Matt Harding is one of my personal heroes. He’s the guy who earned his 15 minutes of fame by dancing badly around the world, becoming a fairly popular YouTube sensation (first video, second video, third video).

A YouTube celebrity might be a weird person to idolise, but I find him really inspiring. He was a backpacker before he ever became an Internet hit, and he writes what is easily the wittiest and most insightful travel blog I’ve ever read (my favourite entry, in which he conquers Kilimanjaro). A lot of travel writers like to think they’re Cormac McCarthy and babble on as poetically as possible about the landscape, with a few observations on the human condition thrown in for good measure. Everytime they hop on a plane they have a fucking epiphany. Matt, on the other hand, has an accessible writing style that’s full of rants and wisecracks, making it all the more surprising when he throws in his own observations on human nature – and a lot more profound. He makes travelling the world seem like fun. Reading his blog was a significant factor in my own desire to hit the road.

And he’s written a book, which is apparently not selling well, but which you can buy! If I wasn’t about to fly to another country in two days I’d definitely buy it myself. But even if you don’t, you should at least check out the hundreds of thousands of words he has typed detailing his travels to over 65 countries on all seven continents.

Choice picks:
Calcutta, India – Touching The Untouchables
Mahe, Seychelles – Chasing The World’s Biggest Fish
Singapore – The Policeman Inside
Samos, Greece – Road To Ephesus
New York – The Blackout