Name: Matthew Karsten aka “Expert Vagabond”
Hometown: Campton, New Hampshire
Current Location: Scotland
Languages: English, Basic Spanish
Every time is Taco Time: “I could eat tacos 7 days a week and not get sick of them.”
Meet Matthew Karsten of ExpertVagabond.com : “I grew up in a small town in New Hampshire, hiking & camping in the White Mountains. I’ve always loved the outdoors and taking risks on new adventures. However I didn’t start traveling internationally until my late 20’s, when some friends opened my eyes to the budget-backpacking experience. Once I began, I was hooked on the adventure and challenges of exploring new countries, and spent the next few years doing everything I could to turn traveling into a full-time career.”
Expert Vagabond’s been featured on BBC, National Geographic, and The Travel Channel
Where has Matt the Expert Vagabond gone?
Canada, Mexico, Cuba, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Italy, Spain, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Philippines, Fiji, South Africa, Turkey, Israel
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” – Neale Donald Walsch
Long lines at the airport. Getting ripped off by taxi-drivers.
Going on long-distance hiking & camping trips in remote places. My job as a travel blogger requires me to be online almost constantly, so it feels great to head out into the wilderness and get off the grid.
Best Travel Experience?
One of my favorite trips was spending 5 days in the Darien Gap, a lawless swath of jungle between Panama & Colombia. Traveling by motorized dugout canoe on winding rivers in the pouring rain. Using a machete to catching fish and crabs for dinner. Drinking moonshine with local indigenous families. Learning about a culture completely foreign to my own.
Worst Travel Experience?
Also in Panama. I was devastated when my laptop computer was stolen in Panama City. However I got some revenge, and it turned into one of my wildest travel stories.
“Good stuff happens when you spend a few days or weeks in one area.” -Expert Vagabond
Your very best travel tips?
All the good stuff happens when you spend a few days (or weeks) in one area. You’ll learn about activities that aren’t in your guidebook, and meet people who are eager to show you around. Spend more time in fewer places for maximum enjoyment. Keep plans to a minimum, and set time aside for those unexpected side-journeys that always seem to be the most memorable.”
Worst Travel Tips you’ve heard?
“Don’t eat the street food”. This is horrible travel advice. Street food can be the freshest, most delicious, and frankly safest food to eat! Keep an eye out for street food stalls that are super busy, especially with women and children. They probably have the best reputation for great food at a good value. Due to constant turnover with so many customers, it’s usually very fresh.
Check out Matt’s Blog at www.expertvagabond.com. It’s one of the top resources among travelers to learn about new places, and Matt also always has riveting stories about his adventures around the world!
“TACOS. Real Mexican tacos, in Mexico of course. They seriously aren’t the same anywhere else.”
Parting words of wisdom?
1.) “Travel doesn’t have to be expensive.”
2.) “The world isn’t as dangerous as the media portrays it.”
3.) “Don’t underestimate the power of a smile.”