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Part memoir and part philosophical look at why we travel, filled with stories of Matt Kepnes' adventures abroad, an exploration of wanderlust and what it truly means to be a nomad. "Matt is possibly the most well-traveled person I know...His knowledge and passion for understanding the world is unrivaled, and never fails to amaze me." —Mark Manson, New York Times bestsellin Part memoir and part philosophical look at why we travel, filled with stories of Matt Kepnes' adventures abroad, an exploration of wanderlust and what it truly means to be a nomad. "Matt is possibly the most well-traveled person I know...His knowledge and passion for understanding the world is unrivaled, and never fails to amaze me." —Mark Manson, New York Times bestselling author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck Ten Years a Nomad is New York Times bestselling author Matt Kepnes’ poignant exploration of wanderlust and what it truly means to be a nomad. Part travel memoir and part philosophical look at why we travel, it is filled with aspirational stories of Kepnes' many adventures. New York Times bestselling author of How to Travel the World on $50 a Day, Matthew Kepnes knows what it feels like to get the travel bug. After meeting some travelers on a trip to Thailand in 2005, he realized that living life meant more than simply meeting society's traditional milestones, such as buying a car, paying a mortgage, and moving up the career ladder. Inspired by them, he set off for a year-long trip around the world before he started his career. He finally came home after ten years. Over 500,000 miles, 1,000 hostels, and 90 different countries later, Matt has compiled his favorite stories, experiences, and insights into this travel manifesto. Filled with the color and perspective that only hindsight and self-reflection can offer, these stories get to the real questions at the heart of wanderlust. Travel questions that transcend the basic "how-to," and plumb the depths of what drives us to travel — and what extended travel around the world can teach us about life, ourselves, and our place in the world. Ten Years a Nomad is for travel junkies, the travel-curious, and anyone interested in what you can learn about the world when you don’t have a cable bill for a decade or spend a month not wearing shoes living on the beach in Thailand.


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Part memoir and part philosophical look at why we travel, filled with stories of Matt Kepnes' adventures abroad, an exploration of wanderlust and what it truly means to be a nomad. "Matt is possibly the most well-traveled person I know...His knowledge and passion for understanding the world is unrivaled, and never fails to amaze me." —Mark Manson, New York Times bestsellin Part memoir and part philosophical look at why we travel, filled with stories of Matt Kepnes' adventures abroad, an exploration of wanderlust and what it truly means to be a nomad. "Matt is possibly the most well-traveled person I know...His knowledge and passion for understanding the world is unrivaled, and never fails to amaze me." —Mark Manson, New York Times bestselling author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck Ten Years a Nomad is New York Times bestselling author Matt Kepnes’ poignant exploration of wanderlust and what it truly means to be a nomad. Part travel memoir and part philosophical look at why we travel, it is filled with aspirational stories of Kepnes' many adventures. New York Times bestselling author of How to Travel the World on $50 a Day, Matthew Kepnes knows what it feels like to get the travel bug. After meeting some travelers on a trip to Thailand in 2005, he realized that living life meant more than simply meeting society's traditional milestones, such as buying a car, paying a mortgage, and moving up the career ladder. Inspired by them, he set off for a year-long trip around the world before he started his career. He finally came home after ten years. Over 500,000 miles, 1,000 hostels, and 90 different countries later, Matt has compiled his favorite stories, experiences, and insights into this travel manifesto. Filled with the color and perspective that only hindsight and self-reflection can offer, these stories get to the real questions at the heart of wanderlust. Travel questions that transcend the basic "how-to," and plumb the depths of what drives us to travel — and what extended travel around the world can teach us about life, ourselves, and our place in the world. Ten Years a Nomad is for travel junkies, the travel-curious, and anyone interested in what you can learn about the world when you don’t have a cable bill for a decade or spend a month not wearing shoes living on the beach in Thailand.

30 review for Ten Years a Nomad: A Traveler's Journey Home

  1. 4 out of 5

    *TUDOR^QUEEN*

    I occasionally enjoy reading travel themed biographies because I mostly travel in my mind via books. In fact, I haven't taken a proper trip since twenty years ago when I went to England. I'm about to correct that before summer ends when my family travels to Memphis, Tennessee for a musical historic journey to the home of Elvis- Graceland. Growing up, my family never went on a vacation and never owned a car, so I'm conditioned to be content at home...and I am. However, I do love travelling vicari I occasionally enjoy reading travel themed biographies because I mostly travel in my mind via books. In fact, I haven't taken a proper trip since twenty years ago when I went to England. I'm about to correct that before summer ends when my family travels to Memphis, Tennessee for a musical historic journey to the home of Elvis- Graceland. Growing up, my family never went on a vacation and never owned a car, so I'm conditioned to be content at home...and I am. However, I do love travelling vicariously through others, which is why I requested to read this book. Matthew was fresh out of college with an MBA and working in a hospital when he decided to chuck it all to go travelling around the world. Of course, his friends and family thought he was daft. But he had an overwhelming passion to travel, and did it anyway. I admire people that follow their passions. When he was working at the hospital and finally had some meager vacation time, he went on a brief vacation. It really whet his appetite and left him hankering for much more. As Matthew explains in his book, there is a big difference in going on a vacation and travelling. My favorite part of his story was when he embarked on his first trip to Costa Rica. He planned it so carefully, but when he landed at his destination, the language barrier and the need to locate his pre-arranged driver thrust him into near panic mode. Multiple taxi drivers were pestering him with offers to take him to his destination where he would settle into a hostel for the night. Luckily, he was patient and eventually noticed his driver standing nonchalantly holding a sign with Matthew's name. The initial stress of adapting to foreign surroundings and finding the correct transportation with fears of getting lost was palpable, and I identified with that insecurity. On that first trip when Matthew managed to navigate all these challenges, save the few times he was tapped for a novice and scammed on some tour invitations, he grew in confidence and it only amplified his hunger to travel more widely. Matthew discusses aspects of travelling like making friends, finding romance (often brief), making lifelong connections, how to make money to finance your trip while you're on it, and deviating from a travel plan on impulse, which is often a good thing. Matthew launched a travel blog which was a very new thing back in the early 2000's when he began it. He became known as "Nomadic Matt", and the blog burgeoned into a job in itself. Suddenly he had to carve out time to serve the needs of his blog by answering emails, posting photos, videos, etc., as well as other writing opportunities and speaking engagements. The job began overtaking the freedom and joy of his nomadic pursuits. A good portion of the book depicted his seemingly never-ending inner struggle to be nomadic vs. settling down somewhere. He suffered from anxiety and stress over this conundrum, but was mostly nomadic for a decade. The book clocks at a fairly modest 240 pages, and I wouldn't have even minded if it was a little shorter. The endless internal struggle about travelling vs. settling down was grating on me after awhile. At the 95% mark there was an unfortunate political dig regarding a driving tour he took around the United States and pre-conceived notions he had about certain people, which I did not appreciate. I find recent biographies inserting these political comments more and more which are very divisive, and serve to alienate half the country. It calls to mind the true comedic talent and class of the legendary Johnny Carson, who would tell jokes even handedly about both political parties. Thank you to St. Martin's Press for providing an advance reader copy via NetGalley.

  2. 4 out of 5

    M. Sarki

    I had never before heard of Nomadic Matt. I had never read his blog. My interest in this book was piqued by my own present state of perpetually being on the move. My wife and I spent a lifetime together working, raising a family, and taking far too-short vacations. However, for the last fifteen years we have owned a small, rustic cabin in northern Michigan and spent all of the last eight summers there. Our adult children visited frequently and we had some of the greatest times of our lives toget I had never before heard of Nomadic Matt. I had never read his blog. My interest in this book was piqued by my own present state of perpetually being on the move. My wife and I spent a lifetime together working, raising a family, and taking far too-short vacations. However, for the last fifteen years we have owned a small, rustic cabin in northern Michigan and spent all of the last eight summers there. Our adult children visited frequently and we had some of the greatest times of our lives together. But last summer we sold our cabin, as well as our home in Florida, and together hit the road. ...The lesson is that travel is all about seizing the opportunities in front of you⸺especially when they’re opportunities to throw away your plans… For the last year my wife and I, and our dog, have been traveling and living full-time in our 18.5’ travel trailer. It has not all been peaches and cream, however the trip has been worth the price of admission. We have yet to run into an “opportunity” to “throw away our plans” as Nomadic Matt encourages, but are certainly open to it. ...The real secret to life is that you get what you want when you do what you want… I couldn’t agree more with Matt’s words of wisdom. And to seek out what it is you want. For most of us, perhaps, we do not know what exactly that is. Matt Kepnes certainly does a lot of tiresome explaining and lecturing, and based on his personal experience obviously feels he knows something others do not. Unfortunately, the last third of his book became a bore. I was expecting more from a veteran of ten years on the road. Instead, what I got was not what I wanted. ...It may seem scary just throwing yourself out there and talking to strangers, but we are all strangers in a strange land... Something in life eventually forces you settle down. Either poor health, old age, a loved one needing you, or even the simple desire to lovingly tend a garden once again. Matt’s story is not unique. It is possible a younger person will discover something in this book to help guide them. But for me, I am not sure I learned anything I didn’t already know. And have no need to explain.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Stewart Tame

    Why yes, I did win a free ARC of this book in a Goodreads giveaway. You have been warned. If the publishers are really trying to influence me, the joke’s on them as most of my reviews rarely score more than half a dozen likes or so … As with most nonfiction, there really isn't much to summarize about this book that isn't right there on the front cover. Matthew Kepnes spent the better part of ten years traveling around the world. He would pause to earn money when necessary--teaching English in Tha Why yes, I did win a free ARC of this book in a Goodreads giveaway. You have been warned. If the publishers are really trying to influence me, the joke’s on them as most of my reviews rarely score more than half a dozen likes or so … As with most nonfiction, there really isn't much to summarize about this book that isn't right there on the front cover. Matthew Kepnes spent the better part of ten years traveling around the world. He would pause to earn money when necessary--teaching English in Thailand, for example--but get back to traveling as quickly as possible. Eventually he was able to earn money from blogging about his experiences. The book is not a travelogue--though that's certainly an aspect of it--so much as an examination of his life, an attempt to articulate his reasons for choosing this particular lifestyle. Why travel? Isn't it dangerous and/or expensive? And, after ten years, why put down roots? It's almost more of a philosophy book than a travel book. As a longtime armchair traveler, I got the expected vicarious thrill from reading about Matt’s adventures. He’s an articulate writer, and does an excellent job of presenting the reasons for his choices. You don't just learn what he did, but why he did it. I enjoyed this book a great deal. Recommended!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sable

    Received this book free from Netgalley Honestly I really wanted to like this book but I could not get through it. This book could be condensed into 50 pages and I feel even then that would be long and dull. He reflects through a lot of his earlier travels and how he came about with his blog. I felt every chapter was excessively long and drowned out his point. This book was just repetitive and way too long. Not for me. Found it very “pity me” and “I chose a different path so feel sad for me” in a Received this book free from Netgalley Honestly I really wanted to like this book but I could not get through it. This book could be condensed into 50 pages and I feel even then that would be long and dull. He reflects through a lot of his earlier travels and how he came about with his blog. I felt every chapter was excessively long and drowned out his point. This book was just repetitive and way too long. Not for me. Found it very “pity me” and “I chose a different path so feel sad for me” in almost every second line throughout this book. In the end, had covered 73% (somehow) and just couldn’t care to finish it.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Abigail Hilton

    I picked up this book because I've read Matt's blog for a number of years and received great travel tips from him. I've also traveled for about the same length of time he has, although not internationally. Like Matt, I find myself trying to establish some stability for myself at this point, and I was curious about his process in coming to this decision. The book is a mixed bag. This is not great travel writing. The narrative is frequently unfocused. It meanders into amateur philosophy and self-he I picked up this book because I've read Matt's blog for a number of years and received great travel tips from him. I've also traveled for about the same length of time he has, although not internationally. Like Matt, I find myself trying to establish some stability for myself at this point, and I was curious about his process in coming to this decision. The book is a mixed bag. This is not great travel writing. The narrative is frequently unfocused. It meanders into amateur philosophy and self-help, which just isn't very interesting. The main threw-line is Matt trying to figure out psychologically why he needs to travel full time, what it does for him, and how to stop. The text is repetitive and I found myself skimming in places. That said, I did enjoy the book, particularly the second half. It's his own story and there's no wrong way to be yourself. It does, however, feel like the story isn't complete. In fact, I wish he had chosen a different focus altogether, because the conclusion he comes to is not satisfying. We leave him at a point when he's trying to settle down (again), and this fact is supposed to give the reader closure. However, Matt has tried to stop traveling many times in the course of his memoir with no success. There's no reason to think he'll be successful this go around, either. If he really wants the story to end on a settled note, he needs to be years into a settled life, not just beginning it (again). I also didn't understand why a total end to travel was necessary. In the book, Matt seems fixated on a false dichotomy. (I say "in the book," because I can't imagine his thinking is this simplistic in real life.) In the book, he seems to feel that he has to choose between a desk job with two weeks of vacation a year, or being a homeless wanderer. Nothing in between! Even after he is solidly self-employed, he seems to feel like a decision to put down roots is a decision to stop traveling completely forever. He repeatedly tells friends that each trip is his "last trip." Why??? It never seems to occur to him that he could travel seasonally...or take a 3 week trip every quarter...or do a year on, year off. These are easy and obviously solutions. In the book, these solutions are not even considered, which makes it feel like he's trying to invent a problem that doesn't exist because he couldn't think of any other theme for his memoir. But anyway, I did enjoy parts of the book and if you are a traveler, you probably will, too.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Luke Jacobs

    Really wanted to like this one, since I was looking for a novel analysis about modern times, nomadism, community v. travel, etc... But I couldn't get past the cliches that Matt repeated dozens of times. These include -Constantly using the terms 9-5 life, 2 weeks vacation, white picket fence, 2.5 kids, corporate ladder. -Talking about how he "woke up" from his American brainwashing about the above. -Like, living in the moment is so much more fun than sitting at a desk, man. If you've backpacked just Really wanted to like this one, since I was looking for a novel analysis about modern times, nomadism, community v. travel, etc... But I couldn't get past the cliches that Matt repeated dozens of times. These include -Constantly using the terms 9-5 life, 2 weeks vacation, white picket fence, 2.5 kids, corporate ladder. -Talking about how he "woke up" from his American brainwashing about the above. -Like, living in the moment is so much more fun than sitting at a desk, man. If you've backpacked just once in your life, you'd already pondered this stuff and figured out that life isn't about work. If you've ever had a great meal, fun adventure, good sex, engaging conversation, you've probably realized this too. Yet Matt sets up a cliche-monster strawman of an average American: someone who quite literally never thinks about anything else other than work and drinking beer on weekends. C'mon, I think most Americans realize they'd prefer to travel and go on adventures rather than sit in an office. Unfortunately, Matt's writing implies that it's some bold "authentic" idea he had to leave it all behind. The main reason most Americans don't travel like this is because a) most people kinda like living where they do and 2) most jobs cannot yet be digitalized and parcelized to working off your macbook in Bali and 3) Our government is corrupt and doesn't grant 3-5 weeks vacation like the Europeans Matt met had. Most people can't all make travel blogs like the author did., or a drop shipping company, or become digital freelancers....

  7. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    In the first several chapters of this book I was vastly disappointed. I have been reading Nomadic Matt's blog for several years now and had always found him to be encouraging of every kind of travel whether for two days or two years, and here in these chapters he was spouting the same intolerance of people who travel in the short term that I had come to expect from places like Lonely Planet's Thorn-tree forums. His story was interesting and the writing engaging enough that I wanted to finish but In the first several chapters of this book I was vastly disappointed. I have been reading Nomadic Matt's blog for several years now and had always found him to be encouraging of every kind of travel whether for two days or two years, and here in these chapters he was spouting the same intolerance of people who travel in the short term that I had come to expect from places like Lonely Planet's Thorn-tree forums. His story was interesting and the writing engaging enough that I wanted to finish but as a short term traveler who enjoys a day job as well I felt betrayed. In the last chapters however he returned to the more inclusive definitions of travel that I had come to expect from his blog and so I have (mostly) forgiven the temporary lapse.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Dana (pagestoreadfl)

    I enjoyed this book! Some did not because they said he got repetitive at the end. However, this was a memoir. It was interesting to see how he cycled through the want to travel and how making it a job became stressful. I am follower of his blog, so I was worried this would be repetitive of his blog posts. That is quite common of bloggers turned book authors. Yet, I felt this was all new. I took a star away because I would have liked a little more travel stories to even out the introspective porti I enjoyed this book! Some did not because they said he got repetitive at the end. However, this was a memoir. It was interesting to see how he cycled through the want to travel and how making it a job became stressful. I am follower of his blog, so I was worried this would be repetitive of his blog posts. That is quite common of bloggers turned book authors. Yet, I felt this was all new. I took a star away because I would have liked a little more travel stories to even out the introspective portion!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jared Gibson

    Traveling and reading go hand-in-hand. Both take you to new places, confront you with new people and ideas, and in my opinion, can make us better people. In this book about traveling, the author attempts to expose the reader to the realities of travel. Through several stories of his own travels around the world, Kepnes provides his own philosophy about living like a modern-day nomad. Instead of taking a chronological approach, he gives a theme to each chapter, skipping years at a time depending Traveling and reading go hand-in-hand. Both take you to new places, confront you with new people and ideas, and in my opinion, can make us better people. In this book about traveling, the author attempts to expose the reader to the realities of travel. Through several stories of his own travels around the world, Kepnes provides his own philosophy about living like a modern-day nomad. Instead of taking a chronological approach, he gives a theme to each chapter, skipping years at a time depending on which of his experiences serves his point best. Relationships on the road, planning the trip, and living like a local are examples of these topics, and he answers questions about them such as "Can anyone have a serious relationship while traveling full-time?" "How is traveling full-time financially possible?" "Can traveling give one a true sense of a country/city? Or does that require living in said country/city for an extended period of time?" His answers to most of these questions are positive and sometimes surprising. For a younger, inexperienced traveler like myself, there are great pieces of advice to be had in these chapters, including reasoning to back them up. The writing style is very light, for the lack of a better word. This is not a novel, crafted by some literary genius who exerts full mental effort into every sentence she puts down, and I don't expect it to be. Nomadic Matt is a travel writer, and I doubt his primary concern was creating a work of art. This does make the book a quick read. However, he takes his writing too lightly at times and throws in awkward clichés when he could just as easily leave them out and continue with his point. In this way, his writing can become "fluffy," and makes the book longer than it needs to be. Yet, Kepnes does not malign any one group with his writing and, through his ideas, shows himself to be a mature and thoughtful person. I think the novel idea in this book is actually a variation on Thoreau's exhortation to live deliberately. We have a set of choices in how to live life. Not everyone needs to take the typical American option of school, job, family, and retirement. For some, this may be the dream, but there are many others who have been taught that this is the only way to live and that deviating from this course is considered a mistake. If you want to travel the world or want an alternative to the 9-5 office job for 40 years, you can have that. You just may have to adjust how you live now. Consider your options, and don't denigrate others for choosing a different one.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Carianne Carleo-Evangelist

    Wonderfully conflicted on this book. Wasn't familiar with NomadicMatt, but the premise of the book interested me. I'm very glad I read it, even though I'm not sure I'd fully recommend it. I would have preferred more about the places and less him narrating about himself, but that was probably poor research on my end before selecting this book. So if you're looking for a traditional travelog, this isn't it. There's a lot of Matt in me, and me in him. In fact we both set off around the same time - h Wonderfully conflicted on this book. Wasn't familiar with NomadicMatt, but the premise of the book interested me. I'm very glad I read it, even though I'm not sure I'd fully recommend it. I would have preferred more about the places and less him narrating about himself, but that was probably poor research on my end before selecting this book. So if you're looking for a traditional travelog, this isn't it. There's a lot of Matt in me, and me in him. In fact we both set off around the same time - him to Prague/Italy and me to Australia in late 2004. I'm not quite two years older than Kepnes, but that feels a lot larger at 23/25 than it does now. While he eventually grew out of the drink and smoke until dawn and sleep the day away backpacker phase, that never appealed to me. But I fully agree with him about sometimes you fall in love with a place instantly and end up chasing ghosts to recapture that magic, and other times a city never grabs you. Bangkok to him is Sydney to me. While I eventually "grew up" and outgrew the hostel world, I don't think I'll ever stop traveling. I do wholly understand the burnout he faced. It hit me after a stint in Prague, and I knew it was time to come home from Japan round one. I also understand the feeling that so much has changed when you go "home", except it hasn't. We travelers have. I never experienced the frustration he did with friends when talking about his trip, but I didn't try to have those conversations. Just as "Hey I work FT and just bought a new house" didn't wow me, I wouldn't expect "I taught in Prague these last couple months" to wow them. I also never really felt the "American Dream" pressure that he did where traveling didn't fit as well. I don't see my two weeks vacation as a trade off for the rest of the year, it's about balance. The other big difference between our experiences was technology. The iPhone changed his travel life - he couldn't commit to a sailing trip to Colombia because he couldn't stomach the thought of being offline and missing something. I traveled with a laptop, but relished being off line. It was the best of both worlds in that I could journal my trip, but it wasn't my line of work so it didn't tether me. Backpacking in an era of smart phones would have been very different for me. At the same time, he lamented losing touch with travelers and a portion of my Facebook is friends I met once upon a city ago. Diff'rent strokes. Most of my challenges with the book were subjective, but the one issue I really had was the timeline. This book is organized into rough themes and isn't a chronological account of his time. Because he visited some cities multiple times, it wasn't always clear when in the timeline of his life a particular story was so it was hard to contextualize the point of the story. Similarly, he might reference writer Bill under one theme, but he didn't introduce him as Bill Last Name until later. I immediately recognized Scott Dinsmore's story though. Thank you, NetGalley, for the opportunity to read this.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lesa

    I was never the kind of traveler that Matthew Kepnes was. He was a backpacker who traveled the world for ten years, drinking and partying. But, Ten Years a Nomad: A Traveler's Journey Home is worth reading even if you're not the type to appreciate a partying lifestyle. What Kepnes does capture in his book is the philosophy of why some of us want to take off and leave home. Kepnes, known as Nomadic Matt, spent ten years traveling the world, although he did return home to Boston now and again. He r I was never the kind of traveler that Matthew Kepnes was. He was a backpacker who traveled the world for ten years, drinking and partying. But, Ten Years a Nomad: A Traveler's Journey Home is worth reading even if you're not the type to appreciate a partying lifestyle. What Kepnes does capture in his book is the philosophy of why some of us want to take off and leave home. Kepnes, known as Nomadic Matt, spent ten years traveling the world, although he did return home to Boston now and again. He returned home after eighteen months when he was tired of traveling, and realized he could go home. But, he didn't see himself working a 9-5 job. Instead, he spent 3,000 nights in more than ninety countries. He stayed in hundreds of hostels in a thousand different cities. His only purpose was to travel as a nomad, with no fixed destination. Oh, he planned his trips before he started, but he was willing to let go of those plans if another location or a new friend called to him. In 2004, Kepnes told his parents he was quitting his job to travel around the world. In his opinion, too many Americans choose safety over risk, and are unwilling to give up a paycheck to discover other lands, and meet other people. Even Kepnes had a hard time, though, letting go of his plans. He had to learn to "grab hold of serendipitous moments". After four years of travel, Kepnes decided what he wanted to do was be a travel writer. He took the time to learn to blog, set up a website, and handle the business. Eventually, his business caught up with him. A blog with a million readers became work, and he was torn between appreciating the travel he set out to do, and spending time working on his site. But, it took years for him to decide he was ready to quit the road and settle into a home. Whether a particular traveler's lifestyle is yours is almost irrelevant in a travel memoir. And Kepnes' book doesn't actually dive into the places he traveled. He concentrates on the lifestyle of a young nomad, rather than the locations. But, each traveler brings a philosophy and viewpoint of travel to their writing. Kepnes' book is actually a story of his growth, and how the experiences of meeting new people and traveling on his own forced him to be more independent and more outgoing. Ten Years a Nomad is a story of personal growth even more than it is a travel memoir. It's the changes in Kepnes, not the sites he visited, that makes this book interesting. And, I know just which family member will appreciate this book as a gift.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    As someone that is passionate about travel and has followed Nomadic Matt’s past adventures on social media, I was genuinely excited to read this book. However, not only is this book disappointing (none of the travel stories are actually interesting and there’s no depth to the “insight” that’s shared), it’s completely insufferable. Matt comes across as self-righteous, entitled and shockingly ungrateful for the life he has been blessed to have. This book is 200 pages of complaint after complaint a As someone that is passionate about travel and has followed Nomadic Matt’s past adventures on social media, I was genuinely excited to read this book. However, not only is this book disappointing (none of the travel stories are actually interesting and there’s no depth to the “insight” that’s shared), it’s completely insufferable. Matt comes across as self-righteous, entitled and shockingly ungrateful for the life he has been blessed to have. This book is 200 pages of complaint after complaint after complaint after complaint, and sparks ZERO joy. That being said, I wish Matt all the best as he leads his non-nomadic existence now, but man he needs to check his privilege.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Alina

    Pretty pretentious. I skimmed the first 6 chapters because they were so unenjoyable to read, and almost gave up. It got a little better after that. I didn’t really learn anything about traveling as a nomad, it was mostly him generally discussing life lessons, but it felt preachy or a tone of him just talking down to the reader. It also felt like he was ungrateful regardless of the situation he was in.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Heidi

    This may be an unpopular opinion, but it is mine. I feel like this book could have been a blog series instead of a full-length book and it would have been easier to read. There's a lot of repetition and the transitions between travel stories and reflection were kind of choppy. Three stars is generous. I received an ARC from NetGalley.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jim Curtin

    This was a drag to get through. The work is presented as an insightful look into travel, but is a series of disconnected complaints with the common thread of drinking in hostels. Before he travels, the author complains about feeling unfulfilled at his job. On the road, he complains about not being able to find meaningful love connections, having to choose between working remotely or enjoying the moment, and eventually travel burnout. He would take breaks and immediately complain about feeling st This was a drag to get through. The work is presented as an insightful look into travel, but is a series of disconnected complaints with the common thread of drinking in hostels. Before he travels, the author complains about feeling unfulfilled at his job. On the road, he complains about not being able to find meaningful love connections, having to choose between working remotely or enjoying the moment, and eventually travel burnout. He would take breaks and immediately complain about feeling stagnant, but then get back on the road and have the same gripes. The positives he has about lifelong friendships don't seem to play out; the only names I see repeated at the ex girlfriends he's still pining for. Wasn't worth the time, and in general just felt vapid and shallow.

  16. 4 out of 5

    PATRICK

    This book is geared towards people who are starting to get the travel bug or people who hasn't had the symptoms of the travel bug. I am not well-traveled yet (total of countries I have been in is six) but I have big dreams of travel. I have watched videos and read thousands of blogs. I have planned my dream itinerary if I win the lottery and if I don't win the lottery (a.k.a. the cheapest way to do it). In other words, I am in an unrequited relationship. Or maybe I'm a "stalker" for it. If you're This book is geared towards people who are starting to get the travel bug or people who hasn't had the symptoms of the travel bug. I am not well-traveled yet (total of countries I have been in is six) but I have big dreams of travel. I have watched videos and read thousands of blogs. I have planned my dream itinerary if I win the lottery and if I don't win the lottery (a.k.a. the cheapest way to do it). In other words, I am in an unrequited relationship. Or maybe I'm a "stalker" for it. If you're well-versed traveler or simply just a person who travel through books (like I do because well, money, work, family etc.), you would know what Matt is saying in the first fifty pages. And you wouldn't be astounded by all the travel stories that he tells that can get repetitive and cursory. You just nod along and say, "yeah, sure, work, bitch." ("work, bitch" is gay lingo for "yes kween" which is still gay lingo but more mainstream). If you have a friend who's never been outside the country, or outside the city for over ten years (I have coworkers that are these), you can gift this book to them. Traveling, like reading, listening to music, or watching a movie, is really about transporting yourself to a different place that is magical, entertaining, and fascinating. A book like this, accessible and inspiring enough to the mainstream, will certainly make your friend like you more. Ten Years a Nomad is a diary of his own emotional journey which can be important. If you like that, then go ahead support Matt! To be honest, this book was about Matt trying to process his travels more than Matt trying to give you tips on the emotional and physical tolls of full-time travel. I recommend The Best American Travel Writing if you want more facts, fascinating history, more vivid description while tasting works of different travel writers who have more emotional stakes in the places that they travel to. It's 1:30 a.m. Grammar is weird. My mind is dizzy. I'm incoherent. But thanks for reading.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Alli

    Full of insightful on-the-road musings similar to my own about feeling other-dimensionally away from home, this bored former Bostonian seeks, finds, and loses love during his wanderlust. Disappointing that a book can be uplifting and depressing at the same time.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jen Juenke

    I had not heard of "nomadic Matt" before reading this book. I agree with so much of what the author is saying. People often think that we travel too much and why do we travel. I absolutely loved that the author pointed out that for most people we, travelers, are breaking the norm. I liked that the author was truthful about his anxiety, his wants, his needs, and at the end, the decision to make a home. I think that everyone should read this book. It was eye opening and yet, left me with some wande I had not heard of "nomadic Matt" before reading this book. I agree with so much of what the author is saying. People often think that we travel too much and why do we travel. I absolutely loved that the author pointed out that for most people we, travelers, are breaking the norm. I liked that the author was truthful about his anxiety, his wants, his needs, and at the end, the decision to make a home. I think that everyone should read this book. It was eye opening and yet, left me with some wanderlust. Keep traveling, keep taking those vacations, keep on moving forward. You learn something new every day!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Daniella

    Felt guilty reading this, knowing the author had to work on writing this book instead of traveling for fun.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    3.5/5 I have to say, I picked up this book because I recognized a little of myself in the title- though I guess my story would be called Ten Years an Expat since I lived and worked abroad. I was really looking forward to hearing a fellow traveler's stories, but it turned out the actual stories were few and far between. For the most part, Matt reflects on why he started traveling, his motivation for continuing, how his family views his travels, and random friendships/loves along the way. I think t 3.5/5 I have to say, I picked up this book because I recognized a little of myself in the title- though I guess my story would be called Ten Years an Expat since I lived and worked abroad. I was really looking forward to hearing a fellow traveler's stories, but it turned out the actual stories were few and far between. For the most part, Matt reflects on why he started traveling, his motivation for continuing, how his family views his travels, and random friendships/loves along the way. I think this would appeal to young 20 somethings who are having their first case of itchy feet and are looking for inspiration. Matt focuses on the backpacker lifestyle, staying in hostels, and living on the cheap- which, honestly, is how most people have to travel in their 20s. The only thing I didn't care for was his insistence that hostel hopping is some sort of rite of passage and that those who don't do that, whether because they go on organized tours or stay in nicer places aren't traveling the right way. He says that getting ripped off is just part of travel. Well, let me tell you, if you stay in one place long enough to actually learn something about the culture instead of just hopping all around, then you make local friends. And friends don't let friends get ripped off. Taking the time to read up on a place, learn the language, meet local people (instead of just hanging out with the hostel crowd) can really add a lot about your understanding of the place your visiting. So, overall, an interesting read, but I guess I'm more interested in how he is going to spend his next ten years now that he is aging out of the hostel set and, you know, might want some decent health care at some point (I know that's what got me).

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Morgan

    Thank you to St Martin’s Press and Goodreads for a free copy of this book! I don’t necessarily believe in the concept of YOLO, but I do agree that life is short. We are here NOW and we should live life that way. However, I DO like that this book is just as philosophical as the next travel book. I like that he is true in saying he isn’t running from something or someone. I like that he doesn’t give in to society’s ideals of who we are supposed to be and how we are supposed to live based on everyb Thank you to St Martin’s Press and Goodreads for a free copy of this book! I don’t necessarily believe in the concept of YOLO, but I do agree that life is short. We are here NOW and we should live life that way. However, I DO like that this book is just as philosophical as the next travel book. I like that he is true in saying he isn’t running from something or someone. I like that he doesn’t give in to society’s ideals of who we are supposed to be and how we are supposed to live based on everybody else’s rules or follow the path that their parents followed. If I would of known 20 years ago that traveling like a nomad would still lead me to where I am today, I would of. This book does give me hope that some day I will leave the mundane lifestyle of shift work and computers bosses and actually go LIVE.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sarah wilson

    Just ok, I found myself skimming pages and not really getting into his words.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not regurgitate the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it. Part travel memoir and part philosophical look at why we travel, filled with stories of Matt Kepnes' adventures abroad, an exploration of wanderlust and what it truly means to be a nomad. Ten Years a Nomad is New York Times bestselling author Matt Kepnes’ poignant exploration of I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not regurgitate the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it. Part travel memoir and part philosophical look at why we travel, filled with stories of Matt Kepnes' adventures abroad, an exploration of wanderlust and what it truly means to be a nomad. Ten Years a Nomad is New York Times bestselling author Matt Kepnes’ poignant exploration of wanderlust and what it truly means to be a nomad. Part travel memoir and part philosophical look at why we travel, it is filled with aspirational stories of Kepnes' many adventures. New York Times bestselling author of How to Travel the World on $50 a Day, Matthew Kepnes knows what it feels like to get the travel bug. After meeting some travellers on a trip to Thailand in 2005, he realized that living life meant more than simply meeting society's traditional milestones, such as buying a car, paying a mortgage, and moving up the career ladder. Inspired by them, he set off for a year-long trip around the world before he started his career. He finally came home after ten years. Over 500,000 miles, 1,000 hostels, and 90 different countries later, Matt has compiled his favourite stories, experiences, and insights into this travel manifesto. Filled with the colour and perspective that only hindsight and self-reflection can offer, these stories get to the real questions at the heart of wanderlust. Travel questions that transcend the basic "how-to," and plumb the depths of what drives us to travel — and what extended travel around the world can teach us about life, ourselves, and our place in the world. Ten Years a Nomad is for travel junkies, the travel-curious, and anyone interested in what you can learn about the world when you don’t have a cable bill for a decade or spend a month not wearing shoes living on the beach in Thailand. As someone who remembers "Europe on $5 a day" (wow- wouldn't that be amazing now??) But $50 a day would be awesome, too in the days of a 40% CAD-USD exchange rate which adds an automatic 40% to your daily expenditure. The book is written with such passion and love that you know that Kepnes is a person to trust when it comes to travelling on the low cash train and his "explanation" of wanderlust speaks to my soul on a heartfelt level. Hostels? For me? No. But for you? Go for it - ditto re: shoes as I hate getting my feet wet on an insanity level that makes my family make much fun of me. As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I love emojis (outside of their incessant use by Millenials on Instagram and Twitter) so let's give it 🗺️🗺️🗺️🗺️🗺️

  24. 5 out of 5

    Tonya

    The best part about Nomad Matt's book from a literary standpoint are his descriptions of places he visited. The ten-year travel journey was certainly the long, hard way to a higher level of maturity. I suspect it is the common path for most young people steeped in the current culture whether travel is involved or not: partying, drinking, smoking, and hooking up with a little sightseeing on the side. It is also ironic that Matt's "enlightened" desire to escape the 9-5 rat race could only have bee The best part about Nomad Matt's book from a literary standpoint are his descriptions of places he visited. The ten-year travel journey was certainly the long, hard way to a higher level of maturity. I suspect it is the common path for most young people steeped in the current culture whether travel is involved or not: partying, drinking, smoking, and hooking up with a little sightseeing on the side. It is also ironic that Matt's "enlightened" desire to escape the 9-5 rat race could only have been accomplished with the help of thousands of people all over the world NOT running away to find themselves "out there." Because, of course, someone must sell the plane ticket, fly the plane, design and sew the backpack, grow the food, own the hostel, clean the bathroom, etc. Even in his parent's house, where he conveniently crashes when needed (and complains about free meals and laundry) his irresponsibility is enabled by those who remain responsible. I am glad I stayed with the book to the end, however, because Nomad Matt does eventually grow up and learn a few of the lessons needed for a flourishing life. It probably didn't help my sympathies toward Matt that I was at the same time reading a book entitled, Starting Over, about a family whose 14-year-old son learned and exhibited a dizzying amount of responsibility, self-reliance, life skills, and selflessness in the 2 years it took them to carve out a self-reliant homestead in northern Minnesota. But, I suspect, this young man was more mature to start with. Even with my not-too-sympathetic reaction to Matt's story, I did enjoy this book, particularly because of the maturing that happened and the lessons he learned (you'll find them at the verrrry end before the acknowledgments). I particularly resonated with his conclusion that "travel is the act of going somewhere new, doing something new, meeting someone new....travel is the art of discovery... whether in your own backyard or on another continent. Each day can bring an adventure... no matter where you are in the world." I find every new day exciting and each thrilling discovery, no matter how mundane or close to home, a reason for thankfulness. I am very happy that through travel, Matt accomplished an important personal goal: to become a confident person. I wish him the best as he begins the process of becoming rooted to "home" and from which, no doubt, he will occasionally embark on more world travels.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Serena

    “The road is and always will be a place of wonder and endless possibility. It’s where magic happens. But you can find wonder and magic wherever you are. You just have to look closely enough.” I enjoyed the journey Nomadic Matt takes us on. His experience and love of traveling is evident. I loved reading his take on places I have visited in the past and also highlighted and added new places to my ever growing list of places I want to visit. I also appreciate his honesty and struggles he encountere “The road is and always will be a place of wonder and endless possibility. It’s where magic happens. But you can find wonder and magic wherever you are. You just have to look closely enough.” I enjoyed the journey Nomadic Matt takes us on. His experience and love of traveling is evident. I loved reading his take on places I have visited in the past and also highlighted and added new places to my ever growing list of places I want to visit. I also appreciate his honesty and struggles he encountered while traveling. “Did I come here to work or did I come here to drink wine?” This might single handedly be the best line in the entire book. It was a wake up call for sure. As a person who loves to travel, I always have my phone in hand to check emails and “multitask” while on vacation. I’m guilty of documenting everything on social media instead of just living. I read this and realized that when traveling, I’m not only doing myself a disservice, but also my family. Instead of making memories, I’m trying to meet a deadline with my toes in the sand. So thank you Nomadic Matt for this wakeup call. And thank you for sharing your struggle with anxiety and your journey home. Anxiety is something many people struggle with on a daily basis and it’s refreshing to read his honesty on not only having it, but how he addressed it. “Here’s the thing about trying to escape: Your feelings come with you. They sew themselves into the nooks and crannies of your backpack and hang there like dead weight, digging into your shoulders as you carry them from one beautiful place to the next.” I enjoyed reading Ten Years a Nomad and highly recommend it to anyone that loves to travel or has been bitten by the travel bug.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Aarthy

    What a lovely read. I felt like I could have written this because everything Matthew said is exactly how I feel about travel. From the way we travel differently than our Western folks, having to convince a society that is so set on traditional norms that what you are doing is okay, to even feeling burnout when backpacking. This was more than an account of his travel, in fact is was more of a book on self discovery. It also made me really miss travelling and cannot wait to go around the globe aga What a lovely read. I felt like I could have written this because everything Matthew said is exactly how I feel about travel. From the way we travel differently than our Western folks, having to convince a society that is so set on traditional norms that what you are doing is okay, to even feeling burnout when backpacking. This was more than an account of his travel, in fact is was more of a book on self discovery. It also made me really miss travelling and cannot wait to go around the globe again. Highly recommend!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Amy Ingalls

    I won this book in a giveaway. I enjoyed this memoir, and the beginning really caught my interest. I can fully understand the urge to drop everything and travel around the world and wish I had been in a position to do so when I was younger (bringing 2 small children to hostels is simply not practical). Some parts did get a little repetitive towards the end, but I liked the message that travel is any new adventure, and can be done near or far.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Candice Walsh

    I’ve got an advanced copy of Matt Kepnes’s new memoir, Ten Years a Nomad, and I’m LOVING it. Not his standard guide to get you off the couch and out into the world (although it’ll surely do that too), but a personal and heartfelt account of his journey. And NOT PREACHY. Might be the first book I’ve read in this vein that doesn’t make me wanna punch the author a little.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Joe Kurtek

    Took a little hiatus from reading due to an extremely busy summer - but I'm back! I loved this book. It was really interesting to see Matt's personal evolution throughout his travels and also his experience in relationships and life. Matt is one of the OG vagabond travel bloggers and although I don't think I could ever attempt to travel like he did or stay in a less than clean hostel, he did it for 10 years. And, it makes for a super interesting read. Definitely recommend this one.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Isabel

    huge factual error.... page 199 "Argentina's most popular park, Torres del Paine was founded in 1959. I've been there, but verified with Wikipedia "Torres del Paine National Park (Spanish: Parque Nacional Torres del Paine)[3] is a national park encompassing mountains, glaciers, lakes, and rivers in southern Chilean Patagonia." huge mistake for such a renown travel guru. And seriously.... did no one else see this?? so what else in this book is wrong? not to mention, he's a whiner. And lots of us liv huge factual error.... page 199 "Argentina's most popular park, Torres del Paine was founded in 1959. I've been there, but verified with Wikipedia "Torres del Paine National Park (Spanish: Parque Nacional Torres del Paine)[3] is a national park encompassing mountains, glaciers, lakes, and rivers in southern Chilean Patagonia." huge mistake for such a renown travel guru. And seriously.... did no one else see this?? so what else in this book is wrong? not to mention, he's a whiner. And lots of us lived on the road long before there were blogs to tell us about how to best do it. This left such a sour taste of monetizing, ... just yuck... don't waste your time.

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