Work Abroad

Travel the World for a Dance

Where the Hell is Matt, and why the Hell didn’t I think of this first?

So, you thought being a travel writer was the best way to travel the world? Guess again. Maybe a job as a UN ambassador? Nope. How about becoming a photojournalist? An international assassin? Not a chance.

The best way to travel the world, bar none, is to develop a ridiculous dance, point your computer-geek skills at YouTube and get super lucky.

That’s how Matt Harding, a self-confessed 32-year-old deadbeat from Connecticut who used to think that all he ever wanted to do in life was make and play videogames, got to travel to some of the coolest places in the world, from Brunei to Tokyo to Namibia.

It all started in 2003 when he quit his job in Brisbane and decided to be a deadbeat around Asia. He did a little dance for the camera to entertain his friends back home; a few years later, the video made its way online where someone noticed it, and the dance that probably scared away all chances of Matt getting lucky in his youth made him famous.

In 2006, Matt was sponsored to take a 6-month trip to 39 countries on all 7 continents. This is the video that resulted:

He got so much positive feedback from people around the world that in 2007, he headed back to his sponsors with the idea to take a second, even bigger trip, but this time get other people to dance with him. They took the bait again:

In 2008, NASA used his video on their website, calling it Happy People Dancing on Planet Earth. And recently, one of the founders of YouTube called Matt’s videos his favourite items posted on the site.

Indeed, watching Matt do his dance on the Giant’s Causeway in Ireland, in front of Machu Picchu, or in the middle of Petra, has the incredible ability to both inspire you to travel, and annoy you that you didn’t use your own nerdy traits to such fantastic results.

Andrea MacDonald

Andrea MacDonald is a nomad, temporarily living in her hometown of Ottawa, Canada.