people who didn’t have months to spend traveling and instead wanted to make the most out of their limited time off. It’s still one of the goals of the site and, oddly enough, it’s still a rarity in the travel blogosphere.
Earlier this year, you started a weekly travel podcast called Explore the World with Matt Long. Please tell us a bit about it and what made you want to start your podcast.
Sure, well I needed an additional creative outlet and a way to reach more people and the podcast has been perfect for that. It’s re-energized me and given me the opportunity to share the travel experience in a totally different way. It’s a lot of fun and the weekly guests so far have been a very diverse group that I think share some incredible information.
You created LandLopers and Explore the World with Matt Long without much technical know-how. What advice would you give to someone who wants to blog their travels but isn’t tech-savvy?
And I still don’t have any tech expertise. BUT, when it came time to start the blog and podcast I just sat down and read as much as I could. All of the information is out there, you just have to be willing to learn and try new things.
What do you want audiences to gain and learn from your work?
I want them to be inspired to see more of the world, I want them to reject fear and I want them to think about other people in different ways.
What are the top three destinations you’ve visited?
Australia, Thailand and South Africa
Give us your ‘Top 5’ list for one of your top 3 destinations. Like a mini-guide or a to-do list of sorts. It can be anything from your favorite hotel, the best place to have lunch, the best sightseeing, etc.
Australia: 1. Take the Indian-Pacific train across the country; 2. Visit Kangaroo Island for some of the best wildlife viewing in the world; 3. Spend the night on a reef/sleep pontoon boat along the Great Barrier Reef; 4. Trek out into the Outback to be totally alone with your thoughts; 5. Visit the Margaret River region for some of the best food and wine experiences in the world.
How many countries have you visited so far?
It depends on how you count them, but it’s in the 90s.
What are your top 3 favorite cuisines?
Jordanian, Indian and Thai.
What is your favorite restaurant in the world? What dish do you recommend there?
Pierce’s Pitt BBQ near Williamsburg, Virginia. I get the J.C. Special, which is a jumbo pulled pork BBQ sandwich with fries and a cookie.
What is your favorite travel movie?
Don’t have one.
What is your favorite international airport?
Hong Kong, mostly for the Cathay Pacific lounges.
Which city had the friendliest people?
Vancouver or Bangkok
Who is your favorite travel companion?
I generally prefer to travel alone honestly.
What is the best way to kill time while traveling?
I am usually in the middle of binge-watching some TV show I’ve downloaded, so that’s usually what I do.
What is the most exotic place your career has taken you?
I’ve been fortunate in that I’ve been to many remote spots around the planet from Antarctica to Bora Bora and even deep inside the Arctic Circle.
What is your best bit of travel advice for someone who wants to, or is about to, embark on a life of travel?
Well, to be clear, I’m not a permanent traveler. Instead, traveling is my career and something I love to do. BUT, whatever anyone does they should make sure that it’s their absolute passion in life. It can be anything, but it’s important that they love doing it more than anything else.
What are 4 things you could never travel without?
(Other than the standard phone, passport, camera, etc.) Refillable water bottle, comfy shoes, eyeshades, and a travel power strip
What is your ultimate dream destination?
I’d love to explore more of the South Pacific. I’ve just had a taste of it and there’s so much more to experience there.
What is your favorite travel quote?
“Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.” – Jack Kerouac
Where are you headed next?
I’m headed to Germany where I’m exploring the northern areas of the country. After that, I’ll be in Florida doing a driving trip. Then in September, I’ll be in Italy, France, and the UK.
An experiential luxury traveler at heart, Matt Long shares his adventures with thousands of readers every day through his award-winning site LandLopers.com. 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. Based in Washington, DC, Matt has been to more than 95 countries and all 7 continents. Matt is also the host of the weekly Explore the World Travel Podcast.