Interview 005: Matthew Galat | Adding Fuel to Life: Ja Yoe! + Tips for Cycling in China

Sometimes things just seem to work out too well. As was the case when I first met YouTuber Matthew Galat, founder of Ja Yoe Nation, a lifestyle and travel Vlogger. I came to know about his videos through a mutual friend of ours and after watching his Untold Story I decided to send him a message to see if he’d like to do a podcast episode. It turns out that he would be arriving in Phnom Penh just a few days later and he was happy to be on the show and even suggested we video it as well.

“I found out I love travel, and from that I built a tour that spanned the world and connected all points around the world from a hundred countries…”

Prior to bike touring, Matt was a successful businessman living in China. Through friendship with Ryan, an American English teacher, he learned that there is more to life than just making money, that he loves travel, and that by making the ultimate bucket list, he could change the path that he was on. This desire to see more of the world led Matt to planning a trip that would last for more than a decade and take him all around the world.

“Ryan taught me that it’s more important to live an experiential life than a financial successful or financially stable life.”

The decision to create a daily vlog documenting his travels and life experiences came about after seeing a blog by a guy named Christian Anderson. Christian was running a daily blog and trying to capture the essence of the story through an image. Matt wished he could see a moving picture and decided that vlogging would be the answer to that. This led to the birth of Ja Yoe Nation, through which Matt wants to empower people to add fuel to their lives…aka…Ja Yoe!

 

 “The purpose of the trip is not only to live a fulfilling life, but to share the message with people, show em that the world isn’t as crazy and hostile as people think. I’m an American, so, you know a lot of people in America think the world is out to get them…”

After planning a world tour with Ryan, they eventually realized that they had different goals, and thus parted ways even before the tour began. Unfortunately, not too long after Matt started his tour, he was involved in an accident that forced him to temporarily quit the tour and get rehab before starting the Ja Yoe World Tour 2.0. This time, his friend Ryan decided to do 5 months with him, but unfortunately, Matt was destined to get injured again and need to temporarily cancel the tour in order to get treated. With the goal of climbing Mt. Everest fast approaching, Matt decided to wait until after the climb before starting the next iteration of the tour: Ja Yoe 3.0. Luckily, things have been going well and the tour is going strong. Matt keeps on following his route around the world, in what may look like a disorganized and confusing manner to passersby.

 “The points on the map, a lot like a constellations in the sky, you know, you see a picture, and once you connect the lines, you can see my path, once you connect the dots where I want to accomplish each bucket list item.” 

Unlike traditional bike tourists, Matt decided to buy a trike by HP Velotechnik, a German manufacturer of recumbent bikes. Matt like to think of his trike as a rolling tripod, allowing him to document his trip both while on and off the trike. He also swears by the comfort of riding a trike. Gone are the day of of sore neck, shoulders, wrists, back, and ass.

All the best on your tour. I look forward to seeing more of your videos and I have no doubt that over the next 15 years we will run into each other again.

Chris Panasky

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Show Notes

~ 30 sec      Introduction to the episode

~ 1m30s     The story of Matthew Galat, how the bike tour came to happen, developing the love of travel.

~ 4m45s     Getting hit by a truck in China

~ 7m30s     Beginner’s mistake carrying too much gear and how fun it would be to get a bunch of bike tourers in one room and compare kit

~ 9m45s     Re-starting the bike tour –> Ja Yoe 3.0

~ 14 min     How Matt planned his biking route and what he hopes to accomplish through this bike tour.

~ 17m30s    Climbing Mt. Everest, adapting a bike tour to one’s needs and desires, and talking about internet Trolls.

~ 21m30s    Who was Matthew Galat before the bike tour, how he supports himself, and why he decided to move to China.

~ 25m30s    Advice to young guys out there. How he had ample opportunities to quit, but used those opportunities to create determination.

~ 28 min     All about his trike, the HP Velotechnik, advantages of riding a recumbent, different trikes he testing before choosing the HP Velotechnik

~ 40 min     Back to riding overweight and advice to cyclists for when they are starting to feel physically worn down when bike touring.

~ 45 min     All about riding in China, why Matt thinks it’s safer to ride a bike in Asia than in America, and what you should do in case of emergency.

~ 54 min     What is Ja Yoe Nation???

~ 59 min     Dealing with internet trolls, and how much time it takes to create YouTube content on a daily basis.

~ 1h 1m      What advice Matt would give to a younger version of himself

~ 1h 5m      How to follow Matt’s adventures

~ 1h 6m      Next time on Bike Tour Adventures podcast

 

About the Author
Traveller. Cyclist. Expat. Over 15 years experience living abroad in six different countries. I've travelled to over 40+ countries and met countless travellers, cyclists, and other expats. As a passionate cyclist I've had opportunities to bike tour in some truly amazing places. While definitely not an expert at bike touring, I'm passionate about sharing bike touring stories and helping others learn hacks, tricks, and techniques to improve their touring experience. I look forward to you joining me on this journey of learning about and becoming a better bike tourist.

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