#FBF: Followback Friday is our new interview series where we get real with some of our favorite travel influencers. We want to learn what makes them tick, their best tips and tricks, and share stories of (mis)adventures from the road.
Before Matt Long become the award-winning travel blogger and photographer behind LandLopers.com, he was just your typical cubical worker. Now, he spends his time jetsetting across the globe in search of the top luxury travel experiences. We caught up with him to hear about his favorite adventures, how he snags those oh-so-perfect photos, and where he’s planning to go next.
Do you remember the first place that gave you the “travel bug”?
I was born with it. For as long as I can remember I’ve always had a fierce desire to travel the world and learn as much about it was I can. I even have my MA in International Relations, but when it came time to find a job I took something that wasn’t related. The result was that after 12 years, I hated my job and needed a drastic change in my life, hence the blog. That being said, my first overseas trip was to Paris as part of an exchange when I was 17. That’s one reason why it’s still my favorite city in the world.
How did you come up with the name LandLopers? And, where/when did you get the idea to even start blogging?
When it came time to select a name I knew I wanted a synonym for ‘traveler’ so I took a look in the thesaurus and LandLopers stood out. Knowing that people tend to remember strange or unusual names, I thought it was a great match.
I started my site about 6 ½ years ago because I needed a creative outlet. I was stuck in a job I hated and as a lifelong travelholic and lover of anything foreign, it was a good fit.
It seems like you’ve been everywhere! How often do you travel?
Not as often as it seems actually. Since I have a partner, house and three dogs and I like being at home, I’m pretty judicious with my travel schedule. I tend to be on the road about 25-33% of the time, with at least 2-3 weeks in between trips.
How would you describe your travel style?I’m an experiential luxury traveler, which basically means I love active experiences, but also prefer luxury options when traveling. I usually describe it with this example: When I’m in Bangkok I’ll stay at the Peninsula or the Mandarin-Oriental, but during the day I’ll climb Wat Arun and enjoy a $2 street food lunch. It’s all about combining the best that any destination has to offer, from amazing experiences to great hotels.
We love keeping up with your Instagram posts and following your travel guides. Who are some travel writers or photographers you keep on your radar?
That’s very kind, thank you so much. Some of my favorites are:
What’s been your most luxurious travel experience to date?
Well, I’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy some truly remarkable experiences, but my night in the Presidential Suite at the InterContintental Hong Kong probably is the winner. It’s a massive 7,000-square-foot space with everything from a grand piano to a private sauna and steam room and even a private pool and hot tub on the roof of the hotel. It was truly amazing.
Do you have any bucket list adventures you haven’t crossed off your list yet?Oh sure, plenty and I always will. It’s a constantly evolving list and the world is so dynamic and enormous I know I’ll never see and do everything. Some of them include: visit the true North Pole, tour India, go skydiving and drive Route 66.
You take such amazing photographs while you’re on the road, but you say you’re self-taught. Do you have any tips for getting that perfect travel photo?
I am and there’s plenty I don’t know but what I think is really important is learning the ins and outs of composition. You can have the most expensive camera in the world, but if you don’t understand how to compose a great shot, it doesn’t matter.