During a recent library talk on technology, a well-connected Westporter invoked the name Matt Harding.
During the Q-and-A, I asked the library speaker: “Did you know Matt is from Westport?”
He had no idea.
If you think about it, it makes sense. Staples — from which Matt graduated in 1994 — is a place that has long given students the sense that a great world awaits them. Staples students often indulge their wanderlust — and it helps that many have families that can support great post-college adventures.
Yet Matt wasn’t one of those. As a junior, his father advised him not go to college; Matt just wasn’t ready. So he worked in video games — as a magazine editor and game designer — and eventually landed in Australia.
That surprised him. Unlike many peers, he was not a traveler growing up. But now he was ready to see the world — and see it he did.
Since 2002 he’s danced his way across the planet. He’s danced on the Trans-Siberian Railway, on top of Kilimanjaro, and on “Good Morning America.”
He’s picked up a corporate sponsor too. And now he’s an author.
These days, Matt calls Seattle home (not that he’s there a hell of a lot). But it’s safe to say he wouldn’t be there — wouldn’t be anywhere, let alone a worldwide Internet sensation — if he hadn’t had a bit of Westport in him, way back when.