Video: Where The Hell Is Matt? 2012 Edition

Remember Matt Harding? He’s the guy that danced his way around the world in the “Where The Hell Is Matt?” video that went viral a few years ago. Well, he’s back with an updated edition and it seems he’s still dancing. In his latest video, released yesterday, we learn that Matt has picked up a few new steps since we last saw him and that his dancing exploits haven’t lost any of their charm. Check it out below.

Where the Hell is Matt—the book version, a perfect read for 2010

This time last year, Matt Harding was named traveler of the year by World Hum. His video, “Where the Hell is Matt?,” the one funded by Stride gum had gone viral earlier that year. No wonder. If there’s a secret to world peace, Harding had found it.

Start dancing a silly, but engaging dance and people will dance with you-most people. The guard at the DMZ in North Korea won’t dance.

In his book Where the Hell is Matt? Dancing Badly Around the World, published earlier this year, Harding tells the stories behind the video. The book is as real and honest as the video version. What makes Harding’s brand of world travel work is his lack of pretense.

This is a guy who likes people who people are drawn to by the droves.

What is made clear in the book is that Harding was as surprised by his success as anyone. He merely started out dancing at various spots around the world and filming his flailing. It was a spontaneous gesture. Once that video gained recognition, Stride gum approached him about round two and that’s when Harding’s life changed.

His book, as well as being an engaging and humorous look at the stories behind the story, delves into issues that can haunt the traveler using the people in various parts of the world for personal gain.

Harding, along with his girlfriend Melissa who held the camera for part of the video, was uncomfortable knowing that he was earning money for his efforts while some of the people he filmed were living in dire conditions. A guy with heart, Harding came up with solutions he–and Melissa, could live with. For example, at the school in Madagascar, Harding made a donation to the school as thanks for allowing the children to participate in his creation.

Making a video of dancing badly is not the easiest endeavor, even though the dancing looks as easy as pie. The shot snorkeling in Vanuatu was a feat in perseverance where a couple of minutes are, thankfully, all that was needed. That’s just one example.

The book also makes clear that Harding had no idea what a treasure he was creating. Even after the video was finished and Harding began promoting it, he had no idea. It wasn’t until he sat down one night to watch it over and over that he knew. When Harding saw his creation from the rest of our eyes, he did what most people who saw it did. He cried.

If there’s a book that will keep you engaged and give you the motivation to keep up the good work of honest, open world traveling in 2010, it’s this one.

Last minute shopping gifts? Here are 10 ideas

If you’re stuck with a last minute present to buy. Here are 10 gift ideas. Most are quick and easy. Some of them don’t require that you leave your house.

Two suggestions can be found at your local grocery store. No, you don’t have to cook.

For a couple of them, all you need is a phone, the internet to find telephone numbers and your credit card.

1. A journal with plain pages. Add a pen, a pencil, a box of colored pencils, glue stick and tape in a zip lock bag. If you can find a journal with a plain colored cover with no designs, pick that one.

The idea is for the traveler’s own thoughts to fill the pages without any suggestions. The pencils say, “Create.” The tape and glue stick is for the traveler to affix any interesting item he or she picks up along the way. Ticket stubs, interesting food wrapper, a leaf, etc. . .

2. An Entertainment Coupon Book— I am so fond of these books. Buy one for your family members to get them to travel in their own city. There are restaurant deals as well as deals on admission prices to various attractions and buy one get one free tickets to certain cultural shows. Leafing through the pages is a trip of future possibilities.

My son and I just saw BalletMet Columbus’s version of The Nutcracker for half price this past Tuesday. For two excellent seats towards the back of the orchestra, I paid $32. When we head up to Cleveland, we take my husband’s parents’ book with us to the West Side Market, a food mecca that’s been around since 1902 . We’ve run into other Entertainment Book holders while standing in line at Dohar Meats, one of the many vendors with coupons in the Cleveland area book.

3. Matt Harding’s book, “Where the Hell is Matt? Dancing Badly Around the World” Harding’s book tells the story of the behind the scenes of his Where the Hell is Matt videos when he danced his silly, simple dance around the world and eventually, people danced with him. It’s moving and funny and makes one think that this is a guy one would like as a friend. Plus, Harding’s version of the world is perfect for a New Year of good cheer.

4. A gift basket you put together with local foods from your state. Think jams, jellies, sauces, chips, candy, pasta, beverages–anything and everything. Call your basket a “Taste trip of ……..” and fill in the name of the state. You can make up your own label. You don’t need to artfully make a basket either. Get a gift bag, wrap items in tissue paper and you’re done.

5. A gift basket of foods around the world. Head to the grocery store and buy an item from as many countries as you can think of. Use # 4 as a guide. This can be a “Bringing the World to You” sort of gift.

6. A gift card to a movie theater and a list of movie suggestions for what to see. With the wealth of movies being released this season, a movie gift card is perfect for offering a travel opportunity to someone through the big screen. Along with your list, add details about where each movie will take the audience.

7. Money for an oil and filter change. For people who have about everything on the planet, wouldn’t this be useful? You could add a funny item for the dashboard or a funky air freshener for the rear view mirror.

8. A membership to a museum or a zoo. Call the museum and purchase a membership for someone. I bought a membership for my dad to the New York Historical Society this way. For families, this is a great gift.

9. Dinner out. You can call a restaurant to order a gift card in someones name if you don’t have time to pick it up or live in the same city. We did this for a friend of ours wedding present.

10. A night in a hotel or at a bed and breakfast. Give someone the gift of a night away from home. The hotel could even be where the person lives. Staying in a hotel in the town where one lives is a great way for a fresh view in the New Year.

Where the Hell is Matt video used on the Daily Show to show Obama election celebrations

First I recognized the music, and then I saw him. Matt Harding dancing on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

In a segment to show the world’s reaction to Barck Obama’s election win, The Daily Show wove snippets of Harding’s video Where the Hell is Matt? with footage shot in various countries of people celebrating. The song played throughout, and location names flashed with each scene change just like in Harding’s original.

In Daily Show fashion, there was a bit of fun mixed in. Sure there were the shots of real people dancing on Tuesday night woven in with the original video, but there was more. There was Jennifer Grey jumping into Patrick Swayze’s arms in Dirty Dancing in Catskill, New York, Jimmy Stewart dancing in a movie party scene I couldn’t place in Bedford, NY, a Star Wars dance scene at Third Moon, Endor, and Michael J. Fox as Teen Wolf in Beacontown, Pennsylvania.

Although I couldn’t find that video by itself, you can see it on the Daily Show web site in the November 6 episode. You’ll find it at the 9:53 marker, but start watching at 9:46 to get the lead in.

Because we’ve been longtime fans of Harding’s work (see posts), it was a pleasant surprise to see it surface in another form.

Photo of the Day (8-20-08)

This fountain in Madeira, Portugal says summer. How great would it be to run through this on a hot day?

I’m reminded of the other fountains where water arcs upwards from the ground. There’s the fountain that Matt Harding of “Where the Hell is Matt?” dances in along with other dancing folks in Atlanta, Georgia, the one at the playground in Knights of Columbus Park in St. Cloud, Minnesota and the pop jet fountain at the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder, Colorado.

This fountain shot by Donner00 looks almost animated. I can hear the sounds of the water–almost.

If you have a shot that has captured your fancy, capture ours at Gadling’s Flickr photo pool. It could be chosen as a Photo of the Day.