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“Where the Hell is Matt” Viral Video is a Hoax

Matt Harding, famous for his “Where the Hell is Matt” video that has received over 17 million views since June 08, is actually a hoax. The video was supposedly filmed at locations around the world as he backpacked the world on several trips, reveals that the video is actually a hoax and that’s he just an out of actor. Well done, Matt. Keep making these videos and we’ll keep watching.


Where the Hell is Matt? (2008) from Matthew Harding on Vimeo.

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Playing For Change: Song Around the World “Stand By Me”

Happy new year everyone! Very cool and inspiring video filmed around the world of different musicians playing “Stand By Me.” Playing For Change is the project.

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The Worst Travel Writing

2008 is coming to a close and the internets are being inundated by best and worst lists. The Chicago Tribune published an article entitled “Readers Picks: Overrated Travel Destinations of the World,” which could be one of the worst things I’ve read on travel. Here’s a few of the destinations that they list as the most overrated: Bali; Santa Fe, NM; Costa Rica (apparently the entire country); Lake Tahoe, and The Beach. They also list Sacramento and Riverside, but I don’t understand why anyone would recommend these places as travel destinations. Who’s ever planned a vacation to Riverside?!

Writing off The Beach as in every beach though?! The article says more about the contributors than the destinations. One contributor complains about a trip to Reykiavik, Iceland in February. Yes, I would agree traveling to Iceland in February is probably not all its cracked up to be, but then again I doubt anyone has raved about a trip there in the dead of an Icelandic Winter. That’s just a fact about travel destinations, most are seasonal. Don’t be an idiot and go to Iceland in the winter and complain about it. Clearing these guys are idiots.

The only destinations that I completely agree with the writers on as being entirely overrated are the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Hollywood Blvd.

ABC News publishes a much better article on the Top 10 Travel stories of 2008.

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New Sport: Speed Riding — Looks Kind of Fun

Here’s video of Francois Bon, Frenchman and inventor of the sport: Speed Riding, descending Argentina’s 22,834-foot Aconcagua. It took 10 days to ascend and 4 minutes to descend 9,000 ft. The good stuff in the video start 2:30 into it.

From National Geographic: “Speed riding is the sport (if you can call it that) of rapid descent. Adherents leap from mountaintops and fly down sheer faces at near-free-fall speeds, guided only by a small, specialized paraglider. When the grade flattens, they touch down briefly to ski ridiculously fast before taking off again over the steeps. Bon, 36, is the grandfather of the sport. In 2006, he leapt off the Eiger and Mont Blanc. In 2007, he made some riotous runs in New Zealand’s Southern Alps.”

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Dolphins

Cool clip of a massive pack of dolphins somewhere warm. Looks like Baja Mexico maybe. Any ideas?


Dolphins ClipClick here for the funniest movie of the week

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Kitesurfing Over a Whale

Photo below of New Zealand Kitesurfer, David Sheridan, kiting over a whale. As he’s riding over the tail flips up and hits him in the head. The photo was taken by a camera mounted in his kite that takes a photo every 10 seconds. (From Surftherenow)

kiting and whale Kitesurfing Over a Whale

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Where to Travel During the Recession

So the gloom of the recession is on us. The press is suggesting a global meltdown. The good news is that the dollar is actually staging a staggering recovery and international currencies are losing value vs. the dollar. Time magazine published a good article on the best places to travel during the recession. It lists Iceland, Canada, Australia, Great Britian, and South Korea. All of who’s currency has dropped against the dollar, especially Iceland (down 51% vs. the dollar!). How different things are from a year ago when the Canadian dollar was actually valued higher than the US dollar.

I’m always an advocate of the cheap out of the way destinations, off the beaten track, away from the crowds. All through Central America, India, Southeast Asia, and in parts of South America, you can travel for $20/day. Here a post on the places to learn to surf for $20/day and how to travel in Southeast Asia for $20/day. Happy travels!

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Where to go: Iceland

iceland Where to go: Iceland

Iceland has a reputation as a beautiful place to travel and one that’s not overwhelmed by flocks of tourists in part because it’s also an expensive place to travel. Recently, Iceland has been hit hard by the economic global troubles (Matador Travel). Since the beginning of 2008, the Icelandic currency has lost close to 40% of its value vs. the Euro. The Associated Press reports that Iceland is “teetering on the brink of bankrupcy” (and you thought the U.S. troubles were bad). So if you’re not caught in mortage troubles of your own, it sounds like now might be a great time to head off to Iceland.

Iceland is a stunningly beautiful country, with friendly fun people, and Reykjavik has a reknowned nightlight.  Check out the video below on a Iceland roadtrip from Current.com.

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1000 Places to Visit Before the New York Times Writes About Them

guatemala bus stop 1000 Places to Visit Before the New York Times Writes About Them

You’re hip savy adventurous traveler trying to stay ahead of the pack. You’ve been through Southeast Asia, hit the full moon party before the movie the Beach came out, and partied on the beaches of Bali before you’re friends decided it was the honeymoon destination du jour. Your bookshelf has a dozen beaten copies of the Lonely Planet. Now you can’t seem to stay ahead of the New York Times travel section. The NYT travel section recently published an article on staying ahead of the crowd. What to do?

There’s obvious advantages to getting to places before the rest of the world does. It’s incredible and rare to find a place undiscovered by the hordes. And it’s easy to see why people all flock to the same popular destinations. There’s safety in numbers. If you get only 3 weeks off a year from work (like us Americans) then you don’t want to roll the dice on some backwater unheard of travel destination. You’d rather go with somewhere safe, somewhere you’ve heard of, but somewhere that also sounds exoctic. So you end up on the beaches of Phuket or Rio. And after a few days, you realize that there’s more exotic, exciting, and out of the way destinations in Nevada than Phuket or Hanoi or Antigua.

Exploring is a mindset, you can find out of the way places in California or close by (Baja), you don’t need to fly around the world. If you have that mindset then you’ll be able to find the these spots anywhere. All it takes is an adventurous attitude and a realization that you don’t have to take the packaged tour, you don’t have to follow the Lonely Planet Guide (not so Lonely anymore).

Costa Rica blew me away because of no matter how traveled the place seemed to be, everyone ended up in the same dozen or so destinations. It’s one of the easiest, safest countries to rent a car and run off and explore. I ended up at Mal Pais/Santa Teresa after a week of driving up and down the entire coast, and found one of my favorite places I’ve been. It’s not completely off the beaten track, but the New York Times has yet to write an article on the remarkable strech of beach home to great surf, a few tucked away yoga studios, and some incredible food.

The amazing thing about it, is that there are entire countries that area relatively untouched. Guatemala, Nicaragua, Columbia, among others are known in backpacking circuits, but how often have you had friends venture off to these places.

Here are a few other gems from my travels:

  • El Tunco, Mexico (a sleepy fishing village north of Zihuatanejo)
  • the entire peninsula of Baja, Mexico (all 1250 miles of it!)
  • Roatan, Honduras (some of the most incredible diving I’ve experienced)
  • India (get there before they build highways)
  • Chang Mai, Thailand and surrounding areas
  • Florianopolis, Brazil
  • San Marcos, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala.
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Los Angeles to New York in 4 Mins – Time Lapse

ny to la drive Los Angeles to New York in 4 Mins   Time Lapse

The great American Roadtrip. It’s a must do experience for every serious traveler. This country is huge and you can only truly appreciate it by driving from coast to coast. Here’s a 4 minutes time lapse video of the drive in case you don’t have 4 days to pull it off anytime soon.