Case Study 3 – Nomadic Matt Travel Blog

Overview

Nomadic Matt is a travel blog that I found a few months ago. Matt is from the Boston area and his blogs give information about where to travel, and most importantly; how to travel cheap. Nomadic Matt is the name that he goes by, and that is all the information about his identity that he gives. His identity remains that of a nomad. His posts are so informative and interesting, and you can learn so much information within a few reads. Matt’s blog remains one of my favorite blogs because of his personality and intelligence. Sitting back with a cup of coffee and just reading about his adventures is indulging and informative. His website can be found at https://www.nomadicmatt.com/getting-started-new/.

Analysis

Nomadic Matt’s blog is cleanly organized and his website is extremely navigable. I will start from the top, and work my way down the opening page to give you guys a quick glimpse of what to expect when navigating the blog. The top tool bar is a great guide for the reader to get a hang of the blog. You can search around where he has been, resources he used to travel, the start page, and most importantly his blog. One of the most important things I have discovered on the internet is the use of a home button. Websites that utilize a home button make for a great user experience if a person gets too lost flipping the pages of the website.

Readers of the blog are greeted with an entry from Matt that introduced himself to all. Within a few paragraphs you learn the inspiration of the blog, and who Matt is as a person. I appreciate that as a reader because it personalizes you with the writer. It takes away that barrier that some blogs have, Matt is a real person with real experiences to share. He is not some ghost writer making this stuff up. It really gives you the perspective of his life, which makes you appreciate what he has to say much more.

The “Start Here” page is so useful to get an understanding of Matt’s philosophy on travel. There is a grid system on the page which shows many great sources on how to travel cheap and efficiently. On the bottom of the page is a communication link between you and Matt, he is available for all of his readers. From the things I have read about his helpfulness, he is always willing to give people advice no matter how busy he is. From the look of it, he is extremely busy, as he has helped over 16 million people travel more efficiently!

Many blogs have social media links on the bottom or top of the page, but Matt has his social media links follow the scroll wheel. The links can always be seen on the left side of the page no matter what they are available. This is so useful as a marketing tool because it allows people to easily follow you on any platform that you are on.

The footer of Matt’s blog is one of the most detailed footers I have ever seen on any blog before. There is information scattered everywhere in an organized fashion. If you would like to connect to the community in a more in depth manner, you can do that. If you would like to experience some of the travel classes Matt offers, you can do that. And if you would like to go ahead and book a trip with Matt’s tools, you can do that. It is such an organized website and so helpful.

Overall, I believe this is one of the finest looking blogs. It is not overwhelming at all, and it is still informative as it can be.

Conclusion

Overall, I believe this is one of the finest looking blogs. It is not overwhelming at all, and it is still informative as it can be. As someone who is not completely into blogs but follows this blog on occasion, I am not sure I am in a position to say what about the blog should be fixed. I believe that in a way the blog from earlier years to the blog from now has turned more into a marketing tool for him, rather than a personal discussion about his life. However, if you choose to ignore some of the stuff that he sells and focus on the information that he has to give, then it is an almost perfect blog. I have learned a lot about different parts of the world from the information he has given his readers and I appreciate that a lot. The pictures he posts are amazing as well, which helps give the reader a better visual understanding about what he has experienced. If you have any interest in travel and would like to learn more about how to travel in a more efficient manner, I highly recommend Nomadic Matt.

 

Advertisements

Sky High

Flying is a gateway to the world. Every time that I step on a plane, I am simply in awe that from the time I sit in my seat to the time I am off the plane, I can be over 1000 miles away from home, and only 2 hours will have passed.  I can leave my house right this second and maybejust maybe, will be in the White Mountains of New Hampshire in a little under 3 hours. Or, I could board a plane and be sitting on a beach in Miami in the same amount of time.

Although there is a stigma around flying that makes many people hate the idea of flying, I embrace the technological feat that we humans have created and perfected in the past 100 years. There is an entire world to see, and if you limit yourself to a corner of the world that you never want to leave, you are missing out on so much.

I do not like flying in the sense that I absolutely love being on a plane. I absolutely love travelling. That is what is so truly amazing about it. When my grandmother was young and on her way to London, she took a passenger ship that was her home for 3 long weeks. If I wanted to right now, I could book a flight to London and be there in less than 7 hours.

The world is so full of great cities, people, and food. There is no better time to travel than now, and there is no safer method of transportation than flying. With the evolving internet we all use every day, there are so many resources we can use to find cheap flights, hotels, and other amenities.

Next time you get a paycheck, put a little bit away and save up, before you know it you’ll be looking forward to your next destination!

The Economics of Airline Class

southwest

Adventurous Kate and Her Travels

Adventurous Kate

Overview

Adventurous Kate’s Solo Female Travel Blog, (http://www.adventurouskate.com) is a blog about a female traveling by herself around the world.  The blog is written by Kate McCulley who has been blogging about her adventures for five years, traveling through 74 countries and traveling to 6 out of the 7 continents.  She started this blog to show women that it can be perfectly safe and fun for them to travel around the world alone, and experience everything that life and travel has to offer.

Analysis

The layout of Adventurous Kate’s Solo Female Travel Blog is pretty standard.  The left column of the page is dedicated to her 10 most recent blog posts, in descending date order.  The right column of the page shows listings for other recent posts, a short bio about the author, as well as different ways to stay up to date on her blog.  Kate also includes in this section, the ability to follow her blog on any of the major social media sites, with just a click of the button.

The header is interesting, in black and white, with an almost handwritten font for the blogger’s name and an inspirational quote in the background about traveling the world.  At first glance it’s not something I noticed, but when I looked deeper, I saw that it was a message encouraging people to travel just like she does.  I think this is a great use of the header space!  Just below the header is a menu bar with links to direct the reader around the blog.  There is a link to learn more about the blogger, and even a link to review other travel resources.  I believe the most important option in the menu bar, is the ability to search Kate’s site.  I feel like this will help her readers find what they are looking for, especially if there is something specific they had in mind, and allows for a much easier navigation of the site.  At the bottom of the page, on the footer, there is a notice about who the host for her site is, as well as the copyright information.

Content

The majority of the blog is dedicated to telling the readers about Kate’s travels throughout the world.  There are posts about specific places she has visited as well as posts summarizing some of the adventures she has been on.  However, there are also posts to help educate people on the reality of travel.  So it’s not just a blog about her travels, it’s also a blog that provides a learning experience for her readers.  All of Kate’s posts contain pictures, that she has taken along the way, of her or her destinations.  Some of the posts even have videos of Kate talking about her adventures.  Not every title for her blog posts are the most exciting, but some are pretty clever.  These clever titles really made me want to click on some of the posts to see what they were about.  An interesting title called Adventurous Kate Gets Naked in Public ended up with me sidetracked, reading the post, when I was really trying to write about the blog!  These titles are something that she sometimes does well, but could be done better other times.

Kate’s “About Me” page is full of information about her and her travels.  It gives the reader a background about her and what caused her to decide to lead this lifestyle.  The bio even has links to her various blog posts.  This is a good use of the page, and should help draw new readers into reviewing the content of the blog and have them coming back for more.

About Kate

There are so many posts it’s hard to be sure what the most liked ones are, but these are some top contenders…

There are a various number of comments for each post, ranging from a few per post to a few hundred.  She replies back on some of these, but with hundreds of comments for some, I can see why she wouldn’t be able to reply on each and every comment.  Each of these posts have been shared quite a few times, with one having over 8000 shares via social media!  There is an option at the end of each one of her posts to like and share it with the reader’s own social media network.  Since this is on the bottom of each post, it looks like Kate encourages sharing of her posts and really wants the world to see her travels.

Conclusion

Adventurous Kate does a lot of things well in her blog.  She encourages sharing and following of her blog and makes it easy to do this.  This helps the reader to feel like part of the adventure.  She also draws the readers in with her interesting pictures and sometimes interesting blog titles.  I also like that she includes recaps of each year, and provides advice on travel.  The advice gives the readers some variety and may have them thinking that they could travel like this too!  The one thing I dislike about her blog is that she tries to convince the readers, in multiple locations, to click on the banners and widgets in her blog so she can earn money.  Although I know this is a normal practice, it was a turn off for me to keep seeing it everywhere.  In the end, I enjoyed this blog since I love travel and it would be something I’d come back to again to see what Kate is up to in her latest adventure.

For The Love of Cruise!

I love to travel and wish I had more time to see the world and just plain relax!  Out of all of the various modes of transportation, cruising is my favorite way to travel.  I mean really… who wouldn’t like to go to bed in one location and wake up in another?  It really takes that whole pesky “travel” portion out of the equation.  I am all for having the captain take over the moving part of my vacation and allow me to just sit back and enjoy the ride.

Cruises are fantastic because they are cost effective and just about all inclusive.  Once the base fare and the automatic gratuities are paid (yes you should keep those where they are since they go to the hardworking staff), the rest is up to you.  You can go the entire trip and not pay one more dime if you so choose.  Although there are many temptations on the ship and in port to spend your money on, none of them are really required to still have a great time.  But I will admit, I have never gone an entire cruise without spending at least a little bit more money… hmmm maybe it’s time to try?  Nah!

There are so many things to do both on the ship and while in port.  There is so much to do on each ship, that it’s sometimes hard to fit everything in.  There has been many a trip that I have come back home more exhausted than when I left.  I have a bad habit of trying to fit every possible activity into my days.  Which can make for a tiring vacation sometimes. 

Each cruise line has its own personality and it’s really up to each person to decide which one they like best.  My family has been a Carnival fan recently, since they are usually the least expensive option and have lots of activities to keep the kids entertained (and with three kids in tow, that is a HUGE requirement for me).  But I think, that out of all the lines I’ve been on, my favorite was Princess.  I mean in the end nothing beats the warm cookies and milk they serve on the lido deck… that is if you can find the crew member handing them out!  That in itself can be an enormous task!

P1020412 (2)

For anyone that hasn’t tried cruising yet…. WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR!?  For everyone that has been on this wonderful trip called cruising, when is your next cruise planned?  Nothing beats the countdown to the next cruise vacay – 116 days to go for me!

Everything you could possibly want to know about cruising in one easy location!

 

My First Trip to Dominican Republic

28642882_1544818945565389_1919073288_o

On May 21st, 2016 I went on my first vacation trip outside the United States. It was my first time being in Dominican Republic and also my first time being on a plane as well. Everything felt different that day, it was as if I was going through some kind changes. The reasons why I was going to Dominican Republic was for my aunts wedding. I never been to a wedding before so I didn’t know what was I going expect for two weeks.

  On the Plane

When I was at the airport all I can think about was that I want to sit next to sit next the window. Like who doesn’t want to sit next to the window. I really wanted to look over cities and enjoy the views… Unfortunately my aunt sat near the window. Her husband sat between us and him and I chatted for a little about sports, and college. Ever since I met him I knew he was going to be good for my Aunt and he’s always been good me and my family. The minute that the plane took off I was like “oh shit this is what it feel like to be on a plane”. After sitting for an hour on the plane I tried so hard to fall asleep. I was so tired, and I ended having this annoying kid sit behind me. He kept kicking my seat and I didn’t want to cause a scene or anything. I wanted to tell him or his parents if he can stop. But I didn’t bother. So I was awake for four hours, and I really tried to sleep but I was so uncomfortable.

Welcome to Dominican Republic

28512201_1544820025565281_226242304_n

Once I arrived to Dominican Republic everyone on the plane started to cheer and sing that we landed safe. I was so lost to why everyone was so happy to arrive but I guess it’s something that Dominicans do. My ear drum were killing me. I couldn’t barely hear anything and I remember that my aunt’s husband was trying to tell me something but I could not hear anything so I kept just nodding my head.

Everything felt different, the air was different, the sky wasn’t so clear but it so humid out there. I had to adapt to the weather and I was constantly drinking water. When you’re in Dominican Republic you can not depend on water sources like fountains, it was contaminated. The safest way for you to drink water was by buying water bottles at supermarkets. I couldn’t buy water bottles near the bodega I located, for some reason they didn’t sell any. The food was way more natural than back in the US. If you like mangos or any fruits, I highly recommend trying some, it tastes really good out there. I was eating really healthy too, maybe because there aren’t so many fast-food restaurants.

 It was so eye-opening once I got the chance to ride around the city. I’m seeing things I don’t normally see. I was so caught up in the moment that I barley took pictures. My family and I ended up in Santo Domingo, which is also known as “la capital”. We ended up staying my grandfather house which he owns. He lets his older brother stay and take care of the house. I’ve met so many cousins that I never thought I had before and they all know my name some how. I’ve met a lot family members, went out to places to eat, and hung out with a few cousins. I even went to area where is was very country. I believe the city/village was called Moca, I’m not 100% sure, but it so cool just to be there.

The Wedding

28534309_1544819812231969_510029452_n

After a couple of days later everyone who was going to the wedding decided to go to a resort in Punta Cana. Which was where my aunt in her husband planned their wedding reception. I had a blast just being there. I wish some of my friends were with me but at least I had my younger cousin with to walk around and hangout.

During the day of the wedding it was something I will never forget. I’ve seen so many people cry because of how beautiful everything was set up. But not only was the scene beautiful but how two families got together to witness two people who love and care for each other get married. Everyone shared laughs together and took pictures together. This was my first time being at a wedding so I did not know what to expect.

As soon as everyone finished taking pictures, we all met up and ate together, danced, and had a good time. Everyone was drunk, including myself.  I was assigned to sit at this table where I met some of my aunts husband cousins who were around my age. There were chill, and it was like eight of us in total.We all decided to hangout afterwords at the beach and we had some drinks. At one point all decided to just hangout at swimming pool area. I was having a time of my life because with a bunch of people I don’t know that I ended up bonding with. We later decided to grab food at 2AM and called it a night.

The next morning some people stayed for a few more days. Some left back to the US or back to Santo Domingo.  I went back to Santo Domingo and enjoyed the rest of the few days I had left. I was blessed enough to enjoy such a vacation honestly. I hope to return some day. I’ve learned so much being there and I could only imagine how much more can I learn by just traveling to places.

28643034_1544819765565307_1704188717_o

Nomadic Matt: A Review

Overview

An interesting blog I came across was one created by Matthew Kepnes, a 36-year-old travel connoisseur, best-selling author and blogger originally from Boston. His website, titled Nomadic Matt, is home to numerous blog posts, travel tips, and resources. Coinciding with the rest of the site, the blog posts focus on personal experiences with a nomadic lifestyle, different adventures and tips from himself and others, and all things concerning travel. As an aspiring world traveler, his blog provides a great starting point to travel smart and encourages you to set your sights high.

Analysis: Content and Audience Interaction

As a whole, the blog is very aesthetically pleasing to read. His layout is clear and easy for users to navigate. The menu is well organized and though it provides numerous links to other areas of the site, is not overwhelming. The design is fun but clean, keeping it interesting enough to attract viewers and readers, but not so much as to distract them from obtaining the desired information.

Screen Shot 2018-01-08 at 9.53.58 PM

The title of the page and subsequent posts are simple but captivating to grab the attention of visitors to the site. There are search bars in the header and footer of the page, making it easy to find your way back to what you are looking for if you get stuck. Moreover, in the footer there are links to all of his social media profiles, as well as links to his about me, community, media, and travel pages. His about me page is straightforward, separated into subheaders about who he is, what he does, and how he got there. As he highlights in his about page, everything posted is authentic, with no sponsored content or paid for trips, therefore, all pictures and recommendations of places have been personally taken or visited by Matt himself, or a guest columnist. The high quality personal pictures create a more human connection between Matt and the readers of his blog, explaining the large loyal following he has amassed over the years.

At no surprise, the majority of the blog content regards travel. Matt’s personal travels, helping others fulfill their travel dreams by traveling cheaply, travel tips and wisdom, and experiences he and others have had along the way. His three most popular posts highlight his mission first explained in his about page. The posts explain why he lives the lifestyle he does, how others can travel in a cost efficient way, and why he does what he does and encourages other to try it too.

Screen Shot 2018-01-08 at 10.00.09 PM.png

As mentioned earlier, what makes Matt’s site so unique is that none of the content is sponsored. All of the awe-inspiring pictures and videos are taking by Matt himself, or guest contributors. I found this to be an area Matt does extremely well. Although he holds contests and other things to promote fan interaction, it is impossible to hear from each person individually. Having such personal pictures really demonstrate Matt’s desire to have a real connection with readers. Rather than becoming a mass business, he continues to provide raw real content that many people appreciate.

In addition to his blog page, Matt also includes a page about getting started, travel guides, and resources. This is another area where Matt is extremely successful. He not only inspires readers with is posts and images, but he helps to empower them to begin adventures for themselves. He provides all the necessary information for those who don’t know where to begin and tips on how to “travel. better. cheaper. longer”.

Screen Shot 2018-01-08 at 10.20.12 PM

He encourages audience interaction, being the support they need to go out on their own adventures. Moreover, he holds contests to highlight and take time to appreciate members of his audience and the amazing things they themselves have been able to achieve. Readers are also pretty active in the comments section of his posts. The number of comments typically range from as few as 10 to as many as 60, with Matt himself responding personally to some. To further encourage interaction, there are links to his social media pages on a floating side bar and at the bottom of every page.

Screen Shot 2018-01-08 at 10.11.42 PM.png

Conclusion

Overall, I found the blog to be very successful. It is not only easy to view content, but it is extremely user friendly as the site is clear and easy to navigate. There are links to other areas of the site with related interesting information and everything is simply categorized. He has significant interaction with his audience, encouraging them to go out and live their best lives. An area the blog could improve is providing readers with more personal content about Matt himself. While he did so in the early stages, he now focuses more on other people’s adventures. Although this is compelling content, Matt needs to maintain the close personal connection that garnered him such a large following in the first place. He needs to make sure he doesn’t forget where he came from, even after 8 years.

Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

Have you guys ever had a dream awakening epiphany before? I did, and let me tell you, this realization pushed me to limits and boundaries that both equally terrified and excited me. One night, as I am mindlessly laying in complete darkness and solitude in my dungeon, aka my bedroom, I realized I have never left or ventured out from the state of Massachusetts. Okay, that is somewhat of a lie because I occasionally, and when I say occasionally I mean every other day, travel to New Hampshire to shop (and I am very sure all of my fellow Massachusetts citizens do this as well because of how NH is a no tax state).

Any who, back to this epiphany, I realized that I need to get out more. I am a young 23-year-old young adult who lives comfortably in the suburbs of Andover who has a somewhat decent paying job and has friends who are somewhat crazier and more so eccentric than I am, which is honestly very surprising (them being more crazy and eccentric, not the whole idea of having friends but that’s also really crazy too, who would be friends with someone who would rather nap all day? My crazy friends apparently thats who).

Okay, I am getting terribly sidetracked. Let’s continue! So any who, around 3 am that night-morning, I created a list of places I wanted to visit. To make things easier, I made a list of places in New England, eastern Canada, along the East Coast, and basically any major places or cities that were easily accessible through car, train, or bus. I created this very concise and detailed list, all together there were about 26 different cities and towns I wanted to visit, and slowly but surely I was able to visit 20 out of 26 places. And let me tell you, from someone who would rather stay home and very far away from other people on the road, or people in general, that is a huge milestone for me.

As I visited these breathtakingly beautiful places, I had another realization. I love traveling! I love going to new places, seeing different landscapes, buildings, clock towers, roads, whatever is unfamiliar to me was so strikingly beautiful and awe inspiring! Out of all of the places I went to, the most memorable place I visited, which was not on my list, was Puerto Rico. The island of Puerto Rico is by far the most magnificent, exotic, and overall enchanting place I have ever been to. As an impromptu vacation, my best friend and I booked a 16 day vacation in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico being where she was originally born and raised and we had the best time of our lives (cheesy, I know). The island has so much history, so much poise, just so much to offer and every day I was shocked at how painstakingly beautiful this island was!

While my stay, I visited many towns and cities, castles, historical land marks and islands, however, the traditional, historic, and rustic feel and appearance of Old San Juan was my favorite place. The pictures below, which unfortunately I was so absorbed with basking in the beauty of the island, I did not take much pictures so the pictures below do not do this beautiful island any justice!

From this trip, I came to realization to how lucky and blessed we are to be able to travel different towns, states, and countries and be exposed and experience things that are so beautiful and different to what we are used to. I had a newfound appreciation and passion for traveling and vowed to myself that I will continue to travel and admire the endless amount of various places I am willing and able to travel to.

Due to my lackluster skills in photography and my very limited number of photos. Sadly the photos I have on this blog are the most decent pictures I took with my Iphone while on vacation. In order to not scare any future travelers and adventurers away from my mediocre photos, I have included some amazing blogs, videos, and featured images of the beautiful island of Puerto Rico!

Here is an amazing video of Old San Juan created by the talented Lonely Visions, a homegrown travel documentary YouTube channel. Check out their video below:

 

Meet Cassie, a blogger, wrote an amazing little trip report about her time in Old San Juan. During my flight to Puerto Rico, I read her blog and was even more convinced on wanting to visit this quaint little town! Check out the link below!

https://hisugarplum.com/trip-report-old-san-juan/