News for the New Year

Hello Everyone,

I realize that I have been hopelessly out of touch since the holidays and perhaps you have missed receiving news of new posts – at least I hope you’ve missed me! While I do have a couple of blog post ideas that I am kicking around right now, I have been distracted by a new project for the last couple of months. I’ve decided to write a book, something I have wanted to do for as long as I can remember. I am putting together a collection of stories from my international travels; some are being adapted, edited, and embellished from blog posts you may have seen on here, and some are new. I have joined a group that helps would-be authors self-publish, and as part of the exercises and workshops for that, I was to write what they call “Book Bait” – a sort of long teaser about what the book will be about to gauge people’s reactions to the idea. Below you’ll find a draft of what I proposed; I have not yet come up with a book title, as I am sort of hoping it will write itself as the book comes together!


Raised by a single, working mom and growing up in a working-class city in New England, I could never have imagined the places my life would take me. I lost my mother to cancer when I was only sixteen years old, but in the short time we had together, she managed to instill in me a sense of courage, self-reliance, wonder, and a longing to travel and explore the world. Her early death taught me that tomorrow is never guaranteed, and that we have to live our life as fully as we can while we are able to. 

From that tumultuous start in life, I managed to put myself through college and graduate school and build a thirty-five -year long career as a psychology professor. During that time, I constantly searched for ways to balance my work life with my passion for travel. I was able to accomplish this by leading groups of students on study abroad trips, as well as conducting research and attending conferences in exciting international locations. In my free time and with every spare dollar I had, I embarked on countless road trips across the USA and to Alaska, spent significant amounts of my life in Hawaii and Italy, and have visited thirty-five different countries so far.

Whether it was the time I collided with a kangaroo in Australia, made a fool of myself in a Turkish bath or Hamam, tried not to choke to death on a popular Japanese confection, learned to navigate the strict dining customs of Italy or just happily bobbed like a cork in Israel’s Dead Sea, the experiences I’ve had while traveling internationally have run the gamut from hilarious to scary to thought-provoking.

Whether you’re an armchair traveler who prefers to travel vicariously, a person who’s been unable to travel the way you might like, someone contemplating traveling abroad for the first time, or a seasoned travel veteran, I hope you’ll find the tales in this collection of travel memoirs amusing, relatable and perhaps even inspirational. Join me for a series of adventures that will take us from the Pacific Rim to the Middle East and across Europe. The world is waiting! Let’s go!

So, what do you think? Would you join me on such an adventure for a couple hundred pages? I’d love to hear your thoughts or any questions you have. Wish me luck and I hope the new year is off to a good start for you all.

Matt,,, still at home in the world.

Merry Christmas and Happy Hannukah to All!

I just wanted to take a quick moment to say Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to all my loyal readers and followers. I’ve been saying that I feel as if someone removed about 10 days of December from the calendar, as I blinked and here we are at the end of the month already. I felt like I barely had time to get into the spirit of the season, despite the fact that this has always been my favorite time of year.

Continue reading “Merry Christmas and Happy Hannukah to All!”

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for: GELATO!

If only gelato came in this size…

Gelato. This has to be one of the most beautiful words in the beautiful Italian language.  It was love at first taste when I sampled my first spoonful of the Italian version of ice cream almost 20 years ago, and during my time in Italy it’s not uncommon for me to have a “3 gelato day”, with a scoop or two in the late morning, again as a late afternoon pick me up, and finally as a late night, after dinner treat. Most people I know who have been to Italy cite gelato as one of their favorite things, though I have occasionally encountered the odd, misguided person who shrugs and dismisses it with, “It’s just ice cream.” No, poor misguided one, it is not “just” ice cream.

Get the scoop on gelato… read on!