Posts Tagged ‘travel’

When I got online this evening, I had no idea who Matt Harding was or where he had been or why it would ever interest me.  You’re probably thinking something very similar (though the YouTubers among us may already know him).  To be brief, Matt is something of a phenomenon.  To borrow from his site in a most shameless manner…

“Matt is a 31-year-old deadbeat from Connecticut who used to think that all he ever wanted to do in life was make and play video games.  Matt achieved this goal pretty early and enjoyed it for a while, but eventually realized there might be other stuff he was missing out on.  In February of 2003, he quit his job in Brisbane, Australia and used the money he’d saved to wander around Asia until it ran out.”

And so the real journey began.  While videotaping the sights, a friend suggested Matt “go over there” and be recorded performing his best dance moves.  While Matt is admittedly not the world’s best dancer, the results were quite interesting.  They eventually caught the attention of a corporate sponsor who provided Matt the opportunity to take two more trips, culminating in the video below.  Watch it the whole way through before you make any judgements.

It may not be revolutionary, or even terribly original, but I found this short movie oddly touching.  I like remembering that joy is the same in every language.  I like being reminded that you can have fun and look like an idiot and people will still love and admire you.  And I love that he can’t dance, that he looks goofy and silly and awkward, that he smiles evenso.  And I love that he willingly shared it with anyone who was willing to watch.  I love that this man had the courage to – first – travel halfway around the globe and live in a foreign country, and – second – walk away from his job and his life there to pursue something that felt right.

I don’t know where you are now, Matt, but thanks for sharing a bit of yourself, and the world, with the rest of us.

To read more about Matt, how this video came to be, and other videos he’s done, visit his website or his About Matt page.  For his blog, just clickety-clickety.

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Just so you don’t think I’ve gone and abandoned you, I hereby give notice that I will disappear for the next couple weeks.  Fear not, faithful visitors, I will return in early May with tales of mystery and intrigue.  Or at least stories of waiting in line for the requisite frisking by TSA agents in case I’m trying to smuggle a thermos of coffee that endangers national security.  (Really, my coffee isn’t that bad.  Honest.  Well, okay, not usually…)  However, if they catch me with a muffin, it may well be June before I make bail – if I make bail on such a horrendous charge.  (In the newest regulations, I belive it’s a felony to even consider trying to sneak a pastry and/or bread-based product on board.)  And lord have mercy if they discover my gel insoles…

For those staying put, consider yourselves lucky, but still be safe.  If you’re traveling, too, then I wish us both luck.  Remember to bring your toothbrush, a spare pair of drawers, and a huge helping of god-like patience.  Heaven help us all.

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