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Bio 🌎 Adventure Travel Blogger & Photographer. Digital Nomad. 📍Texas 🇺🇸 Travel & Photo Tips⇣
Matthew Karsten (@expertvagabond) Instagram photos and videos
List of Instagram medias taken by Matthew Karsten (@expertvagabond)
SURPRISE! @anna.everywhere and I are moving to Italy next month! 🇮🇹 @PoofyTheFluffyCat is coming too. 🐈 - We’ve decided on the Northern Italian city of #Verona, after visiting earlier this year. We tried Colorado, California, and Texas, but just didn’t find what we were looking for in the States. So now we’re off to give Italy a go! - We both have EU passports (I have dual citizenship in Ireland now) and we both work online, which makes moving to Europe possible. We picked Verona because it’s a pretty town that’s not too big but not too small, a short train ride away from larger cities, and very close to the Italian Dolomites, some of the best mountains in Europe. - So it’s back to being an expat for a while! I guess I’ll have to start learning Italian... 🤓
The Scottish capital of Edinburgh is one of my favorite cities in Europe! Medieval architecture, dark alleyways, and a dramatic twisted history. No wonder so many writers have been inspired here... - But Edinburgh has also become a vibrant hub of art and theatre, with great festivals taking over the world stage. - Plus Whisky tasting? Ghost hunting? Deep Fried Mars Bars? This city has everything! - Check out my new blog post for tips on all my favorite things to do in Edinburgh. Linked in bio. 👍🏼
It’s official. I’m an Irish Citizen now! ☘️ - This past year I went through the legal process of obtaining Irish citizenship. Because my Grandmother was born in Ireland, I was able to claim citizenship by descent through a special law. It took about 9 months, and cost about $700. - As a dual citizen of the United States and Ireland, with two passports, I can now travel or live in the European Union without restrictions. - Did you know that about 40 million Americans have Irish ancestry? Many of their ancestors traveled to the United States from the port city of Cobh, pictured here, looking for a better life abroad. - Now more and more American/British citizens are applying for Irish Citizenship, as a hedge against the craziness and ultra-nationalism going on in the world. Giving themselves another option, just in case. 🌎 - If you’re interested in reading about how I became a dual citizen of Ireland, check out my new blog post, linked in the bio. 👍🏼 - Anyone else have dual citizenship somewhere?
Kerlingarfjöll is one of the most spectacular geothermal areas in Iceland. Located deep in the highlands, it vividly shows the contrast between the "fire & ice" that Iceland is known for. - There are many bubbling hot springs that dot the red/orange landscape, enveloping the whole area with steam. - Icelandic legend says this is the home of a mysterious troll woman, who was turned to stone while returning home after dark! 👹 - 📷 F8 | 1/250 sec | ISO 250 - Self-portrait using a tripod and intervalometer to shoot images every 5 seconds (which allowed me to hike out, pose, then hike back to retrieve the camera and choose the best shot.)
Commuting to work in #Iceland! 😜 - Many of Iceland’s “F-Roads” contain river crossings like this one. You need to be VERY careful attempting them, even in a 4x4. - Some are too deep for normal trucks, and people have been killed getting caught in fast moving glacial rivers. - Before attempting a river crossing, you should either walk the river yourself, or watch another vehicle cross first. And know your vehicle’s capabilities. - Drive slow & steady — don’t splash in too fast or you could drown your engine... - Most car rental companies don’t include insurance for this kind of travel, so you need to be prepared for the consequences if you fuck up! - As long as you’re safe about it, it’s a fun way to get off the beaten path. 👍🏼
I've been flying the #Mavic2Pro around Iceland this week... haven't been disappointed! - Rented a 4X4 to do some day hikes and go camping in the central highlands before the F-roads close for the winter. - I think elves live in this canyon... can you spot any? 🧝♂️
Got a lot of questions about my Afghanistan trip after the last post. - Yes, you can travel to Afghanistan. Women too, although I’m not sure I’d recommended it alone. - No, I don’t recommend it solo for most people. It’s what I’d call a “black diamond” destination. Like how they rate ski slopes. You need to work your way up to it. - This is a trip I’d been planning for years. Following local news. Tracking down obscure trip reports. Talking to others who’d been recently. - For example, the border between Tajikistan & Afghanistan sometimes closes without warning. For days, or weeks. Which would leave you stranded, as the road to Kabul is too dangerous. - The Taliban is only 20 miles away. Last year, they captured the border town area (that I entered from) for 2 weeks before being kicked out again. - The Wakhi people, like this man, were very welcoming and friendly. However there are less nice people not far away. The situation is constantly changing. - And travel in Afghanistan is tough. Just getting to the start of my trek took 2 days of driving through deserts and rivers with multiple breakdowns. Meals were basically flat bread, warm sour yak yogurt, and if you’re lucky, some goat. - Just wanted to share a bit behind the scenes for what went into this trip! - There are a few adventure tour groups that visit the Wakhan (check Google) which would make things easier. I passed one of them as I was leaving the mountains. The region does see about 100 tourists every year.
The ancient tomb of an Afghan tribal leader and his family, decorated with Ibex horns and red cloth flapping in the wind. - Trekking 100 miles through the mountains of #Afghanistan was one of my most memorable adventures to date! If you’d like to see more photos from this trip, go visit my blog ExpertVagabond.com - Wakhan Corridor, Afghanistan