What does it mean to be “unbound?”
This term entitles Boyd Matson’s National Geographic Traveler column, communicating in a single word his no-holds-barred approach to global exploration.
“Unbound” naturally calls to mind the opposing notion — of a liberty lost to the ties that bind — leading some to believe (erroneously, I’d argue) that avoiding conventional traps is the secret to successful travel.
On the contrary, satisfying your wanderlust does not require that you swear off familial entanglements or possessions for fear that these will jeopardize your ability to get up and go whenever you please. Just looking at Boyd Matson, who has trekked all 7 continents and summited Kilimanjaro thrice, all the while with a happy family and home base in Maclean, Virginia, it’s obvious that domestic comfort can’t deter a true traveler from pursuing wild experiences in every corner of the planet.
“If you are a traveler with an unquenchable curiosity, seeking a better understanding of other cultures and a greater appreciation for the beauty and diversity of our planet, it’s best to travel the world as a participant rather than a spectator,” Boyd says.
Though it seems like every travel blogger enacts their initiation into the industry with a ritual selling-off of the trappings of settled life, I think this is more closely connected to the need to finance said travels than anything else.
Ultimately, it’s about attitude. And through his refreshingly oblique perspective mingling supreme levelheadedness with a healthy sense of humor, Boyd Matson has the attitude of an intrepid explorer who thrives on the wildest experiences our planet has to offer.
He must – he’s been doing it for 20 years now, with no signs of slowing.
In his latest exploits reporting from the field for National Geographic, Boyd Matson gets closer than comfort generally allows to some wild white rhinos, testing their eyesight from a grim distance of thirty feet that quickly shrinks to mere paces when the rhinos decide to charge. His thrilling tale serves up a main dish of conservation awareness, as he exposes the increase in poaching over the last five years that has led to the critical endangerment of both white and black rhinos. Over the course of his long career as a television correspondent and co-anchor for NBC and ABC, this seasoned journalist has refined his instincts for when to add in the piquant spice of danger.
Though his work keeps him eminently busy, between supplying fresh adventures for his column and hosting the “National Geographic Weekend” radio show, Boyd agreed to join our Panel of Experts for the Island Intern Contest we launched last February. Over the last month, our top candidates have competed through written submissions and Skype interviews as well as on social media sites, striving to distinguish themselves within a talent pool encompassing accomplished environmental documentarians and experienced world travelers.
Our winner announced Thursday, biology graduate and videographer Mike Corey, will be documenting the native species of Isla Palenque with his own boundless energy and passion for the natural world – not unlike a certain esteemed travel expert to whom we at Amble Resorts owe our sincere thanks for helping us to choose our 2012 Island Intern.
Thanks, Boyd – for helping us to choose an incredible young storyteller (who undoubtedly lists you among his heroes) to live on our jungle-covered island – and also, thanks for proving that the only thing standing between a would-be world traveler and realizing his or her dreams of exploration is the will to take the first step.
Boyd Matson is a longtime journalist and adventurer who is currently the host of the weekly radio show, “National Geographic Weekend” and the “Unbound” columnist for National Geographic Traveler magazine. You can connect with Boyd via his website boydmatson.com, listen to his radio show at http://radio.nationalgeographic.com/ or download the free podcast on iTunes each week, and follow him on Twitter @boydmatson.