As you know we are all about the ladies here at The Venue Report. We love to feature inspiring girl bosses and get to know them better on our ongoing series Real Women Report. But what about the boys, right? The Gentlemen Journal is here to the rescue with some of the coolest chaps to give us the inside look into their lives and business ventures in all genres.
To kick off The Gentlemen Journal is Hello America'sMatt Jozwiak. You may have read about his better half, Kristen on our last Real Women Report. There are always two sides to every story and Matt's here to give us the male's perspective of Hello America - complete with advice for adventurers on the road, ways they expanded their dollar and more.
Photography by Hello America
Hey Matt, Tell us about yourself!
Matt: My name is Matt Jozwiak. I don't claim anywhere to be home, because I never lived in the same place for more than 3 years while growing up. I'm 27 and have too many hobbies. I work professionally as a Captain, Dive Master, and Photographer. When not on the road, I'm usually doing underwater wildlife expeditions in the deep waters off the coast of San Diego.
Tell us your side of the Hello America story...
Matt: Hello America started in spring 2014 when Kristen and I (dating for only 3 months at the time) decided we would quit our jobs, travel the country, and document it all with our film cameras. Back then it was just a desire for the open road and to bring home the memories on our favorite medium, Film. What was once just a passion project quickly gained an audience through social media and our website. As Hello America grew, so did the possibilities. Today we work with brands in the outdoor industry to bring them raw visual storytelling through our lifestyle on the road. I handle most of the research and planning to help make these visual stories happen.
Usually the first thing that pops in someones mind when they start thinking about taking a trip is the financial factor. How did you prepare for life on the road financially?
Matt: We were originally funded by a successful kickstarter. After that, we learned to trade and do small photo work for gas money and grocery store runs. It takes a lot of planning to stretch your funds, but if you're willing to give up a few luxuries, you can usually still get to where you want to go.
Any tips for future adventurers?
Matt: 1. Don't buy water 2. Say yes to new opportunities 3. Don't over think it
Did you have any scary moments where you thought you were running out of money?
Matt: Never really had any scary moments. When we do start to get low on funds, that just meant more truck stop nights. Since gas is our biggest expense, if we are running low on funds while trying to get somewhere in particular, we can't afford to drive deep in to some public lands to stay for just one night. With money comes more time to take it slow, see more, and not just try and get from point A to point B.
How do you spread your dollar on the road?
Matt: I believe that if you're willing to put in the work and not pay for luxuries, then you can make a few bucks go a long way. That means cooking your food from scratch (vegetables and potatoes are cheap and good for you), topping off your water at parks and anywhere it is free, finding public land that allows free dispersed camping, etc. It's easy to buy water and pre-made food, but the dollars add up. You don't have to eat ramen noodles to keep from going broke. Just put the time in to doing it yourself and enjoy the process.
Any additional advice for someone who'd like to travel for a year on the road?
Matt: Never turn down a shower
Photography by Hello America