As travel bloggers go, there is one name that everyone knows – Matt Kepnes, known globally as Nomadic Matt through his popular, informative and extensive website Nomadic Matt.com . I’ve been in touch with Matt for a couple of years online and I’ve always loved his writing, his consistency and his outlook on life. I have a lot of respect for Matt and aspire to his success, which all began from his travel blog.
Matt has created a hugely popular website to the point where he lives off it, buzzes off it and deservedly so has the best travel blog in existence. Matt’s e-Books have helped myself and other travellers (new and old) get out and see the world. His Make Money with your Travel Blog book is also an excellent resource for those looking to follow in Matt’s footsteps by monetising your site.
So recently I was back in New York City, it was my first visit to NYC since 2007 (the time I managed to backpack it on the cheap and get drunk for $10 US) and by chance Matt was around, having just toured Iceland. Matt is as nomadic as they come and he was literally back from Iceland and then off on tour again, but I managed to catch up with him and meet him in the brief time that he was in NYC. We were all set. Matt recommended the Chocolate Bar in the West Village of Manhattan and so I looked it up on Google and decided to get there early to meet Matt around 2pm.
No problem I thought – the Chocolate Bar is on 8th Avenue and has its own website with full address, however when I went to check it on Google Maps, it came up as being on 8th Street, so I got out of the metro at Christopher Street and walked to 8th Street. I was there at 1.30pm now all I needed to do was find the Chocolate Bar, which was number 19 apparently…
But I get to number 19 on 8th Street and its boarded up. I’m confused as that very day they posted something on their Facebook Page and I checked the opening times and locations a few times and it was for sure open and I knew Matt would be there. And yes, I’ve been to New York before and I know the difference between 8th Street and 8th Avenue!
However, after getting to a hotel at number 25 8th Street and using their Wi-Fi, I was now late to meet Matt and I knew we both had a tight schedule so I emailed him to say where I was then the barman and I double checked the Chocolate Bar location and it was listed as 19 8th Street on the map but as 19 8th Avenue on their website, so I realised I was in the wrong place!! I was laughing at myself but as a big fan of Matt’s, I just had to meet him. How long would it be again before two nomads like us would be in the same city?
So I walked for a bit and then realised it would take me ages, broke my rule of never having taken a New York taxi before and got in one and got him to take me straight to the Chocolate Bar. I paid the $5 US taxi, hopped out and into this cool and quirky cafe to find the one and only Nomadic Matt sitting working away. Just as I’d expected him really. I knew it would be a Wi-Fi bar.
Matt was having a coconut tea so I joined him in that and we chatted at length about travel, our lifestyles and upcoming travels. The way busy nomads are it was really just a quick meet up, but Matt is a top bloke and a really inspiring guy and it was great to meet him in person.
As I begin my plans to write my first solo e-Book, it was amazing to have met Nomadic Matt, Author Deacon Blake and Costa Rican based writer Michael Miller, all in the space of a week. As Matt said his goodbyes, I was suitably inspired, finished my tea, did some online work and then realised I was having to jet off again in a few hours from JFK Airport on a flight to Barcelona. It was all over in a flash and this travel lifestyle moves fast. What mattered most to me was that not only is Matt successful with his website and his travel projects, but he’s a down to earth, great guy, who like myself has a passion for travel and writing.
Thanks to Matt for joining me for a tea – hope to meet up again sometime! Also – the Chocolate Bar in New York City is a cool spot. This is a Thirsty Thursday, after all.
Check out Matt’s excellent blog, Nomadic Matt.com!
11 thoughts on “Thirsty Thursdays: Coconut Tea With Nomadic Matt in the Chocolate Bar, New York City, USA”
That’s really cool that you met up with the “Godfather of Travel Blogging!” And the fact that his online persona matches his offline persona is reassuring — only makes me value his advice and knowledge even more. What were the top 3 things you took away from your discussion with Matt? Or is that going to be saved for a future “The Time I …” post?
Ray recently posted…Visiting Rocinha – Rio’s Largest Favela
Hi Ray, Thanks for the comment. I’ve never really thought about a “top 3 things”, but I guess if I have to it would be these three:
1. Be a real person and interact and meet people. Matt took time out of his busy schedule to meet me. I always take time to meet friends, family, readers and fellow bloggers. It’s a shame some other big name wannabes don’t.
2. Plan things in advance. I’ve never been one for doing this, but as I chatted to Matt, it was clear he has a rough plan of his next 6 months of work and travel. He’s a lot more in control than I am.
3. Find a public place to work. I spend too much time in hostel and hotel rooms, Matt seems to favour cool coffee shops and wifi bars to get some work done. This way it never quite feels like “just work”. I got some work done in the Chocolate Bar, but with a coconut tea in my hand and a view of the street in New York.
I really appreciate Matt taking the time to meet me and hope to meet him again someday.