The End (and a New Beginning)

The End (and a New Beginning)

Nomadic Matt walks to a castle in the Loire Valley, France

This post has been in the making for the past six years. I would write it, delete it, write it again, then delete it again.

There never seemed to be a good time to press publish. As so often, life got in the way, destinations got backpacked, things got busy and finally COVID came and blew a hole in my plan.

The years passed in the blink of an eye and I was no closer to achieving my goal.

And that goal? To stop blogging.

Do not get me wrong. I love what I do. I like to travel. I like this website. I love the community we have here and that we are expanding The Nomadic Network. I love the students we help with FLYTE. And, as frustrating as it can be at times, I love putting TravelCon together.

I love to travel and plan to continue to do so… just in different ways.

I have been running this website since 2008 and have written over 1,400 articles. That’s about three million words.

Add 300 travel guides and two books (one with three editions) and that’s a lot of writing about travel.

In all that writing, I’ve laid out pretty clearly how I think about travel and what it can do for you. I honestly don’t have much more to say about it. I feel like years ago I stopped adding new thoughts to the nature of travel and often just bring up topics I’ve already talked about.

And, as I wrote in a blog post a few years ago, the basics of travel don’t change all that much over time. Sure, apps, websites, and services come and go, but the basics Why and how (travel like the locals live) stay the same.

Fourteen years after I started blogging from my living room, I have also changed. I love high-end restaurants as much as I love food trucks and street food. I often prefer to stay in a nice hotel with a comfortable bed than in a hostel (I don’t sleep as well as I used to and it’s more productive for work).

Of course I still have a backpack with me, and sometimes I long to meet other travelers and so I stay in a hostel. But I don’t do it as often as I used to. And as a result, I no longer have my ears to the ground for those hardcore budget travel tips and new apps like I used to.

Last year I found balance in my life and this year will be a continuation of that. Last month I got a mortgage, and after this current trip to Mexico I’m going back to Austin to buy a house. A house where I would like to stay more than a few days in a row.

At the beginning of the year, when the team and I had our annual goal setting meeting, I gave them more control over the website. They will run the day-to-day operations and Chris, our jack of all trades, is now our Director of Content.

I want to settle down more, start a garden, join social clubs in Austin, have more regularity in my life and just be less active. I want to travel more consciously, without always having an eye for “how can I blog about this”. I no longer want to take pictures of menus or go to supermarkets to look up prices.

And I want to write more books and that also requires more focus and routine. It’s hard to write a book when you’re always on the go.

In light of all of this, I’m taking a step back from blogging. In the future, this website will become more of a resource and less of a personal blog. That doesn’t mean I’ll never blog again. I will have more stories to tell. They will just be a lot less frequent and sporadic. (Example: It’s mid-February and this is the first thing I’ve written all year.)

Plus, now that the pandemic isn’t ruining our finances anymore, we’re going to be bringing in guest writers again, so there’s going to be different voices that can talk more about different aspects of the road that I can no longer do.

I’m sure if this blog changes, some of you will move on. After fourteen years, you’ve probably changed too – and I understand that. I mean, there are very few blogs that I started reading in 2008 that I still read today.

But when I think about the next step in my professional career, “writing blog posts” isn’t really something I really want to do. I’m going to focus on other aspects of travel – more books, big events, group travel and community gatherings – things that bring people together in real life and that take me off the screen.

So while we may not be connecting as much here, we will be connecting in other ways. The fact that I meet people who have read the site from the beginning astonishes and humiliates me immensely. I still can’t believe I was able to build a career around blogging about life on the road and sharing my tips and stories. I appreciate you all till the end.

But it’s time to move on to other endeavors. After so many years, the timing is finally right.

PSYou can still find me on Instagram, Twitterand Facebook and in our weekly newsletter, which isn’t going anywhere.

Book your trip: logistics tips and tricks

Book your flight

Find a cheap flight with Skyscanner. It’s my favorite search engine because it searches websites and airlines around the world, so you always know that no stone is left unturned.

Book your accommodation

You can book your hostel at Hostelworld. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com as they consistently return the cheapest rates for guest houses and cheap hotels.

Don’t forget the travel insurance

Travel insurance protects you against illness, injury, theft and cancellations. It is comprehensive protection in case something goes wrong. I never travel without it as I have had to use it many times in the past. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:

  • SafetyWing (best for everyone)
  • Insure my trip (for over 70s)
  • Medjet (for additional evacuation coverage)

Ready to book your trip?

Check out my resources page for the best companies to use when you travel. I make a list of all the ones I use when I travel. They are best in class and you can’t go wrong with them on your trip.

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