Matt is a self-described 30-year-old deadbeat from Connecticut who captivated millions last year with an online video montage of a trip, during which he visited 39 countries and did a silly little dance at each stop. (See the videos at Wherethehellismatt.com.)
In late May, he returned from a multi-country tour sponsored by Stride, the chewing-gum maker. The company was wowed by the attention Matt received for his first video, so they funded his next trip, he says.
Matt is taking a brief rest before he heads back out on the road to visit 13 more countries and shoot a more advanced video. Up next: Google--for some mysterious reason--has hired him to do a project. (Perhaps Google will insert his dancing videos into its street-level maps on Google Earth.)
BudgetTravel.com caught up with Matt to ask a few questions...
Having circumnavigated the globe, what's your best travel advice/tip for the budget-conscious traveler?
Matt: Stay out of Europe. There are loads of other places to go that stretch both your dollar and your comfort zone--and that's a good thing!
You say on your website that you think "Americans need to travel more abroad" Could you elaborate?
I think we're becoming very insular in this country. The images we see on the news show us a very narrow view of hate and violence, but that's not the whole picture. We need to get out there, become a part of the outside world, and let it change us as well. We also need diplomats now more than ever.
Is there someplace you'd still like to go?
More than I can count. It's true that the more places you check off the list, the longer the list gets.
How has travel changed you, personally?
It has changed my relationship with stuff. And by that I mean physical stuff -- possessions. I'm more careful about what I accumulate and conscious of how it weighs me down.
I'm also much more aware of how many choices I have. We tend to let our options get narrower and narrower until the big decisions are made for us. Life is more than just picking your cell phone carrier. You can do whatever you want with it.
You'll find the answers to other frequently asked questions about Matt by clicking here.