The Time to be Awesome is Now

During small group discussions about what we’d like to spend the next few months researching and writing about, I got an excellent suggestion to check out this guy who calls himself Nomadic Matt (thanks, Karly!).  He is, in short, a man who rejected the regurgitated line that your life must follow a contrived schematic moving from one point to the next according to a predetermined timeline.  He bucked the idea that you have to live your life a particular way and point blank refused to be ripped from that notion by unsupportive friends or family.  The result is that he’s spent the majority of his time traveling ever since 2006.  I don’t know about you, but that makes me positively tingle with envy.

Nomadic Matt
Nomadic Matt

His website deals with a lot of things and he is perpetually adding to it.  There’s a base of curated articles for how to start planning your travel, how to work around what you now believe are insurmountable obstacles, how to roll with punches once you’re actually out in the world, and how to dispel the pervasive believe that it’s irresponsible or dangerous to spend your life on the move.  The general tone of his articles is one of recognition (i.e. of the difficulties inherent in extended or frequent traveling) and one of supportive retaliation (basically everything he has to say is themed around why and how you can take down each of those difficulties).

As I plan my project–an exploration of why adventure is so important to so many people, what they know for adventuring that I don’t yet, and how to actually DO IT myself in the year following graduation–Nomadic Matt’s writing is a comfort.  I know that quite a few somebody-elses have faced the same challenges that I am rapidly starting to encounter (for instance a family who has lovingly told me I am insane).  It also made me realize that this project cannot just be for me, nor can it end when this I submit my portfolio for Sweetland to decide my fate.  Rather, if I am not alone in facing these challenges–if I am not alone in craving an unconventional life style–then my writing has to be framed with a similar recognition, retaliation, and continuation.  It has to be helpful for others, not just me, or my project will not have succeeded.    Because life is a team sport, really, and you can’t get allies without being one first.

2 thoughts to “The Time to be Awesome is Now”

  1. This is so great. I’m glad you were able to incorporate Nomadic Matt into your research, and i’m glad his writing is able to bring you some comfort! Also, I love the kid president! How do you plan to take his care-free attitude about his way of life and translate that through your own work and your project? Knowing that you’re not alone in this craving can definitely help you work through this piece. Especially if you follow through with interviews, a nice aspect of that is that this is a common urge for kids our age, students in particular, to fell. You could explain why and how this common feeling arises and what you are going to do about it!

  2. I’ve actually been looking at Nomadic Matt’s site a lot lately, because my (female) friend and I have been looking for safe ways for two women to travel alone and still be able to explore without relying on guided tours and touristy hotels. We’re only planning a 2-3 week trip, not an open-ended adventure, but Nomadic Matt has been so helpful! How are you thinking about incorporating his sympathetic tone and guidance into your project? Maybe out of all the research/interviews you gather you can make a list of “common problems” or fears that people bring up and make some kind of infographic for how to deal with those problems/fears. Or if you don’t have solutions, maybe you can provide a “rebuttal” or a reason why that problem/fear doesn’t matter (i.e. “I don’t know if this is a good time for me to travel.” –> “The time to be awesome is now.”)

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