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The Legendary Leaders Podcast

Apr 9, 2020


Travelling can do so much for us. It opens our sometimes limited lenses, creates opportunity for connection and can help develop who we are as individuals. Today, with most of us stuck in our homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, world traveller Matt Javit joins us to give insights into the kind of growth and perspective shifting we can do from home.


When Matt and his wife Nikki set out on an 800-day journey across 35 countries, they were drawn by their shared desire to experience the world. Looking back, there are a few realizations and lessons they learned along the way that you might find useful, no matter where you are in the world.


Hear Matt’s valuable advice about building the types of relationships and resources needed for travel. Find out what surprised him most about new cultures and experiences during his adventure. Also, hear the most valuable things he’s learned from travelling that is helping him and Nikki not only make it through the Coronavirus epidemic right now, but thrive through it.


Key Takeaways:

  • How Matt Javit and his wife, Nikki, travelled the world for more than two years.
  • What his biggest lessons were from his experience.
  • Advice for avoiding racist assumptions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you enjoyed this episode, check out the video show notes and SUBSCRIBE TO THIS PODCAST on Apple Podcasts.


Episode Timeline:

  • 00:01] Intro
  • [00:41] Meet Matt Javitt
  • [03:47] Creating the goal to travel full-time with his wife
  • [08:57] How they prepared to leave their jobs
  • [13:17] Realizations and lessons from the experience
  • [14:39] Storytelling and building relationships
  • [16:41] Cultural lessons from Japan
  • [21:30] Advice for avoiding polarizing Covid-19 reactions
  • [27:25] The importance of goal setting
  • [32:45] The power of thought
  • [34:28] Matt’s Advice for people stuck indoors
  • [40:07] Reflecting, marriage and building perspective
  • [42:41] Contacting Matt & Nikki
  • [44:29] Outro

Resources Mentioned:


Standout Quotes:

  • “If you've had opportunities to meet enough people in life, you'll know that we're all kind of the same. We all have similar goals; some people just get different breaks in life that get them to a level where they can earn at a high level.” -Matt Javit [15:33]
  • “Take in the input... but you have to be careful because it can be too much input and you just wake up at the end of the week saying what did I really do for my life rather than listen to other people tell me how to live my life.” -Matt Javit [35:49]
  • “If you have all these fake dreams, you're not helping yourself....if you have a dream you're not accomplishing or you're not even setting out to do it- your brain knows. You know that. So that's a failure in your head because you're not taking that risk and that's not a positive thing.” -Matt Javit [38:27]




Find | Cathleen Merkel


On Instagram: @CathleenMerkel

On Facebook: @CathleenMerkelCoaching


Find | Matt Javit


On Instagram: @Matjavit

On Twitter: @Mattjavit



On Apple Podcasts


About Cathleen: 


As a Thought Leader in the Mindset & (Self-) Leadership space, Cathleen supports high achieving, but worn-out women create a more content & balanced life without sacrificing their hard-earned success. Following a simple 6 step framework, she helps you not only reconnect with your inner feminine side; Cathleen also supports you to rediscover your REAL YOU!

Cathleen focuses on women who lost their sense of purpose, who feel they are running in a hamster wheel, trying to please everyone but themselves. She helps you to turn your careers, your social connections and personal life around so that you will start feeling fulfilled and excited again about the days to come. 

At the end of the process, Cathleen's clients will feel healthier, happier, energised and clear about their future. 

With over 15 years of leadership experience in Retail, Media & Broadcasting, Engineering and Property Investment, Cathleen has not only experienced the challenges and opportunities of a female leader herself, she has also been leading and supporting various leadership development initiatives within large, complex, multinational matrix organisations.


Only by deeply experiencing her very personal life challenges – ‘hitting a wall experiences’ –Cathleen was able to redefine her own purpose, deciding to bring ease and content to as many women as possible on the planet!


About Matt Javit 


Matt Javit is living a life of many chapters; all building on the next. Five-Time International Sales Award Winner, Travel Documentarian with his Amazon Video show World Barber Shop Adventures, Nationally Celebrated Author with his book POLICE: Brotherhood in Uniform Around the World, and an Ambassador of Culture. 


With his success at a large multi-national company, Matt was awarded trips to exotic locations around the globe to celebrate with his peers. This new exposure opened his eyes to adventure and opportunities for cultural immersion travel. With a deep desire to understand more about the places and people he had yet to discover, Matt made a difficult decision that few have the confidence to do. He left his high-paying career to travel the world! 


He, along with his wife, packed one backpack apiece and headed out for 27-months of travel. Thirty-five countries and endless relationships later, they returned home to share their stories of this epic adventure. 


Before the multi-year sales awards, Matt had to work through the difficulties of transitioning careers, building a portfolio, and becoming a trusted advisor for his clients. His humble demeanor, tireless work ethic, and positive spirit made it possible to become a top performer. 

As a former Academic All-American D1 athlete and college basketball coach, he also enjoys highlighting sports, mindset, and goal-setting to deliver his message. The discipline, creativity, and self-confidence that is gained from the competition have influenced Matt’s life significantly. 


Matt lives in Indianapolis with his wife of 14 years, Nikki, where they continue to plan and dream of their next destination; to walk through a chaotic market, meet new and inspiring friends, and dance to local music till the sun comes up.