Two of my favorite travel websites today announced their merger: global travel community portal Matador Travel and down-to-earth resourceful travel magazine Brave New Traveler. I’m excited to hear this news and will be watching out for more developments on that front with blazing enthusiasm.
One of the best things that happens to you when you travel is the experiences you have with the people you meet on the road. I’ve been lucky networking through travel communities as I have met wonderful people, who have never felt like strangers. On most of my travels through Europe last year, I put myself into touch with people I met through various travel communities; everyone was wonderful and I hardly ever paid for a bed at night.
The online community of travelers is extraordinarily intertwined. Thanks to the websites like Matador Travel, networking with other travel-enthusiasts and nurturing cross-continent cultural friendships is as easy as it is rewarding. I was one of the first members of Matador when it was still in Beta, and last year Ross Borden and Ben Polansky — founders of Matador — bunked at my house when they visited Madrid. Our passion for travel and connecting with travelers put us in touch and it was like we were dear friends even before we met. Also, I first came in touch with contributing editor of Brave New Traveler (BNT) Tim Patterson through Written Road, then Matador, then BNT — now they are one!
When you see two teams of young, travel-obsessed people combine forces in a quest to become an unparalleled platform for travel networking and resources, you can’t help but get excited. It’s like all us travelers who have always shared an undefined bond, can now be part of what may become a global movement allowing us to connect on different levels.
OK, OK, before I fall off the edge, the bottom-line is that I think this is fantastic news. Both these websites have grown and evolved rapidly into diverse, and more importantly, non-commercial sources of travel information over the last year and I have no doubt their unison will be explosive for the travel community in general. If you haven’t yet been to Matador, go there NOW — register, you will not be disappointed.