LUXURY TRAVEL BLOG – INTERVIEW WITH MATT LONG
1. Firstly, could you tell us a little about yourself – where are you from, what’s your background, what do you currently do? “My name is Matt Long and I’m the owner and creator of LandLopers.com, a luxury adventure travel blog. I live in the Washington, DC metro area – a region I’ve called home since 2000. For more than a decade I worked in the political world as a lobbyist, but then five years ago I started my site, a decision that forever changed my life. Following my true passion of travel, I left my full time job three years ago to be a full time, professional travel blogger and I’ve never looked back.”
What an exciting life changing move – well worth it I should imagine!
2. How long have you been traveling the world? Where have you been? “Well, I’m not nomadic. I have a house, partner and three dogs, but obviously travel is a very important part of my life. I’ve always had a fierce desire to see the world, since I was a little kid, but my first international trip wasn’t until I was 17. Since then I’ve been seeking out any and all ways to travel more and to see as much of this beautiful planet as I can. To date, I’ve been to all 7 continents and more than 70 countries.”
‘Wow’ that’s a lot of traveling – you must have a very patient partner … and dogs!
3. How would you describe your style of travel? “I usually call it luxury adventure or experiential luxury travel. As an example, if I’m in Bangkok I’m likely to spend the day exploring the neighborhoods, sampling the market food before returning to my room at a 5-star hotel. It’s how I’ve always traveled, a mix of learning about the destination in a very hands on way but with the comforts of luxury travel. Hotels in particular are very important to me and I’m always happy to spend more for an amazing experience. The same holds true for airlines – I am a self-described business class snob.”
Sounds like my kind of traveling, comfort combined with really experiencing the local culture and people.
4. What’s the most luxurious thing you’ve done on your travels? “I’ve been very fortunate to have enjoyed a wide variety of luxury experiences around the world, but the most outrageous hotel experience was the night I spent in the Presidential Suite of the InterContinental Hong Kong. Often called one of the best suites in the world, it’s a 7,000 square foot abode with everything you could possibly want, from a private rooftop pool, a grand piano, private gym and your own sauna and steam rooms in the master bath. It was a remarkable experience that I sincerely hope to repeat at some point in my life.”
That sounds spectacular!
5. What luxury activity would you love to do if money was no object? “One thing I’ve never done is private plane travel, be it through a service like NetJets or one of the new jet experiences offered by companies like the Four Seasons or Abercrombie & Kent. I’ve flown some of the best commercial airlines in the world, but the world of private aviation intrigues me.”
Perhaps this could be next on your list of travel exploits?
6. Where have you visited in the UK? What was your favorite place? “Oh yes, I’ve spent a fair amount of time traveling around the UK. In fact, after I graduated college I spent a month traveling around just England and Scotland, so it has a very warm place in my heart. While I enjoy most areas of the country, I’ve recently visited Wales for the first time and was really impressed. If you love nature and exciting experiences, it’s one of the best places in the world to visit.”
We’re so glad that you like our home as the UK is a very special place with so much to offer.
7. What place in the UK would you like to visit next? “I haven’t spent much time in the south or southwest, so exploring those regions are high on my to-do list.”
Oooh, Cornwall and Devon are beautiful, and as they are on the coast, wonderful places to visit and explore in the summer. There is some great surfing if you enjoy that.
8. What are the top 5 places/sights around the world that everyone should see, in your opinion? “Very hard question as it’s entirely a matter of personal preference, but here are some places I’ve loved exploring:
Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia
Jordan, from Petra to Wadi Rum and everything in between
Safari in South Africa
National Parks of the Western United States
The Galapagos, Ecuador”
They all sound amazing places to visit and Jordan is somewhere I have always wanted to go.
9. You’re obviously a great photographer – do you have any top tips for getting good travel snaps? “Well I’m entirely self-taught, as my early photos will prove. The key in photography, at least for me, is all about composition and thinking creatively. You can have the best camera in the world, but if you don’t frame photos in an engaging way then it doesn’t matter. More than just capturing a nice scene, photos should hopefully also tell a story.”
I agree, a good photograph can speak so much more than words.
10. Which 5 travel bloggers should we (and our readers!) be following? Apart from you! “There are a lot of great bloggers out there now, the industry has grown by leaps and bounds and we’re fortunate to have some great talent. In no particular order, here are a few I always enjoy reading;
Some of those are our favorites too and we’ll make sure we follow the others too.
11. Where are you visiting next? “My next trip is to Peru, where I will finally visit Machu Picchu and in August I’m taking a UniWorld river cruise through the Burgundy and Provence regions of France. I’m also hoping to fit in a road trip along parts of Route 66 before the end of the summer.”
South America is one of my favorite places, and although I haven’t been to Machu Picchu, it is somewhere I would love to go.
Thank you very much to Matt Long from LandLopers.com for kindly taking the time to answer these questions.