by Megan Breakenridge, grade 8, Our Lady of Fatima Catholic School
Even as a child, Jo Matyas always loved to travel. She grew up just outside of Toronto and when she turned 15, they moved to Switzerland where she attended high school. When it was time for her to go to university, she came back to Canada and got her degree in environmental issues.
Matyas got her first job writing for the government. She soon realized she didn’t enjoy that job after years of working there. So, Matyas decided she would move on to something different.
In between working for the government and being a travel writer, Matyas had a restaurant that specialized in desserts. She says if she wasn’t a travel writer, she would probably be working there still.
Matyas was about 40 years old when she started travel writing. She first wrote an article about being addicted to travel and submitted it to the local newspaper. They put it in the paper and asked her if she’d like to do a column for them every two weeks. This was only the beginning for her.
Matyas currently submits her work to several different magazines as well as a few newspapers. Her latest project is an article for Canadian Living about tips for working moms and a different article about Peru. Some of the other work she has recently done is a review for a hotel called the Viceroy Anguilla. Matyas hopes to continue writing for another 10 to 15 years.
Matyas has a lot of good advice for young writers and journalists. She says if you love to write and you want to do it, then you should go for it. “My dad once said to me that you can’t eat the fruit if you don’t go out on the limb” says Matyas.
Matyas has had a couple of different people who have helped her and inspired her including Gary Cralle, a travel photographer. She has also inspired many young writers herself. Matyas is a wonderful, friendly, inspiring person and many people will hope to be as successful as her someday.