S2-EP3: Nomadic Matt on his new memoir and travel as a way to reinvent yourself

Nov 8, 2019


Debbie talks to Matt Kepnes, founder of the popular travel website nomadicmatt.com. Travel is on everyone’s bucket list when they talk about taking time off. Matt talks about reinventing yourself – no matter what your age – as part of the reward of longterm travel.



Matthew Kepnes is best known as Nomadic Matt, the name of his popular website dedicated to traveling smarter, cheaper and longer. He tells us in the first few pages of his new memoir that he has spent more than 3,000 nights in a thousand different cities in 90 countries so Debbie figured he would be the perfect guest to talk about travel as a way to reinvent yourself.

Now 38, Matt recently settled down in Austin, Texas after over 10 years of longterm traveling in Asia and other parts of the world. We talk about the emotional aspects of travel, the courage it takes to detach yourself from societal expectations (keep a steady job, stay in one place), the difference between travel and a vacation and the importance of journaling or writing while you are on the journey. Only by recording what you are thinking and feeling while in the midst of it can you look back later to truly understand the experience.

Matt also shares his encounters with older travelers and the common fears that he hears in people 50 and older who want to travel on the cheap.

Mentioned in the episode

  • Nomadicmatt.com is full of resources for traveling at any age
  • Ten Years a Nomad by Matthew Kepnes (part memoir and part philosophical exploration of why we travel)
  • Vagabonding by Rolf Potts (the original book about the art of longterm world travel)

Support this podcast:


Connect with us:

Thanks to our media partners

Encore.org, our newest media partner, is an ideas and innovation hub tapping the talent of those 50+ as a force for good. Founder and CEO Marc Freedman is an award-winning social entrepreneur and author, most recently, of How to Live Forever: The Enduring Power of Connecting the Generations. Looking for a great gap-year transition program? Check out Encore Fellowships, which match skilled, seasoned professionals with social-sector organizations in high-impact, paid assignments.


Modern Elder Academy is a program dedicated to navigating mid-life transitions. MEA, based in Baja California, Mexico, provides the place and the tools to start reframing your lifetime of experience. Grow whole, not old. Founder Chip Conley is a New York Times bestselling author, award-winning hospitality entrepreneur and a rock star of the mid-life transition movement. His newest book is Wisdom @ Work: the Making of a Modern Elder.


Next For Me is an important new resource for the 50+ crowd focused on rewriting life. Taking a gap year or timeout may be the best way to figure out "what's next" when you're in this stage of life. Founder Jeff Tidwell explains, Next For Me "connects and inspires our generation to evolve our post-50 lives through new work, a new purpose, or a new social contribution."