Matt was the bravest writer I’ve ever known. He covered conflict, climbed mountains, and followed in the exploratory footsteps of so many unfortunate travelers of yore in order to write his own account of what such trips felt like today, to a modern consciousness. This last piece was his specialty. They were why we read him, why people sent him places. He did those pieces better than anyone. Matt was living testimony to a core belief of mine, a belief shaped by my many conversations on the subject with Matt: If you travel, you must trust. Openness is not gullibility. A willingness to be vulnerable does not endanger you.
I suspect there was no place Matt wouldn’t go, no kind of person he wouldn’t want to meet. Through his talent and bravery, he took me and his thousands upon thousands of devoted readers around the world, to some of its loveliest, and most luckless, places.
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