Nomadic Matt Feels Like My Friend

I've been reading Nomadic Matt for years.

Let me give a disclaimer.

Here's my well-worn reading pattern, crafted over time:

Every six months, I realize that I miss reading a darn good daily travel blog. So I sign up for Nomadic Matt's daily email newsletter again, as well as a few other recommended (via my personal friend Google who surely provides me with targeted results) "travel blog newsletters". About a week later, I unsubscribe from everything but Nomadic Matt because they all minorly suck. Then, a few weeks later, I end up unsubscribing from Nomadic Matt.


Because I've never gotten addicted to him. Honestly, I feel like I don't really know him. His posts are often very "how-to" and my glimpses of him within the exotic international cities are few and far between. As a result, I sometimes feel that I can't gain much as a daily reader if I'm not on the exact same around the world itinerary as he is (which I'm not).

Today, though, he convinced me.

First with this post, The Day I Quit, which is one of the best written posts I've seen him do in a long time. And the with this post, Changing Plans and Getting Personal.

When you're not on someone else's journey, you want to feel you are.

The personal is what does that for me. Thanks, Matt.

Nicaraguan Summer Camp

Nicaragua, it seems, had become summer camp for Americans with a conscience.

- Peter Moore, The Full Montezuma

image credit

I laughed mightily at this quote today, and then quickly searched for "expat aid worker" on flickr to find an appropriate photo to serve as a quote companion.

The above, in which a large group of strangely dressed gringos watch mesmerized as a pit of some clear importance is being dug, seems more than fitting. Soon, under careful supervision by the natives, they will dig their own pits, and, thus, save the world.

(I know, because I've done it.)


No More Days

A new decree: No more day-numbering.

Lots more days, though.


Thing Happened. We Laughed. We Cried. It Ended. Then It Started Again.

Sometimes, things end. They go up in flames; they meet a fiery end. Or not. They die out; they fizzle. Maybe you have 1,000 reasons why; maybe you have none. Whatever. The end.

Sometimes, these self-same things start again. For lots of good reasons, say, or perhaps none at all. The poppy opens. The chorus screeches. The (new) beginning.

It's one of those times.

Day 1066: It's dark, oh so dark...

When I came to England to start this old MBA degree for Hope Runs they forgot to tell me about the weather.

I mean, sure, I knew.

"England is cold," people said.

"In England I remember stepping off the curb into puddles of ice cold water in the winter," my father said.

"You need to dress with long underwear - like you're camping," my mother said.

Since both my parents studied here, they seemed to have lots of opinions.

Case in point: it's cold. More than that, though, I seem to be having a problem with the entire lack of sun and just general lightness flowing onto this here British earth. When I awake at 7:45, it's darkish. When I am still sitting in class at 3:45 pm, it's already getting darkish.  And, as you might imagine, its also quite dark during the night. Point being - I miss light. Here's some (with a little Edwin included):

Day 1053: Morocco, Where I Fought With Lara

On a break from business school up in the UK, I went down to Morocco last week. In my exciting few days in Marrakech, I relived many of the of the times I spent with Lara there, back on Day 46. Specifically, I happened upon a beautiful palace in which I remember having a heated argument with Lara for upwards of an hour. It was about life, and love, or something like that, and I remember being hot and deciding that we might as well sit down as we fought.

Ah, memories.

Day 1050: Baby Steps

On the ground in Kenya these days, we've got a great guy working on an exciting new business program for Hope Runs and IBECOME. He's living at Tumaini, where Hope Runs began, for 6 months, and during his first two months so far has been enjoying the many unique personalities of our favorite little (and big) monsters.

Yesterday, we heard that the youngest, and newest of Tumaini's residents has finally warmed up to him. Hezekia, a small and adorable 7 or 8 year old, apparently approached our fine Zach with the gentlest of smiles. After several seconds of akwardness, he then made the ambiguous, surprising ask for money. Upon learning that Zach was not going to give him money, however, he realized he didn't really have much use for the money (being a 7 year old and having his needs taken care of in the orphanage) so apparently wasn't really very disappointed. The chat then progressed in its normal awkward way, with the money issue having been taken off the table.

Zach laughed when telling me and Lara. "Baby steps," he said.

Day 1000: The Days are Jumbled

The days are jumbled here at TrippingOnWords. When we started this fine blog several years ago, we were aimless travel writers taking on a year overseas. That soon turned to non-profit work for cute kids in Africa, and this work ( is what continues to this day.

However, we no longer live in Africa full time. This fall, we are split between the USA and the UK as we work to make Hope Runs, and the larger organization we started, IBECOME, good little change-makers.

Lara Lands in Kenya....

It was her blackberry, and the immediate 30 emails, that tipped me off. To make sure, though, I called her just as she was sitting down to a welcome dinner at the orphanage in Nyeri. Since her cell phone isn't up and working yet, I had called the ever sarcastic and amazing manager of the orphanage, Eunice.

When I asked if Lara was there safe and in one piece, she answered in classic Eunice style:

"You should probably talk to her personally to ask her if she thinks she is one piece."

Lara said, indeed, she was still a whole person. She also said that Edwin, 11 (I can't believe how big he is now) had immediately asked if she had brought the shoes "for to go running."

I heart those kids.

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