Ten Things You Don’t Know About Me and My Travel Blog

I’ve been doing this site for a while now and I realized that even after nearly 1,000 posts, there are a lot of things you all don’t know about me and LandLopers. So in an effort to try to share more and allow you to get to know me better, here are some random facts. If you have any questions, fire away

1. I just lost my job – I had originally written this post before losing my job, downsized out of my career so a little bit of editing was in order. I’m still not sure what I’m going to do yet, look for another job in the same field, look for a new job in a somewhat related field or try to make this website pay for itself. The jury is still out, so stay tuned!

2. 99.9% of the photos are mine – I didn’t think I needed to say this until I realized that a lot of bloggers use stock images. I was pretty surprised by this revelation, especially within the travel blogosphere. Photos are a major aspect of sharing travel experiences and without them I’d feel a bit lost. The only time I use photos that aren’t mine on LandLopers is: 1) guest posts (they use their own) 2) trip previews when I have no photos and 3) the very rare occurrence when I write about something for which I have no photos.

3. Worried that you’ll stop reading – I started this site because I have a voice but I had no way to unleash it. My job wasn’t creative, yet I have a creative soul. I don’t even remember the thought process involved with starting LandLopers, it’s as if it just happened over a long weekend. Since then I’ve been very lucky to engage with thousands of people, many of who come by the site every day. I can’t thank you all enough but just as I can’t explain why so many people visit every day, I’m worried that one-day people will stop reading. I know I shouldn’t care about such things, but I do and that’s why I work so hard – to create great content you all will love and to share my passion for the travel experience.

4. I am a closet geek – I’ve always been one, but in high school and college I tried hard to hide it. However, thanks to the Game of Thrones and other SciFi/Fantasy phenomena my geekiness has reemerged. I love Star Trek, Winterfell and anything that involves speculation about ancient aliens. There, I said it – now judge away.

5. I have three fur babies – When I first read that term in an airline magazine I hated it, yet now I think it’s the best descriptor. My partner and I have three dogs, all rescued and all we consider our children. We got our first one, an Australian Cattle Dog, almost 9 years ago followed a few months later by her brother a Siberian Husky and then finally a second brother, also a Siberian Husky. I spend a lot of time with our pups and they’re as close to having kids as I’m ever going to get, but I’m fine with that. I love them dearly and they have transformed what would be a boring household into a warm and loving home. It’s amazing the power a dog can have on the human soul.

6. LandLopers doesn’t make money – You probably guessed this after reading the first fact, but I don’t make very much money from this site. Have I accepted complimentary trips and hotel rooms? You bet, and I let you all know when I do. But as far as cold, hard cash goes I don’t earn any – or at least not much. That doesn’t mean I don’t want the site to earn money, but I have mindfully avoided cheap ads and ad links because it would clutter the site and take away from my overall mission. I am confident that LandLopers will make money, but it won’t be through destroying the look and feel of the site. You all, the readers, come first and it will always be that way.

7. I don’t eat seafood – I’ve tried, I really have, but I hate anything that has ever been in the water; except if a cow falls into a river or something. It’s been an issue all over the world since people seem to find it unbelievable that a fellow human can actually hate seafood. Yet here I am, testimony that fishy hatred exists. I know I’m not alone, but we are a very silent minority, lurking in the shadows as the lobster lovers of the world rule dominion.

8. I didn’t leave the country until I was 17 – My family vacations all throughout my life were confined to visiting my grandparents in rural Maine. Sounds nice, right? Well, not after 16 years. My parents didn’t like to travel and so I never had many opportunities to broaden my travel horizons. That all changed when I was 17 and had a chance to spend a month in Paris as part of an exchange. It was a magical experience and opened the floodgates to a lifetime of travel.

9. Garfield – Growing up my idol wasn’t a rock star or a sports hero, it was the comic strip cat Garfield. I was pretty obsessed with him as a young child and I thank him and his creator Jim Davis for my fierce sarcasm and love of lasagna. I even wrote to Davis as a kid and got a signed photo that is framed and featured prominently in my house today.

10. I am thankful – I don’t kid myself, I know I have a pretty good life. My partner and I are happy, we have a nice house and jobs that pay us and provide us with some security. (well, at least my partner does) I also get to travel around the world seeing its hidden treasures and enjoying everything that makes this planet so great. I know I don’t have an average life and I know that I am indeed blessed with opportunities few others get. I am thankful for all of this and count my blessings each and every day.


So there you have it, ten random facts about me you may or may not have known. Anything else you want to know? Ask away!



By: Matt Long

Matt has a true passion for travel. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer.

48 thoughts on “Ten Things You Don’t Know About Me and My Travel Blog”

  1. Love getting to learn a little more about the guy behind the blog! I’m just diving into more of the world of travel blogging, I used to stick to just food related posts – but I’m starting to branch out.

    And I totally relate to the need for a creative outlet – I have a whole load of outlets including my blog – but I sadly do not have a day job that allows for much creativity.

    What do you do with your fur babies when you travel? We just got a pup and I’m struggling with how to handle my travel with her now. I wish I could just take her with me everywhere!

  2. I also use almost exclusively my own photos! I’m looking forward to the season finale of Game of Thrones – have you read the books? I’m going to start the third one soon.

    As far as seafood goes, I eat fish… some fish. And that’s about it. I tried a bit of fresh tiger prawn the other day, and didn’t hate it. I grew up catching my own fish and I require any fish I eat to be of extremely high freshness and tastiness! And all the other seafood, mostly it’s a no thank you. It’s difficult here in Korea, because seafood is such a huge part of the diet. So I know how you feel on that front! I come from the Eastern Shore of Virginia, where everyone loves seafood, so no one understood…

  3. Matt, we’ve been in touch for a while and I’m fascinated by your stories, pictures and human touch, I’m actually surprised you are not yet monetising your blog, but I prefer you keep smiling in bringing joy to the travelsphere!

    I didn’t leave my home country (I understand you are in my homeland now) until I was 26, marvel at sci-fi and anything with “quantum” in the title, I do no fish, seafood or ex-animal food in general and my hero wasn’t Gardfield and Jim Davis, but Calvin & Hobbes and Bill Watterson.

    You’re doing a great thing, and as all great things, sooner or later it’ll pay.

    Meet you on the road!

  4. You’ve done a fine job with the blog, Matt. I, for one, appreciate seeing a blogger’s own photos. A travel blogger is sharing a personal experience. With someone else’s photos, it’s someone else’s experience.

  5. When I was younger I had a friend who had a Big Garfield Tattoo on his forearm (he had Alf the Lucky Love Cat on the other arm)
    Bizarre behaviour but quite amusing and quite normal for him. – I often wonder if he still has them.


  6. “except if a cow falls into a river or something” hahahaha! That part made me laugh!

    I’d love to live with my partner and have dogs together someday, too. And don’t stress about creating great content – you’re doing a fine, fine job with that, Matt :)

    Good luck with the job hunt too, I’m sure something will come up eventually. As they say, everything happens for a reason, even if you can’t see it now. Maybe you’ll get to do something that’ll nurture your creative side more, in addition to LandLopers of course.

  7. yeah, the stock photo thing surprises me too. photos are sometimes the most important piece, in my opinion.

    also, dont worry about the seafood. my husband is allergic and we still travel wherever we want and dont feel like we are missing out. even in Asia.

  8. I really appreciated that little insight into your personal life! Your successful blog always made me think you were more of the professional journalist type living off your blog income. Sigh . . . I guess it’s just a labor of love for all of us bloggers after all. Good luck with your recent bump in the road of life.

  9. Matt, I LOVE this!

    We’re so there on the not eating things that were ever in the water (except clumsy cows) and ancient aliens. I proudly wore my geek badge in high school (I was that X-Files girl). Geeks are the cool kids.

    I didn’t leave the country until I was 19 (not counting a trip to Toronto at 8 or 9). I was supposed to go to France after graduating high school but backed out. I just wasn’t ready. That said, I still need to get to France…

  10. So far all of my photos posted are not mine, but I’m SO working on taking photos of my own and adding them to my page.
    To be perfectly honest, I don’t understand this massive love seafood receives. I do eat fish (rarely now since I’ve had some nasty experiences in the past) but that’s about the extent of it.
    I’ve suffered through 2 and a half episodes of Game of Thrones but I ended it. Just not for me. However, I highly recommend Sanctuary (sadly it will not be renewed for a 5th season, but the series are amazing)
    Garfield RULES!!!
    My first trip abroad was when I was 13, but the greatest trip I had was to the US, when I was 22 (and in 2 months I get to be there again – YEY)
    Just keep on being yourself, you are on the right path, I will keep on reading your amazing posts!

  11. Thanks for the insight. I’ve read a lot of travel blogs and yours is my favourite by far. I will forgive you your hatred of seafood and your love of Garfield as long as you keep me interested in your writing. Excellent photos as well!

    1. Ron, thanks very much for those kind words, I really appreciate them! it’s folks like you that make this site so much fun to write. :)

  12. It is SO great to get to know you better. I am an introverted geek too who’s childhood hero was Ziggy, I’d think we get along just great in a coffee shop…I’d say sushi bar, but well…

    1. Thanks Andi! I just assume people know about me, but I know that’s not the case with most readers. I’ll be doing more of these in the future.

  13. Closet geeks, UNITE!

    Actually, I’m not a closet geek… the Elvish tattoo around my wrist is a dead giveaway that I am a geek. Haha.

    Good luck with the job hunt (or whatever you decide to do), and thanks for sharing some fun facts with us!

  14. I’m a geek too (<3 me some Doctor Who!), didn't leave the country until I was 19 (also to Paris!), and while I eat some fish and fried squid occasionally, people in Korea think I am so strange because I don't like raw fish. I just cannot do it. I hate sushi, and anything that is not cooked basically. The thought of sashimi makes me gag. I don't like shrimp either way, nor am I am big fan of lobster or crab.

    Great post!

  15. Awesome post! Sorry about losing your job. I know exactly how you feel about that though. I like my job but it doesn’t inspire me so this has been my outlet. As for the photos, the same here. Only time I don’t use my own photos is 1) guest posts and 2) I will use a flickr image for a story on airline news to show a photo of a plane or something (that was more in the beginning, I have more of my own photos for this now). ANd you aren’t alone – I know quite a few people that don’t like seafood.

    Like you, I’ve shared some personal things as well. Last year, I wrote travel confessions and travel confessions II to talk about my travels, who I am, what I like and don’t like. You may have just inspired part III!

  16. hmmm I didn’t realize bloggers use stock photography either. I guess that’s just one of the perks of marrying a professional photographer- better photos on my site! except the ones taken from my iphone : /

  17. I’m so darn naive I didn’t realize travel bloggers used stock photos and not their own 100% of the time. Photography should go hand-in-hand with the prose in travel writing. I’m not a great photographer but It’s rare I use a stock picture. Matt your blog and your adventures inspire me and I’m sure inspire others. Like I said before, I have a feeling your job loss is a message from the Universe. Thanks for sharing about your life!

  18. Great to get to know you a bit better! I love Star Trek too, by the way. The Next Generation rules!
    And, your photos are amazing. You’re a great photographer!

  19. Thanks for the personal insight into who you are :) Just curious but how did you travel so much with a full-time job when you were working? I’m currently trying to find that balance of travel and working to fund my travels

  20. I used my own photos too on my travel blog and I am surprised to know some travel bloggers uses stock photos on their posts. I loved dogs and I got my Japanese Spitz keeping me company in my humble home.

    Thanks for sharing yourself Matt and wishing you all the best.

  21. Guilty! Of using stock photos… Unlike many of the destination blogs I read, my site is mostly ‘how-to’ and I just don’t always have the photos I need at hand… so I have a rolling list of pics and each time I come across something I can replace with my own, I do. But when I don’t have what I need, I’d rather use stock photos than none at all… at least half my pages don’t have any photos and I find them way too dense…

    Love the fur babies – as the proud mama of two Dutch Shepherds and 7 cats (it’s OK, I live on a farm in France so they have the run of the place) I understand how you feel. They’re our kids too.

    I do love your blog, your writing and your photos… but I’m afraid I started traveling as a baby and I love lobster. Does this mean we’re finished?? Maybe we still have a chance… I do love Garfield, after all…

  22. My first time on your site and this was the second post I read (first one was about you losing your job), and it’s a great introduction post I must say! I like the term “fur babies” though my bf does think it’s stupid ha ha! I’ve always wanted a Siberian husky but being that we live in NYC, there’s no space for them to roam around! We instead have two mini-daschunds! And I think I like your site so maybe I’ll keep reading, and maybe even follow you on Twitter! :)

  23. I’m with you on the photo thing–and most of the comments and traffic I seem to get at Midwest Guest seem to indicate that photos are among the biggest draw for me. I often take my photos with a story in mind, although the photos just as often drive the stories for me.
    Most of the travel bloggers I know seem to take their own photos, and that really adds to the experience for me when I’m reading their words.
    I can really identify with #6 as well…I’d love to have Midwest Guest pay for itself, but not at the cost of cheesy ads or links.
    Now, on the seafood thing…just send it on down the table to me :)

  24. I would LOVE to use 100% my own photos on my website but . . .

    I’ve been travelling for decades now so many of my ‘classic’ travels (train trip across Europe, for example) happened in the pre-digital era (ugh — showing my age!). Anyway, this has left many of my photos (about 8,000 at last count) sitting in photo albums in my parents’ basement . . . on another continent!

    Eventually, I will pop back over the pond to sort those phtotos out and get them up on my site . . . but the thought of having to go through them all (let alone scan hundreds of the ones I want to use) is enough to put me off that plan for a while yet!

    Great site, Matt. :-)

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