Seattle, Washington Frequently Asked Q’s

The merry-go-round keeps a-spinning.

Here’s my site traffic over the last 12 months:

Usage

And I’m told a lot of it isn’t going through my site anymore. So that’s nice.

The posts on metafilter and fazed.org seemed to draw most of the crowd. I was warned there’d be a lot of "asshats" making obnoxious comments on their message boards. I braced myself, but the asshat ratio has been surprisingly low.

I emailed my web host to apologize for the sudden surge and let them know I haven’t started a warez site or anything. They didn’t seem fussed about it. I highly recommend them, by the way. $10 a month and absolutely no extra fees if you suddenly start pumping out 60 Gigs a day.

I’ve had a couple media requests — interviews and whatnot, which I’m certainly not above participating in.

Far and away the #1 question I get asked about is what song is used in the video. It’s called Sweet Lullaby and it’s by a couple French DJs who call themselves Deep Forest. The main vocals, I’ve read, are sung by a young girl in the Soloman Islands. Some central African Pygmy chants are mixed in along with a bit of cheeseball Euro techno from the early 90s.

I have to apologize to the musicians for not including them in the credits. I fixed that yesterday, but my rinky-dink video editing program is giving me trouble, so I haven’t been able to put it up yet.

In looking into the song and its origins, I made a depressing discovery: a music video was made for the song about 10 years ago and the concept is very similar to what I did. It shows a 4-year-old girl riding her tricycle through Kenya, Russia, India, and a bunch of other places. Worse yet, I now realize I saw the video when it was repurposed as the station identification promo for a channel called SBS: Australia’s equivalent to PBS.

The idea for the dancing video came from my friend, Brad, so I can’t claim credit for that anyway. But clearly the notion of putting Sweet Lullaby over it was planted by watching that very similar promo.

So there you have it. I’m a derivative hack.

The other question I get asked is, of course, how did I afford all the travel. Am I a trust fund baby? IPO jackass? International jewel thief?

The simple answer is that I invented the Ab Roller. But while simple, it is sadly untrue.

I saved up a fair amount while living in Australia due to a favorable exchange rate and some tax weirdness that turned out in my favor. It wasn’t a fortune by any means, and I should stress that if you avoid Europe, the US, and a few other places, you’re really not spending all that much once you get where you’re going.

I couldn’t even guess at how much I spent wandering around over the last two years, and I certainly wouldn’t want to. But it’s not something that bothers me. If you regret the money you spend on travel, then you’re doing it wrong.

Some people want to know where I’m planning to go next. It won’t be for a while, as I have no money coming in right now, but when I do get things sorted out I’d like to take an extended trip to South America — one of the two continents I haven’t yet visited and by far the more manageable journey. I’m terrified of spiders, so I’m staying out of the Amazon and anywhere else where large furry arachnids tend to hang out. Patagonia seems beautiful and fairly spider-free, so it may be the focus of the trip.

I’d really like to go to Bhutan. The places I pine for most are generally the ones I know least about, and pretty much all I know about Bhutan is how to spell it and where to find it on a map. It seems like a mysterious place, so it’s near the top of my list.

As landforms go, you can’t beat islands. Islands are a great thing. I’ve never met one I didn’t like. My favorites are often the ones where you go "Who knew there was a freaking island there? How can that be?!" I have that reaction to the Azores and I’d like to find out what the hell the deal is with that place. I’d like to go to the Isle of Man, mostly because of the name. There are a lot of Monkey Islands around Asia and I’d like to visit all of them. Speaking of which, there’s a place called Skull Island a few thousand miles southwest of Sumatra in the Indian Ocean. It’s surrounded by a rock atoll that hides it from passing ships and would have acted as a breakwater for the tsunami, so it should still be in good shape. I would like to go there and search for dinosaurs and oversized deified primates.

If anyone is interested in funding such an expedition, you know how to reach me.

37 Responses to Seattle, Washington Frequently Asked Q’s

  1. Chex

    Matt, this is the best thing I’ve ever seen, hands down. I’m leaving for about eight months of budget travelling to Europe in a couple of months. Any advice? Must sees? I am unbelievably envious of your travelling and sadly I even wish that I had invented the ab roller, or something equally as insignificant for my own personal gain because I would do exactly as you did. Good luck in your future travels Matt. I will visit this site to watch where you are.

    – Chex

  2. Ginny

    Way to go! As I sit in my house after a stressful day at work I realise that we need to get out and enjoy life….What tales you will tell to your grand children….Congratulations you know how to live.

  3. jon

    Matt rules so hard. I only hope to live 1/4 of the life this man has already lived. And although I consider myself ragingly heterosexual… I find that I seem to watch this man’s video at least twice a day. I can’t explain it- but I’ve sent it to all my friends along with the description: “the Greatest video you will ever see.”

    Oh, and Matt. From one 3-minute movie maker to another, here’s what I did with the last two years of my life: link to home.comcast.net

    Not nearly as entertaining, I’m sure. But maybe it will make a few people smile. It’s from a sketch comedy show I did at UMass.

    Rock on man- Good luck with everything.

  4. Geoff

    I am an airline employee and like to use my flight benefits to travel. Pretty much every weekend. Been to 20 countries so far. Usually I just send an obnoxious mass email to my friends about how I flew all the way around the world just to do it or something. Then there was the trip where I went to all the continents. But a blog about it? A dancing video? You my friend have inspired me with your greatness!

  5. Carbon

    Your video somehow gave me hope, though I can’t really describe how or why. But thank you.

  6. Sil Erdel

    I’m laughing and crying for joy all at the same time due to your video; thank you for sharing your travels and dancing with the world, we’re all the better for it.

  7. Chris

    Your video reminded me how important it is not to get caught up in the trivialities of daily life and that I want nothing more then to travel. Time to start saving. Thanks.

  8. Max

    Man… This is awesome. I couldn’t help but feel relaxed after i watched the video. You chose exactly the right song to put over the images. Thank you for sharing a little part of your travels with the rest of the world!

  9. Jennifer

    Matt, I am playing this video at my next all staff meeting, it demonstrates the kind of environment we want to have, and I love the way you dance. Thanks!

  10. Denis

    There’s no words that can describe this. And I think it should stay that way… Sometimes words can’t describe things and I think it’s for a reason.
    The idea itself of your film is awesome. Dancing it all those countries just demonstrates that anyone can be happy wherever they are. I’m currently in my last term in college studying tourism. I can’t wait to start travelling. I have been here and there in Canada and United States but I’m so anxious to see all the different cultures out there.

    Your choice of song for the movie couldn’t be any better. I think that everyone is with me when I say that this movie is The Cure for everyday’s stress.
    Hope you post some new movies of other trips.

    Travel safe Matt!

  11. Xavier

    I liked your dancing video. I’m dying to know who the artist(s) are for the background music in your dancing video? And where I can possibly get more music of that type/genre? Thanks.

    Xavier

  12. Pugnacious Antonym

    I must say I was mightily impressed with your video. Being a chicken of the genus Gallus Viator I am partial to trvelling myself. My general problem is that being a chicken, and a toy one at that, I have no passport. Generally though I tag along with whoever is willing to take me when they go somewhere interesting.

    I am recently back from Gambia and have possibilities of China, Jamaica, Kenya, Australia and New Zealand in the coming year as long as they don’t overlap.

    I intend to document my travels on http://www.chickenquest.com by way of pictures and I hope that they can bring pleasure to others as your video has. You are truly an inspiration.

    Pugnacious.

  13. linz

    Hey…your video was just totally amazing. I’ve travelled around the world and only now can do I regret not doing something crazy like that to bring home and show everyone! Good job! I keep watching it over and over again because of how nuts it is!
    Cheers from Vancouver! :)

  14. Statue John

    Some of the finest cheesy shapes i have seen in quite a while – and in some beautiful destinations too. Respect from Oxford (UK), keep up the good work and safe and happy travelling :-)

    J

  15. Chris from Seattle

    I can barely type. Bear with me, dear reader.

    I’m so utterly stunned by this video, that I’ve forgotten my own blood type and zodiac sign. It has reduced me to a pathetic puddle of steaming emotional effluent. How empty was my soul until it was filled by this tremendous and transcendant Web site; so powerful they be, these ones and zeros. Yea, a perhaps a brief glimpse of the countenance of divinity itself. There’s only one thing left for me to do mama, and that’s form a fringe religious cult centered around Matt and his video, or I’ll be forced to commit ritual suicide.

    Bless you Matt, and all your travel vanity.

  16. Chris Manuel

    Man, kudos to you.

    Seeing all those palces you visited amazes me. Your video is truly inspiring, and i hope and wish to do something like this one day.
    Thanks for sharing your travels with us, and btw that clip in Kenya is priceless!

    Good luck on the rest of your travels 😉 ,
    Chris, Newcastle, UK

  17. Marc

    If you are interested in visiting the Azores then do so! go and visit all 9 islands. I say that becuase i have actually been there quite a few times and it is absolutely breathtakingly beautiful

  18. mike

    My friend Dan sent me a link to the video while I was watching Napoleon Dynamite with my wife. Your video is the superior work.

  19. Ben

    Hey Matt, I must say I’m impressed.
    Admittedly, I thought at first that you were some rich American dude traipsing around the world like it was his sandbox, but your journal entries are pretty entertaining and insightful. So thanks. A lot. I’m sure you’ve inspired at least a few more folks to see the world.

    Oh, and Bhutan sounds really awesome, but it’s very strict on tourism, seeing as how it’s just getting modernised. Sources say it costs $200/day for a Visa that you need before entering. Good luck!

  20. kea

    i cried. no really. i used to travel all the time, unfortunately when i was slightly too young to do the things i want to do now – “Now” being when i just can’t seem to find time to do it. You made me feel like i have to get out there again…i would love to meet up for a coffee in …. you pick the place. Safe travels, Matt.

  21. Kris Kohagura

    Awesome video Matt. Althought you have conquered the world (You even conquered Mt. Kilimanjaro, which is an accomplishment in itself). Myy friends and I were severely disappointed that in those 2 years traveling the world you did not learn to dance at all.

  22. Logan

    The video kicks ass. My sister and I have both agreed to video ourselves dancing whenever we go overseas now, as a direct result of that.

  23. Ricky

    Matt, I just heard you on the radio in Detroit, I think you should contact Expedia, Orbitz, or any travel site. Send them the video, let them know you are now accepting offers to use you and your adventures for their marketing and advertising wants. I think the hard part is getting the video in the right hands, but you seem to be resourceful when you need to be. If that Subway guy can be a role model to fat people, then I know you can at least make people feel good about traveling to new places. I would even help if you take me with you. I heard you hate spiders, I laugh, when I watch your video, it looks as if you are trying to kill a spider. You should name your dance “The Spider Shuffle.”
    You are a likable person who is trying to live his dreams. You are not just trying, you are do-ing. That’s why you are an inspiration to anyone who has ever had a dream. Well done!
    Ricky

  24. Courtney

    I just saw your story this morning online on ABC News Now. I hooted! I immediately went to your site and then sent the URL to everyone I could think of, so they too could laugh! Fabulous! I even sent it to 2 friends in Portugal.

    I soooo wish I were doing something so fun… I’m thinking, Matt, that perhaps if you could arrange for a PayPal account and put a ‘donate’ button on your website – you’d have people all over the world donating funds to support your travels. Try it! :-)

    Happy Traveling!!!

  25. Wendy

    Hi Matt! I totally love that folks are finding such inspiration in this project of yours. Really makes it sound like you’re doing your part for world peace! Rock on!
    Wendy

  26. stu

    i heard u on drew and mike the other day, and let me just say i dont enjoy dancing at all. i would also like to no why you would not even consider puting some women in ur movies because maybe u would get a couple more people to come to this website and see u do that stupid dance. and how could you miss the super bowl? man thats lame.

  27. Patrick

    Oh, and, Matt… A piece of advice: when you shoot again, make no changes to the technique: the low resolution, grainy images and wobbly shots are just perfect. Makes them feel more intimate. I know you did not mean it, but youve got it all right!

  28. bajesus

    matt, i think the best way to profit from this is to quietly put a paypal button on your site and let it be… viewers will figure it out… once you’re accountable to sponsors and including logos on the video, the charm is gone… i’ve been around the planet too and i’d happily pony up to see you continue your global dance…

  29. jman

    That video was awesome. You’ve inspired me! I noticed you haven’t been to Japan yet. If you wanna stop by Japan in the next 6 months (I’m an American exchange student), I’ll show you around Tokyo. Send me an email if you want more information. Keep up the travels!

  30. Goofy Girl from Gabriola

    ok ok ok ive read this a bunch of times so im just going to take a wild guess and say teh music for the video is played by deep forest??? i could be wrong but im pretty darn sure thats who it is!!!

    once again, i think the song is by DEEP FOREST

    check it out anyways

  31. m read

    I first heard that song as part of the soundtrack of a sci-fi movie called “Till the End of the World” or “Love You Till the End of the World” starring William Hurt on IFC cable about 20 years ago. It was a pretty good movie and strangely enough, In the movie he did alot of traveling around the world…

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