Seattle, Washington More Than You Could Ever Possibly Want to Know About Me

I was invited to Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont last month to speak about the dancing video and how I made it. I rambled on for 90 minutes and then took everyone outside to shoot a dancing clip.

I’ve edited the talk down to 75 minutes, yanking some of the more boring bits and the parts where I said stupid stuff I’d rather not have said. Oh, were it only possible to do that in real life…

There are also a few scattered moments where I’m cut off in mid-sentence. Nothing is being hidden there, it’s just the result of the shoddy technique I used to convert the videotape recording into a YouTube-friendly form. Apologies for any annoyance it causes.

The talk is broken into three parts. It addresses a lot of the stuff I get asked all the time, so I thought it might be interesting for anyone who wants to know more.

I’d like to thank Tom Myers, a professor at Champlain, who contacted me, invited me out, and took a gamble on me not choking horribly and embarassing both of us. I’d not done anything like this before and I still don’t know what made him think I could do it, but I am grateful for the opportunity.

I really enjoyed doing this and would like to keep doing it. Feel free to contact me if you’d like me to come to your school, university, office, cult compound, secret society headquarters — whatever. I rely heavily on the Q&A for what I talk about, so it’s different every time. What you see here isn’t necessarily what you’ll get.

49 Responses to Seattle, Washington More Than You Could Ever Possibly Want to Know About Me

  1. Jenni

    Matt! This was really cool interesting to watch. I liked hearing more insight to your travels and some of your experiences along the way as well. My favorite clip is the one with the girafee too! You did a great job! Thanks for thinking to include this for your fans.

  2. Taija

    Hi Matt!
    I had a great time watching your lecture videos, I wish I could have been there – though it’s pretty impossible, I live in Finland after all (where you should visit, by the way).
    I also wanted to say that your attitude and actions give me motivation, because I’ve always wanted to travel a lot (so far I’ve only visited three countries) and now I’m even more certain that I’m going reach my goal someday.

  3. If you ever came to LA, I would donce you… You’d get so donced that you’d think you were being donced by an electric doncing machine.

    sincerely,

    john t. woods

    p.s. doncing is a good thing.

  4. Val

    Matt, stay off of them-there Norwegian rocks. We’d like to keep you around!

    Also, we need to create an official “Dance With Matt Day.” Once a year at noon (what- ever time zone) everybody in the world stops what they’re doing and just dances like Matt (if possible!) for 10 seconds, preferably outside on the sidewalk. Bet it would cure depression around the world for at least two weeks afterward.

  5. Martha

    hiii, my name is martha… I am Peruvian… and i love totravel and i just seen your video very funnyand interesting hope i could travel less than the half that you did!!!!!
    Now my friend thatis Argentinian and me we are goinna backpacking over Peru during January… so i dont know maybe if you want to join us… we are gonna take a lot of pic and will take teh alternative route to MachiPicchu as well but i dont think we are gonna film the dance thing hehehe…

    Hope w ecan keep in touch my email is this but also i have one in hotmail that i use often… is [email protected]

    SEe you and congratulations!

    BYEEEE

    Martha Gamarra

    Lima – Perú

  6. So, being honest:
    1) The first time I thought the video was fake, but after the 3rd scene (or place) I realized that it was not at all a green/blue screen behind you.
    2) You seem fatter
    3) I imagined your voice more “girl likely”

    4) who cares what I thought? Very nice videos.

    If I had the money I would bring you here (to Brazil) to give a lecture in the campus here, but unfortunately I do not, so when (f I ever) I win the (or at the, sorry I’m not a big fan of grammar) lottery, I will contact you.

  7. Nancy

    I agree with Val – the world needs a “Dance With Matt Day!” Seriously!

    I love your dancing – I watch it whenever I need a lift. The song is really perfect.

    Thank you!

  8. Very interesting, I’d love to get a hold of your photo collection.

    I think what you do is very inspiring, and I’m glad you can further share your experiences with others.

  9. Candace Kowal

    I’m watching this on Youtube right now, I’m only getting to Part II, but, I’m really enjoying it!

    Cheers!

    -Candace Kowal-

  10. Biancka

    Thank you so much for sharing! This answered alot of questions I felt uncomfortable asking, which was a relief. I’ve shared your video with all of my employees and they’ve expressed a desire to learn more about why you chose to do it. I’ll pass this along, thanks!

  11. Regan

    I just finished watching your lecture. Great job! If you had been around during my college days, Cultural Geography would have been so much more interesting!

    Has anyone ever told you that you sound a lot like Harry Shearer from “The Simpsons”? I caught some Montgomery Burns/Waylon Smithers/Ned Flanders in your voice.

  12. Shawn Wentz

    Absolutley inspiring. All of it. The videos have all been great, it really makes you think. Sometimes like you said, we get so wrapped up in life that we forget about what’s going on around us. This world is amazing and your very fortunate to have experienced so many different place. Thank you for posting this lecture. It kept my attention the whole time. Excellent. I’ll be waiting for the next video and hopefully another lecture. Keep dancing!!! Shawn Wentz, Tucson, AZ, USA

  13. Mitch

    You sounded a lot more masculine than I thought. I dunno why, but but I assumed you’d have a nasally Ray Romano sort of thing happening.

    You know how you said you don’t want to work, and would rather do something related to travel? I STRONGLY suggest travel writer. I’ve read your entire journal and it’s the best one I’ve ever found on the Internet. You just have a sort of sarcastic, dry kind of humour that gets thrown in with the appreciation of wherever you are.

    Plus, unlike every other backpacker I’ve ever known, you don’t feel the need to kiss a place’s ass. If you don’t like somewhere, you damn well make sure we know. I like that.

  14. Michael Schumacher

    Matt – I have no doubt that you will be traveling to all parts of the world showing people that there is a there out there. “A donkey who goes traveling never returns home an ass.” Of course, the flip side to that is “There are only two emotions on an airplane. Boredom….and terror.”

    I’m an LA native and everyone here thinks I’m crazy for hating this city. It was refreshing to see someone like you agrees with me.

    Nonetheless, if you’re ever here, drop me a line. I know a few hideouts that make it tolerable. The least I could do is buy you a pint of bitter.

    Cheers Matt.

    Michael Schumacher

  15. Did you get this 2006 ranking in Google? The top 10 “where is” questions. Look at number three.

    Where is…
    1. where is togo
    2. where is matt
    3. where is torino
    4. where is darfur
    5. where is villanova
    6. where is montenegro
    7. where is angola
    8. where is .com au
    9. where is palestine
    10. where dubai

  16. Rob

    This is the first time I’ve commented on your site since I came across it months ago. I instantly loved your video. Soon after I began reading your journals and I have never felt more unaccomplished and lazy. Needles to say, the (hilarious and brilliantly written)stories of your travels around the globe has inspired me to kick my self in the arse and make something happen in my life.

    Thanks for the entertainment and inspiration.
    Robert The Malignant III

    P.S. – If you ever lecture in San Antonio, Texas, please get the word out so I could attend. Peace.

  17. Jenny

    I can’t believe you can give a whole lecture and not talk about climate change. You’ve been to Kilimanjaro and Antarctica. You CAN really see it happening there. But all you talk about is how cool your travel was. What’s your message, buddy? Travel more, destroy more habbitats, burn more fuel?

  18. Rich

    Wow, Matt!

    I just finished watching the first 25 minutes and I have to say that I enjoyed it immensely. You are a hell of a public speaker, especially for a programmer. You are eloquent and do a great job of capturing your audience. To top things off, you have a great and inspiring story to tell. It seems that whenever I come to your site I feel a little more rejuvinated.

    Thank you,

    Rich :)

  19. I sure have enjoyed your videos.

    People have commented on your voice. To me you sound like a toy inventor friend who grew up in Kentucky. Go figure.

    Two questions – and I really _tried_ to research for answers before asking you directly.
    1. Wasn’t that Elephant shot dangerous?
    2. What’s the thing with Guam?

    Cathy

  20. Amy

    Matt, great videos! I watched the first one and couldn’t walk away from the computer without watching the second and third! Great insight into your travels! I’d love to have you speak to our high schoolers! They would love this!

  21. You’ve got to come back to Norway some day. After all it’s not every country that has a folk instrument named after you!

    link to en.wikipedia.org

    Okay, so it’s really named after the district of Hardanger, but it’s still a cool idea: Come to Hardanger, meet some folk dancers and dance with them to a tune played on “your” fiddle. 😀

  22. This talk really kept my attention for the whole 75 minutes. It got boring towards the end with all the photos but it was nice hearing about how things really went down. I didn’t quite understand the comotion about dancing in front of the Parthenon, what was the deal with that? Thanks for sharing the video!

  23. Peter

    I very much enjoyed the lecture. I’d love to attend in person, so I forwarded the link and your information to the powers that be at my school — the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, VA.

    If you’re interested in soliciting speaking engagements, you might email ucabxx at wm . edu

  24. Lucy

    Loved the videos! And although your blog is evidence enough that you’re a great writer, I wasn’t expecting you to be an awesome public speaker too. :)

    Keep us updated!

  25. Graeme Beresford

    Thank you for your inspirational videos. I love how free watching your travels makes me feel and I hope to one day emulate your exploration.

    Oh, and I will be using that dance the next time I go clubbing.

    Happy New Year, all the best,

    Graeme
    United Kingdom

  26. Erin

    I first found your website almost a year ago and I just happend to check it tonight… I was really excitied when I saw that you had just visited my college that I attend. I envy all of your travel expierence, and I hope to one day travel the world as you have. The lectures were amazing! Thanks for sharing all of your adventures. Glad you visited Vt. Hopefully you were able to travel around the state while you were here. Its better than people make it out to be.

  27. Rebecca

    I found your video by first reading the internet version of my home paper Burlington Free Press. At first I was like “Who the Hell is Matt?” But having a few hours to kill that day I decided to start reading your journals. I was totally blown away by some of the things you had to say….I compleatly love the way you express opinions of the places you visit, both good and bad. I now know never to go to Guam.

    So, I’m from Burlington…I’m so glad you went, and I hope you liked it. But I’ve had the oppurtunity to live in Boston, Seattle, DC, Texas…and now Germany. And I HAVE to agree with you…people need to get out there and expirience the world for themselves! There is no excuse not to! Don’t wait till you’re too old to walk up the steep hill to visit the castle…or strap on some flippers and a snorkle!

  28. Kat in New Jersey

    Hey Matt! I was perusing the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly, the “best of ’06” issue, and You Tube got a huge mention. On the title page of the YouTube article, you are pictured twice in the montage! I thought that was pretty cool!

    Keep dancing (even if only in your head!)

  29. Hey Matt!

    Your video is very inspirational – it makes me want to travel and I am sure it makes a lot of other people want to travel.

    Anyway, if you are ever in Holland and without cash, you can always sleep over at my place :p (I think you could get a cool shot when the tulips are blooming again).

    Have fun and keep up the good work! Regards,

    Robin

  30. Louis Arthur

    Hi Matt, greetings from Mossel Bay, South Africa. My daughters in the UK sent me your URL. I have just watched your video & found it very intereting. I always wanted to travel but after school in the late 70’s it was nearly impossible going to any country, being a South African. Anyway, not being able to afford it also had a lot to do with it! :) I instilled the will to travel in my daughters & they have travelled a bit. My wife & I travelled abroad to the UK for the first time at the end of 2004. It was the greatest thing I had ever done! Your video has given me that travelling itch again… Thanx again, & get South Africa on that list!
    Regards,
    Louis Arthur

  31. Great videos Matt! Pity there is only 3 minutes of film after 180days of traveling! I hop you find a sponsor to continue your trips! I also wish you, that in your later years, you will find respite from the travel-bug!

    Rob

  32. Mikal Milster

    if i ever get the chance to visit another country, i will dance in them. what you do is pretty amazing, i mean, probably no one ever in this world has ever done what you’ve done. thanks you and i wish you good luck on your next videos.

    sincerely,
    Mikal

  33. Niall

    Hey Matt,

    I love the videos. Such a big world and so little time.

    When are you coming to Ireland? We are not as bad as the Canadians!!!!!

    Niall

  34. Hi Matt,

    First of all matt congrats on your great success. I just found out about your site through one of my friends. I love your unique dancing style and what is more interesting is how use it to commute with people all the world!. I’ve just started reading and watching your blog and there’s a lot to cover. Good luck with your future trips!

    Regards
    Janantha

  35. Music

    Ok, You are officially my new hero. But one question…how come you’ve never come to Canada? That is one place I think you have skipped. You are neglecting your northern partners. Hope to hear of a visit soon, will be keeping an ear out. Music

  36. Ronnie

    I can’t believe I just sat through that whole video. Hehe, just kidding of course, it was well worth every second. That was thourghly enjoyable, great insight into your dancing video’s and the world.
    Looking forward to a third installment.

  37. Tracey Buck

    Hey Matt! I just wanted to say that it was AWESOME seeing you at my school. I was in Tom’s International Marketing class. We were the one that you went to the during the afternoon. I love to travel as well so it was awesome to learn more about what you do!

    Enjoy your travels!

  38. johnny

    Sweeet. Your dancing video is like the feature film release, and that lecture is like the DVD commentary! Quite interesting insight, and tons of facts.

    And really, why DO you hate Canadians so much?

  39. MikG

    Great video… appreciate your sharing.

    …isn’t Mt Whitney the highest point in US (not Ranier)?

    Anyway… look forward to following your blog.

  40. Eric Sayge

    Hi Matt! I love you videos. I’ve always wanted to go traveling, but even though it’s not possible for me (Engaged with kids on the way) it’s great to see some of the amazing pictures and video you’ve taken with all your traveling. It feels sorta strange to ask, but have you ever considered writing a book following your little dance craziness around the world? Or, really, even just publishing your blog… I think it’d be a very interesting read!

  41. Lonnie Frey

    Hey Matt-
    Dancing in front of the Parthenon is encouraged in Nashville! On the other hand, we have a great statue called “Musica” which would be an awesome setting for your dance here in Music City, U.S.A.

  42. playing a beautiful knot, let the little princess tide. Ginger wool cap for the girl’s ears and face warm, scarves, hats are essential for the fall and winter clothing.

  43. Martin Laacre

    hey asshole – please do the rest of the world a favor, including the USA and stay home! Assholes like you are what make Americans undesirable to all foreigners. I’ll even Pay Pal you $5- so you can eat some dog tacos at Taco Bell so you can pretend you’re visiting some foreign land but without harming anyone. Please fuck off and die, you turd brained lardbutt

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