Matador Network
Matador Network is the web’s largest travel magazine. Our fast growing community includes independent travelers, as well as athletes, journalists, photographers, filmmakers, and writers we sponsor to produce original investigative works. Our mission is to empower, connect, and feature travelers promoting culture, conservation, and sustainability around the world.

What we must understand about our relationships before it’s too late

WHEN JEN AND I MET, we were in our 30s. We had both been through enough in life relationship-wise, but also with other challenges. Jen was a widow. She was married before but at the age of 25 became a widow. From talking to people who knew Jen growing up, she was always a very optimistic and loving person. But I think that experience had a huge impact on Jen and how she lived her life, her ideas about embracing life and following her dreams.

I was at a point in my life when I was trying to figure out who I was and what my purpose was. So as far as our relationship there was just this unspoken way about it that we didn’t want to make life difficult for each other. Life was hard enough. When you leave home in the morning and you go out in the world, life is kind of beating on you. You just put a helmet on and deal with these things. So we thought that when you come home, no helmets are allowed. Why make life difficult for each other?

Continue.

5. The builder of things

The builder of things is a traveler who relishes a challenge and who doesn’t mind getting their hands dirty. They are relaxed, practical travelers and aren’t afraid of hard work that comes with little or no material reward — that isn’t why they’re there. It could be constructing homes for underprivileged families in Vietnam, or helping to build a community church in Kenya — what matters to them is building something physical that can change the lives of many and will remain for years to come.

- Most likely to be found carrying bricks and mortar, or chatting with locals in the midday sun.

(Read more: An illustrated list of people who do good when they travel | Matador Network)

“ “AMERICANS WORRY too much about sex.” I shrug. “Yeah. Maybe. Not all Americans though.” G is stretched out on the rooftop of an Egyptian cafe, philosophically wondering why I refuse to sleep with him. His white button-down shirt is open at the neck, revealing a tan, muscular chest, and I begin to wonder the same thing. He adjusts his glasses. I swoon. ”

—    Matador Network gets spicy:  Travel and the temptation of the one-night stand

Dear Mom: I want to travel with you

DEAR MOM,

I want to travel with you — just you. I want to explore a new place alongside the woman who raised me, who changed my diapers, who put up with my teenaged angst, and my rebellious college years. I want to see my favorite cities with the lady who taught me essential life lessons, like look both ways before crossing the street, and how to use a glue gun, that it’s not worth sleeping with every guy you meet, and that the most important thing in the world is to help others.

I want you to stop dropping me off at the airport for some trip I’m about to take, and start becoming my seatmate.

(Read the rest here)

“If you’re born with a different sexual identity than the mainstream is comfortable with, you’re already at an advantage. You have to create who you are to discover who you are. You’re just set up from birth to have to figure out and deal with things that a lot of people don’t even know are questions in life.” 

—from ‘A beacon of hope in the backwoods of Tennessee.’ Watch the video here: http://bit.ly/10aFCuf

How ‘love marriages’ break social barriers in India

"As the mother of a friend remarked,

When my daughter married out of caste, it was a difficult transition for me. But, seeing how happy she is, I learned to view my son-in-law as an individual as opposed to that guy who wasn’t from my community. This has helped me in breaking a lot of mental barriers when it came to people in general.

This is a far cry from that time some years ago when getting approval from parents and family members for love marriages was difficult. Unless one was lucky, discussions, ultimatums, fights, banishment from the family were all a part of the saga, and I personally know couples that ran away from home to get married.

Not so much any more.”

—excerpted from How ‘love marriages’ break social barriers in India

(Read more here)

3 portraits of failed long-distance relationships

“But you can’t call me every day,” I try to explain. I know he’s lonely. I know he’s depressed because he was fired from his summer job at the ice cream shop for calling his manager a “fucktard.” I know that I am the one stable thing in his life and it’s incredibly hard for me to be so far away from him, physically and emotionally.

But I’m in West Africa. I’m sore from churning palm nuts into blood-red oil. I’m confused by feelings of white privilege and my role as a micro-enterprise volunteer. Even walking from our village to the market in Hohoe is exhausting; the atmosphere is so humid, so thick, you can taste the air. Taking cold showers has become therapeutic.

“What do you mean, I can’t call you every day?” his voice is panicked. “I miss you. I love you. It sucks that you’re not here.”

“You can’t call me every day,” I repeat. “Because I don’t want you to. Because I am very busy and I’m learning so much about myself and it’s not fair to the others, if you call me every day.”

—excerpted from 3 portraits of failed long-distance relationships

(Read more here)