Five More Things You Don’t Know About Me

A few months ago I wrote a post entitled Ten Things You Don’t Know About Me and My Travel Blog. It was an effort for you all to get to know me a little bit which, after all, is sort of the purpose of a blog. You all read my site not because I share five great things to do in Paris. You can get that information anywhere. You read, I hope, because you like my travel style and can relate to me and my life experiences. So what better way to deepen those ties than to share with you some more quirks about me and my life.


1. Tuba – I’ve always been involved with music in one way or another since I was very young. First I played piano then in elementary school I tried the trombone but just didn’t like it. Finally, in 6th grade someone put a tuba in my hands and a new love was born. I played tuba in various bands and orchestras from 6th grade through my Sophomore year in college; a full eight years. That’s a long time to lug around a ginormous brass instrument, but I loved it and even today I still enjoy the sound of a well played tuba. Yes, this experience also included four years of marching band in high school and I am very proud to have been a band geek. Some of my longest lasting relationships came from that experience including two of my best friends today. Music has a unique ability to connect people and one of my greatest regrets is not having played any instrument in nearly seventeen years, a fact I’d really like to change soon.


2. Not a big art fan – Ok, I sort of like art, but only sort of. I like certain artists, like Seurat and Van Gogh and can revel in the beauty of their works for hours. But put me in art museum and I’m bored within minutes. The experience just doesn’t appeal to me and I don’t understand how people can spend days in the great museums of the world just staring. History I love though and can easily wander through the British Museum or Newseum for hours, learning as I go. But art museums don’t do that for me, I don’t learn anything and my brain isn’t engaged. It’s just a slideshow of nice works of art that I don’t particularly understand or like very much. So call me a heathen or whatever, I don’t think I’m going to change though.


3. Fear of drowning – Who knows why but I have an irrational fear of drowning. If I believed in past lives I’d blame one of them, but since I don’t I won’t. This hasn’t stopped me from enjoying in and on water experiences though and in fact I always try to do something water related when I travel. It’s not so much drowning as a result of swimming, but being trapped that freaks me out. That could also be why I hated my SNUBA experience in Hawaii last year. To me it seemed like organized drowning and I even had a freak out moment.

 Spain mushroom

4. Ate first mushroom in 2012 – If you read LandLopers frequently, then you know that my eating habits are strange and bizarre to the average person. I don’t know why, but growing up I never really tried foods that I didn’t think I would like. This has of course continued into adulthood, but in my defense I have tried more new foods in the past few years than I ever thought I would. The verdict though hasn’t been great. Most foods I thought I’d hate I did indeed hate, including mushrooms. I may have inadvertently eaten a mushroom at some point over the previous 36 years of my life, but if I did it was without my knowledge. On two recent trips to Spain though I decided to throw caution to the wind and try, willfully, for the first time a well prepared mushroom. Mushrooms are big business in Spain and they’re even considered a bit of a national obsession. I mean seriously, what other country would have a reality TV show about mushroom hunting? So I thought of no better place to try a mushroom than in this fungal obsessed nation. It wasn’t just one time either, I tried them many times and each time I hated the experience. They’re just not good which begs the question why anyone would think to eat the sometimes poisonous fungi they find growing in the murky moss of a forest. It’s beyond me and I’ll stick to what I know.


5. Lived in 10 states – My family moved around a lot growing up. In my entire life I believe I’ve lived in 15 different homes/condos/apartments, which is a lot I think. I also think it made me who I am today as a person. Moving to a new school is hard for a kid and I had to learn ways in which to fit in quickly. Humor was always the best method for me and it developed over the years into a sarcastic wit that can be dry, but hopefully never mean. Moving around that much also instilled in me a definite wanderlust. When my partner and I bought a condo in 2003, it was really hard to not leave and move somewhere else after a few years. I don’t find comfort in the same place day after day, I get bored and the desire to pick up roots and move across the country has been strong, but I’ve resisted. Maybe this is the reason why I started traveling so much more, to get out of that routine and to add a little spontaneity to my life. Or maybe it’s because I love Nutella crepes, who knows.

So there you go, a little more insight into me; hope I haven’t scared you all too much. As always, if you ever want to know something just ask and I’ll usually be honest.

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.

10 thoughts on “Five More Things You Don’t Know About Me”

  1. As a world traveler, I feel sometimes like there is a lot of pressure to visit museums and “like” art. Of course, we visit the biggies (you just can’t miss the Louvre if you are in Paris, or the Vatican Museum if you are in Rome) but we see the highlights and get n with our day, so I can relate to your dislike of art.

    1. Yay I’m not an outcast! And you’re right, I do make a point to see the biggies, but spending a day at an art museum just isn’t going to happen.

  2. OMG I am TOTALLY with you on the art museum thing. I can wander around the British Museum or any Natural History Museum anywhere, and spend hours and hours going history/archaeology nerdy over it. Put me in the National Portrait Gallery and 20 minutes later, I’m like “Ok, I’m over this now”. Some art I do really like, like Monet (especially after seeing his water lily pond in person), but portraits of generic landscapes and people long dead just bore the life out of me.

    And, I also grew up as a very picky eater! My family made fun of me for ages because the only meat I would eat as a kid was chicken. However, I have learned to like some things that I refused to eat as a kid. For instance, tomatoes. I used to be completely disgusted by the thought of anything made with tomatoes, including tomato sauce, salsa, ketchup… but now I love salsa and pizza. And I find some mushrooms are ok, like the small ones that are chopped up in bits and go in pasta or on top of pizza, but why on earth someone would want to eat a whole big mushroom by itself boggles my mind. Too much weird texture going on there for me.

  3. I second your sentiment about art, Matt. It seems that I somehow get sucked into going to a museum because it’s the thing we’re supposed to do while travelling. Like the trip just wouldn’t be complete without it?! I’d much rather we wandering around outside of the museum, snapping pics of people or hunting for a decent bite to eat. (About which, by the way, I have no limits. Foodie here. I had no idea you were so picky. ha!)

  4. Am with you for 2. and 3. I am totally not an art fan. I can’t appreciate them. Am alright with museums as that give me insights about the local history and the background as to what makes them waht they are today. I good example is when I visited the War Musuem in Ho Hi Minh City and learnt about their hardship during the Vietnam War. I could then appreciate why they are very competitive in being first line (or rather don’t form a line in a queue).

    I too have a fear of drowning, but I love watersports!! I wakeboard almost every weekend and I enjoy the occasional snorkeling holidays. This fear of drowning has been THE stumbling block hindering me from taking up diving. I intend to overcome that fear and am now re-learning good swimming and breathing techniques.

    Thanks for sharing this insights about you, Matt. Yes, we read your blog because we like your travel styles.

    1. Thank YOU for sharing too Sharina, I appreciate you opening up! About diving, part of me wants to learn and the other part wants to sit on the beach with a Mai Tai. :) Who knows, maybe I’ll give it a go in 2014!

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