MLRT: What’s on your bucket list?

MATTHEW: Well, I don’t like the concept of bucket lists. There aren’t many places I wouldn’t visit and I don’t generally like the idea of numbering travel destinations. That being said, I would love to take a trip to Antarctica, I think it would be a marvelous experience. Exploring more of Africa is also fairly high on my “list.”

MLRT: Best Travel Tip. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.

MATTHEW: The average American has very limited vacation time and there’s a lot of self-imposed pressure to make everything perfect. There’s no such thing as perfect though and many times the mistakes we make while traveling turn into the best experiences.

MLRT: Your favorite recipe?

MATTHEW: It would have to be one I learned in Marrakech, chicken tagine. Moroccan tagines are slow cooked meats braised at a low temperature and taste amazing.

Moroccan Chicken Tagine

1 whole large chicken, cut into pieces
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon pepper
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon saffron
1 teaspoon coriander
1 bunch fresh, chopped parsley
1 preserved lemon
1 teaspoon white pepper
Pitted olives to taste

Combine the chopped parsley and garlic with a little olive oil to create a rub.
Using a tagine or a deep, heavy bottomed casserole dish, heat the dish and add olive oil. Place chicken in dish and rub garlic/parsley mixture into the chicken.  Sprinkle salt, cumin, pepper, saffron, coriander and white pepper over chicken. Add olives and preserved lemon peel to dish.
Cover and cook over charcoal grill or in a 350 degree F oven for 45 minutes or until chicken is cooked.

MLRT: Best vacation you ever had?

MATTHEW: We went on an 11-day cruise of the
Eastern Mediterranean a couple of years ago that was a lot of fun. It was a good mix of normal sightseeing, exploring new countries and relaxing whenever we wanted. We were busy, but felt like we could slow down at any time.

MLRT: If you could meet anyone, past or present, who would it be?

MATTHEW: Thomas Jefferson. I have long studied him and it’s amazing how enigmatic he is. He was fiercely intelligent and forward thinking, but had some pretty remarkable flaws as well. I would love the opportunity to chat with him and get to know the real person.

MLRT: Best use of social media for Travel?

MATTHEW: Restaurant recommendations. I can look up museums or important landmarks on my own, but what I always have a problem finding are good, local restaurants. Guide books are almost never correct with their food recommendations and it can be frustrating finding a good place to eat sometimes.

Matthew Long, Editor-in-Chief and creator of , has a true passion for travel. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to do it all on a budget. Matt is a Lonely Planet Featured Blogger, as well as a contributor to many other travel sites including and Dabble Magazine. Matt’s eBook Money Saving Travel Tips is an essential guide to traveling well and affordably. Contact Matt at or connect on Twitter – @LandLopers.

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