As hard as it is for me to believe, this travel blog has now been around for about 6 ½ years. During that time my life has changed in any number of ways and almost all of them for the better. I try to imbue my posts with as much of my own personality as possible – that is, after all, the entire point of a blog. But to even further that sharing, from time to time I share even more details about who I am as a person. I think it’s important that you know me if you’re going to trust me and I also just really enjoy writing these posts. So today here are a few quirky aspects of me and my personality that you may not know, but which will hopefully put my posts in better context.
Pastries are my great weakness
Everyone has something that they can’t resist, and for me it’s pastries. While I’ve rarely been known to turn down any sweet, for some reason well-executed pastries are something I just can’t resist. Cinnamon buns, doughnuts, fritters – you name it, and I love eating it, especially if it’s been spread with a generous amount of icing. So if you ever want to win me over, be sure to show up with some fresh blueberry fritters or a chocolate croissant.
The most Type A of Type A personalities
When I was in the 6th grade a teacher told me that “Matt, you’re going to have an ulcer by the time you’re 40.” Well, I’m 40 and still no ulcer, but her point was well made. If there’s something to worry about, it’ll concern me in some way. This of course translates to every aspect of my life, from lists categorizing my other lists to a closet in which shirts appear in order of color and hue. I have, in my own defense, tried to relax a little, but it’s admittedly a process.
Love people but need my recharge time
At one of my early professional jobs I had to take a Myers-Briggs personality test. If you’re not familiar, the test evaluates you on several points and you are given a personality type at the end. Of my 150 coworkers I was told that I had the highest, most extreme extroverted rating of the bunch. They called me the flaming E, much to the amusement of my colleagues. While my annoyingly high extraversion has mellowed over the years, I am still, without a doubt, a people person. Nothing excites me more than talking with people and if I have to lead a class or give a speech, I’m high on adrenaline for hours, never happier. But that doesn’t always mean I actually enjoy being around people and have found that while I love engaging, I also love retreating into a personal shell. No offense to anyone I am around, but especially when I travel I need several of these quiet moments a day. Opportunities to rest, relax and recharge. Then I can engage in rhetorical debates for the rest of the day.
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 since college, a fact I’d really like to change soon.
I don’t eat ANY fish or seafood. Ever.
This has been the subject of multiple posts but I feel the need to mention it again because it continues to follow me around. No, I do not eat fish or seafood. No, I am not allergic to fish or seafood. Yes, I have tried fish and seafood. No, I do not like fish or seafood and nothing you say, do or have me try will change that fact. So please let me exist in my happy non-fishy bubble and pass the burgers.
Lived in 10 states
Due to my father’s job and my own personal proclivity towards vagabondery, I have lived in 10 states. That’s actually a lot by American standards and it developed in me a peculiar quality. If I don’t move every few years I start to feel antsy, restless. That is why it’s fairly remarkable that I have lived in the DC area for 16 years but in all honesty, I think it’s part of getting older. I own a house, have three dogs and enjoy my suburban lifestyle. But after a few years that antsy feeling left and you know what, I really like being part of a community for once. Oh, and in case you were wondering I have lived in: Georgia, Texas, Ohio, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Missouri, Virginia, Washington, DC and Maryland.
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.
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.
So there you have it, another peek into the odd but I hope interesting personality that defines me and in the process this site. As always, please let me know if you have any questions or want to know even more about me!