by Jessica Larmand, Grade 7, Rideau Centennial School
Interviewing many people like Rick Mercer, sitting and writing about beautiful beaches and dog parks in Florida, living out of a suit case. This is a typical lifestyle for travel writer Jo Matyas. Growing up wanting to be a marine biologist, life really sent this adventurer in a different direction.
Matyas travels the world, she had been everywhere, and she travels place to place, week after week, month after month. At each destination, she writes fascinating articles about breathtaking sights and landmarks. “Trying this type of writing was a good idea for me,” says Matyas and from her extraordinary talent she has won 13 different writing awards in Canada.
“You can’t eat the fruit if you don’t go out on the limb,” Matyas explains, saying that you won’t get where you want to go if you don’t take risks and chances on your journey there. This is the motto that Matyas lives by. She takes chances and look where she ended up, writing, and travelling. These are both things that Matyas loves to do. This is why she says that this job is the one that she loves.
Jo Matyas is an excellent writer, there’s no doubt about that. What inspired her to become a travel writer? When she was in high school, she went all the way to Switzerland. Matyas did live in Toronto, but only until she was 15. “I never really liked living in Toronto,” she says. Matyas said that it was when she went to high school in Switzerland, she had realized that travelling the world is the one thing that she would love to do. So here she is today, happy and very successful.
Matyas loves travel writing, “One of the reasons that I wanted to do this because I like being in charge, I don’t really like working for other people,’ she says. She started writing when she was about 40 years old. Before that she worked for the government, but Matyas had decided that this kind of job wasn’t the right one for her. So she moved on to owning a small bakery. Then after the bakery closed down, she decided that she was going to be a travel journalist. It has made her very successful in life. Also, being able to travel the world without having to pay almost anything, then being able to do something that you just absolutely love to do after your work, well that’s a dream job for anybody in the world. “This job was a good choice for me,” Matyas says.
“I never really go on vacation,” said Matyas, understandable considering that her job does consist of travelling to different spots in the world that normally would be a vacation spot for most people. “I will continue to travel write until I get bored of it,” she says, let us hope that her love for travelling and writing will never cease.