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Ten Years a Nomad: A Traveler's Journey Home

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  938 ratings  ·  205 reviews
Part memoir and part philosophical look at why we travel, filled with stories of Matt Kepnes' adventures abroad, an exploration of wanderlust and what it truly means to be a nomad.

"Matt is possibly the most well-traveled person I know...His knowledge and passion for understanding the world is unrivaled, and never fails to amaze me." —Mark Manson, New York Times bestsellin
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published July 16th 2019 by St. Martin's Press
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Aug 07, 2019 rated it liked it
I occasionally enjoy reading travel themed biographies because I mostly travel in my mind via books. In fact, I haven't taken a proper trip since twenty years ago when I went to England. I'm about to correct that before summer ends when my family travels to Memphis, Tennessee for a musical historic journey to the home of Elvis- Graceland. Growing up, my family never went on a vacation and never owned a car, so I'm conditioned to be content at home...and I am. However, I do love travelling vicari ...more
M. Sarki
Apr 05, 2019 rated it liked it
I had never before heard of Nomadic Matt. I had never read his blog. My interest in this book was piqued by my own present state of perpetually being on the move. My wife and I spent a lifetime together working, raising a family, and taking far too-short vacations. However, for the last fifteen years we have owned a small, rustic cabin in northern Michigan and spent all of the last eight summers there. Our adult children visited frequently and we had some of the greatest times of our lives toget ...more
Stewart Tame
Apr 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Why yes, I did win a free ARC of this book in a Goodreads giveaway. You have been warned. If the publishers are really trying to influence me, the joke’s on them as most of my reviews rarely score more than half a dozen likes or so …

As with most nonfiction, there really isn't much to summarize about this book that isn't right there on the front cover. Matthew Kepnes spent the better part of ten years traveling around the world. He would pause to earn money when necessary--teaching English in Tha
Apr 30, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Received this book free from Netgalley
Honestly I really wanted to like this book but I could not get through it. This book could be condensed into 50 pages and I feel even then that would be long and dull. He reflects through a lot of his earlier travels and how he came about with his blog. I felt every chapter was excessively long and drowned out his point. This book was just repetitive and way too long. Not for me. Found it very “pity me” and “I chose a different path so feel sad for me” in a
Abigail Hilton
I picked up this book because I've read Matt's blog for a number of years and received great travel tips from him. I've also traveled for about the same length of time he has, although not internationally. Like Matt, I find myself trying to establish some stability for myself at this point, and I was curious about his process in coming to this decision.

The book is a mixed bag. This is not great travel writing. The narrative is frequently unfocused. It meanders into amateur philosophy and self-he
Luke Jacobs
Sep 17, 2019 rated it did not like it
Really wanted to like this one, since I was looking for a novel analysis about modern times, nomadism, community v. travel, etc...

But I couldn't get past the cliches that Matt repeated dozens of times.

These include
-Constantly using the terms 9-5 life, 2 weeks vacation, white picket fence, 2.5 kids, corporate ladder.
-Talking about how he "woke up" from his American brainwashing about the above.
-Like, living in the moment is so much more fun than sitting at a desk, man.

If you've backpacked just
Sep 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir-biography
In the first several chapters of this book I was vastly disappointed. I have been reading Nomadic Matt's blog for several years now and had always found him to be encouraging of every kind of travel whether for two days or two years, and here in these chapters he was spouting the same intolerance of people who travel in the short term that I had come to expect from places like Lonely Planet's Thorn-tree forums. His story was interesting and the writing engaging enough that I wanted to finish but ...more
Apr 16, 2020 rated it did not like it
As someone that is passionate about travel and has followed Nomadic Matt’s past adventures on social media, I was genuinely excited to read this book.

However, not only is this book disappointing (none of the travel stories are actually interesting and there’s no depth to the “insight” that’s shared), it’s completely insufferable. Matt comes across as self-righteous, entitled and shockingly ungrateful for the life he has been blessed to have.

This book is 200 pages of complaint after complaint a
Dana (pagestoreadfl)
Jan 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book! Some did not because they said he got repetitive at the end. However, this was a memoir. It was interesting to see how he cycled through the want to travel and how making it a job became stressful. I am follower of his blog, so I was worried this would be repetitive of his blog posts. That is quite common of bloggers turned book authors. Yet, I felt this was all new.

I took a star away because I would have liked a little more travel stories to even out the introspective porti
Ghoul Von Horror
Oct 25, 2020 rated it it was ok
Release Date: July 16, 2019
Genre: travel biography
Rating: 🎃🎃 2.0

About the book: Matthew Kepnes knows what it feels like to get the travel bug. After meeting some travelers on a trip to Thailand in 2005, he realized that living life meant more than simply meeting society's traditional milestones, such as buying a car, paying a mortgage, and moving up the career ladder. Inspired by them, he set off for a year-long trip around the world before he started his career. He finall
Jared Gibson
Aug 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Traveling and reading go hand-in-hand. Both take you to new places, confront you with new people and ideas, and in my opinion, can make us better people. In this book about traveling, the author attempts to expose the reader to the realities of travel.

Through several stories of his own travels around the world, Kepnes provides his own philosophy about living like a modern-day nomad. Instead of taking a chronological approach, he gives a theme to each chapter, skipping years at a time depending
Carianne Carleo-Evangelist
Wonderfully conflicted on this book. Wasn't familiar with NomadicMatt, but the premise of the book interested me. I'm very glad I read it, even though I'm not sure I'd fully recommend it. I would have preferred more about the places and less him narrating about himself, but that was probably poor research on my end before selecting this book. So if you're looking for a traditional travelog, this isn't it.

There's a lot of Matt in me, and me in him. In fact we both set off around the same time - h
Aug 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, memoir, travel
I was never the kind of traveler that Matthew Kepnes was. He was a backpacker who traveled the world for ten years, drinking and partying. But, Ten Years a Nomad: A Traveler's Journey Home is worth reading even if you're not the type to appreciate a partying lifestyle. What Kepnes does capture in his book is the philosophy of why some of us want to take off and leave home.

Kepnes, known as Nomadic Matt, spent ten years traveling the world, although he did return home to Boston now and again. He r
Oct 12, 2019 rated it did not like it
Pretty pretentious. I skimmed the first 6 chapters because they were so unenjoyable to read, and almost gave up. It got a little better after that. I didn’t really learn anything about traveling as a nomad, it was mostly him generally discussing life lessons, but it felt preachy or a tone of him just talking down to the reader. It also felt like he was ungrateful regardless of the situation he was in.
Apr 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir, travel, netgalley
This may be an unpopular opinion, but it is mine. I feel like this book could have been a blog series instead of a full-length book and it would have been easier to read. There's a lot of repetition and the transitions between travel stories and reflection were kind of choppy. Three stars is generous. I received an ARC from NetGalley.
Jim Curtin
Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
This was a drag to get through. The work is presented as an insightful look into travel, but is a series of disconnected complaints with the common thread of drinking in hostels. Before he travels, the author complains about feeling unfulfilled at his job. On the road, he complains about not being able to find meaningful love connections, having to choose between working remotely or enjoying the moment, and eventually travel burnout. He would take breaks and immediately complain about feeling st ...more
Jun 08, 2020 rated it liked it
This book is geared towards people who are starting to get the travel bug or people who hasn't had the symptoms of the travel bug. I am not well-traveled yet (total of countries I have been in is six) but I have big dreams of travel. I have watched videos and read thousands of blogs. I have planned my dream itinerary if I win the lottery and if I don't win the lottery (a.k.a. the cheapest way to do it). In other words, I am in an unrequited relationship. Or maybe I'm a "stalker" for it.

If you're
Jan 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Full of insightful on-the-road musings similar to my own about feeling other-dimensionally away from home, this bored former Bostonian seeks, finds, and loses love during his wanderlust. Disappointing that a book can be uplifting and depressing at the same time.
Jen Juenke
Mar 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
I had not heard of "nomadic Matt" before reading this book. I agree with so much of what the author is saying.
People often think that we travel too much and why do we travel. I absolutely loved that the author pointed out that for most people we, travelers, are breaking the norm.
I liked that the author was truthful about his anxiety, his wants, his needs, and at the end, the decision to make a home.
I think that everyone should read this book. It was eye opening and yet, left me with some wande
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was ok
Felt guilty reading this, knowing the author had to work on writing this book instead of traveling for fun.
Jun 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5/5 I have to say, I picked up this book because I recognized a little of myself in the title- though I guess my story would be called Ten Years an Expat since I lived and worked abroad. I was really looking forward to hearing a fellow traveler's stories, but it turned out the actual stories were few and far between. For the most part, Matt reflects on why he started traveling, his motivation for continuing, how his family views his travels, and random friendships/loves along the way.

I think t
Jessica Morgan
Apr 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways
Thank you to St Martin’s Press and Goodreads for a free copy of this book!

I don’t necessarily believe in the concept of YOLO, but I do agree that life is short. We are here NOW and we should live life that way. However, I DO like that this book is just as philosophical as the next travel book. I like that he is true in saying he isn’t running from something or someone. I like that he doesn’t give in to society’s ideals of who we are supposed to be and how we are supposed to live based on everyb
Sarah wilson
Mar 13, 2020 rated it liked it
Just ok, I found myself skimming pages and not really getting into his words.
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

From the publisher, as I do not regurgitate the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it.

Part travel memoir and part philosophical look at why we travel, filled with stories of Matt Kepnes' adventures abroad, an exploration of wanderlust and what it truly means to be a nomad.

Ten Years a Nomad is New York Times bestselling author Matt Kepnes’ poignant exploration of
Dec 06, 2019 rated it liked it
The best part about Nomad Matt's book from a literary standpoint are his descriptions of places he visited. The ten-year travel journey was certainly the long, hard way to a higher level of maturity. I suspect it is the common path for most young people steeped in the current culture whether travel is involved or not: partying, drinking, smoking, and hooking up with a little sightseeing on the side. It is also ironic that Matt's "enlightened" desire to escape the 9-5 rat race could only have bee ...more
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“The road is and always will be a place of wonder and endless possibility. It’s where magic happens. But you can find wonder and magic wherever you are. You just have to look closely enough.”

I enjoyed the journey Nomadic Matt takes us on. His experience and love of traveling is evident. I loved reading his take on places I have visited in the past and also highlighted and added new places to my ever growing list of places I want to visit. I also appreciate his honesty and struggles he encountere
Sep 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
What a lovely read. I felt like I could have written this because everything Matthew said is exactly how I feel about travel. From the way we travel differently than our Western folks, having to convince a society that is so set on traditional norms that what you are doing is okay, to even feeling burnout when backpacking. This was more than an account of his travel, in fact is was more of a book on self discovery. It also made me really miss travelling and cannot wait to go around the globe aga ...more
Oct 06, 2020 rated it liked it
3,5 stars. I really enjoyed this personal growth journey the author takes us on and his point of view on life. As someone from a small town who moved abroad to a large city I heartily agree with his perspective; I can think of many people back where I'm from that would benefit from this book...honestly, people everywhere could ! I wanted to rate this book higher but at times it was repetitive, poorly edited (lots of typos), centered mainly on Thailand/Southeast Asia (I was hoping for more divers ...more
Amy Ingalls
I won this book in a giveaway. I enjoyed this memoir, and the beginning really caught my interest. I can fully understand the urge to drop everything and travel around the world and wish I had been in a position to do so when I was younger (bringing 2 small children to hostels is simply not practical). Some parts did get a little repetitive towards the end, but I liked the message that travel is any new adventure, and can be done near or far.
Candice Walsh
Jul 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I’ve got an advanced copy of Matt Kepnes’s new memoir, Ten Years a Nomad, and I’m LOVING it. Not his standard guide to get you off the couch and out into the world (although it’ll surely do that too), but a personal and heartfelt account of his journey. And NOT PREACHY. Might be the first book I’ve read in this vein that doesn’t make me wanna punch the author a little.
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