Meet the Team: The Nomadic Network

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team in the nature sitting together

The Nomadic Network wouldn’t exist, nor would it be any fun, without the help of the entire team that makes it possible every single day. They’ve worked hard to make this global travel community for everyone, by everyone.

So we’re reintroducing the team, with a few new members this time around, reporting in from all over the world.

Nomadic Matt

First up, Nomadic Matt. Of course!⁠

Matt has created a strong following of enthusiastic budget travelers over the last decade through his blog. His writings and books have taught countless people that their dreams are attainable. He preaches how travel isn’t just for the rich — where there’s a will, there’s a way.⁠

Over the last decade, he’s created a travel media school, a conference called TravelCon, and the nonprofit FLYTE, which sends high school classes overseas to bring their learning to life.⁠

Matt has been dreaming up The Nomadic Network for almost five years now. The whole goal of this community: get connected to people and resources that can help you travel cheaper, longer, smarter — and more!⁠

He took a chance and brought his followers together into a global travel community. (It’s pretty ironic that he chose to finally start this in-person events community right before the whole world shut down due to COVID. But, that’s how life goes sometimes!)

⁠We’re grateful that Nomadic Matt has created a community like this for all of us travel enthusiasts to gather, attend events, and learn from each other. Couldn’t have done it without you, Matt!⁠

Christopher O, Community Manager⁠

That brings us to this guy, also known as Christopher and Nomadic Matt’s level-headed community manager.

Chris accidentally wandered on to our team after being one of the most active members on our “Nomadic Matt travel forums” years ago. We saw him posting up a storm and got curious about who this travel enthusiast was. One thing led to another, and he was HIRED! We haven’t looked back since.⁠

Chris has done a little bit of everything at Nomadic Matt, but he is actually the person who set up, coordinated, and launched TNN 1.0 (2016) and TNN 2.0 (2017). He flew all the way from his home in good ol’ Sweden to meet up with our community members all over the US and Canada.⁠

Now, Chris is occupied with all other Nomadic Matt-related tasks, but he is always there to lend a helping hand, re-read newsletters, fly to Dublin to launch the TNN chapter in person, and moderate virtual events. He even sent his sister to help support our Toronto TNN event! We’re so grateful to have such a capable guy with a can-do, easy-going attitude on the TNN team.⁠

Chris is the extreme ultimate budget traveler and our resident vegan who grew up next to Avril Lavigne but now lives in the quiet farmlands of Sweden. Chris runs the blog Lessons Learned Abroad with the witty newsletter, is the author of the book The Dogs of Nam: Stories from the Road and Lessons Learned Abroad, and is finishing up another book now! He also is an expert at time management and has a lovingly sarcastic tone to his jokes.⁠

Thanks for being a part of our team, Christopher. We really appreciate all the blood, sweat, and tears you put into this community. Without you, there would be no Nomadic Network.⁠

Erica, The Nomadic Network

Next up, Erica.

Erica is the director of The Nomadic Network. She’s the force of nature driving this travel community.

Erica has been traveling all across the globe since she was 20 and moved to Qatar to finish her university degree. After that, she taught English in northeastern Thailand and South Korea. She continued living and learning abroad on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent, which led her to work with farming cooperatives in rural Zambia. Erica has spent extended periods of time in Vietnam, Cambodia, Dubai, Costa Rica, the UK, and South Africa.

Erica has unique stories to tell about those experiences, calls herself a “purposeful traveler,” and tries to say “yes” as often as possible!

Erica’s been on the Nomadic Matt team since she returned home in 2013 and promptly ran into Matt at a travel meetup (coincidence that she now runs travel meetups — we think not!).

She was the third person hired (aside from Matt and our tech guru Chris R), and since this is a small company, that means she’s done a little bit of everything over the years. She’s stuffed envelopes for a past travel Kickstarter, helped ideate the formation of FLYTE, spoken at TravelCon, self-published all of our guidebooks, represented the team at conferences around the world, and now is thrilled to be able to connect travel enthusiasts all over through this network.

Erica has helped Matt launch this iteration of TNN and has built the community from 0 to 8,000 members in just over a year. Her cheery attitude and contagious laugh echos throughout the events she runs. To date, she has hosted almost 200 in-person and virtual events, and built a strong team and community platform. We’d be remiss not to mention that she’s done this amidst a global pandemic while getting engaged, married, and pregnant with her first child.

Erica: Without you, TNN would not exist as it does today. We’re grateful you’re here to keep our community alive and inspired during these unprecedented times!

Carmela, FLYTE

Carmela is the Director of FLYTE, nomadic matt

Next up, we have Carmela.⁠

Carmela is the executive director of FLYTE, Nomadic Matt’s non-profit organization. She is the brains behind the arm of Nomadic Matt that is making a real impact on the lives of high-school students, teachers, parents, families, and underserved communities. Her work with FLYTE is helping shape the future leaders of tomorrow by sending them on trips abroad that bring their classroom learning to life as well as expand their world view.⁠

How did she join our team? We met her at a Nomadic Matt community meetup in NYC years ago. (Can you see how important meetups are for landing the job of your dreams? Many of our team members were found by chance at meetups!)

That night, we cheers-ed and exchanged travel stories. Apparently, she and her husband Raymund (No Wrong Turns) took a year-long round-the-world honeymoon that inspired them to become completely nomadic.⁠

We’re thanking her today for being a huge TNN cheerleader, virtual speaker for several events about FLYTE (and one she led with her husband, called “How This Married Couple Has Traveled and Worked Remotely for Years”), community consultant, idea generator, and the kind of person that lives, breathes, and embodies our core values: travel and community.⁠

Aside from all that, she’s also a long-term traveler hunkered down in Hawaii during the pandemic, a non-profit consultant, data enthusiast, remote worker, and self-proclaimed chocolate chip cookie connoisseur. ⁠

Carmela: TNN would be very, very different without your bright personality constantly showing up and inspiring people to make a difference. Thanks for all that you continue to contribute to our community!⁠

Chris R, Tech Guru

Chris richardson nomadic matt team

Chris R is the tech genius behind everything Nomadic Matt, including thenomadicnetwork.com. He has configured and reconfigured the websites more times than we can count. He is Mr. Fix-It when it comes to our online platform, and we are forever grateful to have someone so tech-savvy on our side.⁠

Chris has been on the team for almost a decade. He’s helped Matt with all stages of the site, redesign after redesign. He’s also built the sites for Superstar Blogging, TravelCon, our travel forums, and FLYTE, and he is the tech teaching guru in the course “The Business of Blogging.”⁠

Many, many, many of you have interacted with Chris personally, as he’s helped you fix glitches as you’ve created and updated your own websites.⁠

Chris is one of a kind, and we’re so happy to get to work with him. One fun part of Chris is that he works while we sleep and vice versa, as he’s located all the way in Australia!⁠

Chris: This community would (literally) not exist online without all of the work you put in to set up our website. You are the reason we’re all able to actually connect!⁠

Leah, The Nomadic Network Host

Leah found our community when we launched last year and immediately signed up to be a chapter leader for our in-person events in LA. She set up one of our most magical-feeling events at Solidarity Restaurant in LA back in February.

Her experience in event management came in handy, and her adoration for connecting with like-minded travelers was already being expressed through her awesome travel podcast (Ticket2Anywhere Podcast, which she co-hosts with @exeaex) but was deepened through her participation in TNN.

Before Leah found us, she fell in love with traveling when she went to backpack, work, and volunteer in South America for a year; she’s also lived in Australia on a working holiday visa.

Leah absolutely values longevity in a place over countries ticked off a checklist, and stories over souvenirs. She believes in relatable and accessible budget travel for all, encourages solo females to work through doubts and to take the trip, all while obsessing over coffee, hostels, local dances, and street food!

When the world shut down due to COVID19 and TNN switched to virtual events, Leah led an awesome event titled “The Philippines: What to Know Before You Go.” The most memorable moment was when she taught us her 6-7-step process on pre-repelling mosquitos even before she leaves for her trips! Fascinating, just fascinating!

Her ease and personality that came through via Zoom, and her love for our community quickly led her into being a virtual event host for TNN. She has led dozens of events this year, and we love having her grace our virtual stage!

Leah: You are a valuable member of our team at The Nomadic Network, and we feel very, very, thankful to have you. It’s been a wild ride transitioning from in-person to virtual events — and we couldn’t have done it without you!

Ian, Massive Platform

Ian travel massive platform

Ian (@travelmassive) is not on our team exactly, but he is the genius behind the website platform that our site employs. He’s created the “Massive Platform,” which we have then adapted with the help of Chris R to work for our travel community.⁠

He’s also the founder of Travel Massive, a successful community he started in 2015, which connects over 62,000 leaders, creators, and innovators in travel. This community has chapters in every corner of the world.⁠ His open-source community platform “Massive Platform” powers not only our website but also Travel Massive and Mappy Hour.⁠

The whole Nomadic Matt team has been members of Travel Massive since its inception, and we highly recommend other travel industry professionals to join too!

In his past, Ian has coded a commercial airline booking engine, a flight meta-search, a travel forum, and a language translation service. He’s a huge traveler and has flown over a million miles in the past 10 years.⁠ Ian loves connecting with new people, learning about new startup companies, and studying how people are making a positive impact with travel.⁠

Ian: We’re so grateful to you for building such an awesome open-source community platform. Without you, we don’t know what we would have used to build our community. We’re grateful for your generosity and willingness to help us make the platform cater to our community. We’re grateful for all that you have contributed to the travel industry as a whole.⁠

***

Over a year ago, we created this community of like-minded travelers. We led 38 in-person events in NYC, Detroit, LA, Dublin, London, Indianapolis, Seattle, Portland, and beyond! When COVID-19 hit and we pivoted to virtual events, the community continued to show up, connect with each other, ask awesome questions, and keep our events alive.

The Nomadic Network wouldn’t exist, nor would it be any fun, without the help of the entire team, and community members, that makes it possible. Thanks to everyone for creating such a rich, vibrant network of travelers. We’re thankful that you’re here, and TNN wouldn’t be the same without you!

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