Do you want to know who’s hiding behind Inside my Backpack? If you’re visiting this website, you might already know me, but if not, a short introduction is necessary!
My name is Matthias and I was born in Saint-Nazaire on the French Atlantic coast in January 1988. I always enjoyed writing and reading, but I also had good grades in scientific subjects, so when I was 19 years old I went studying at the Chemistry Engineering High School of Rennes in Brittany. I graduated as a chemical engineer in 2010, and then spent five quiet years in Switzerland, more precisely in Neuchâtel in the Jura mountains.
But this peaceful day-to-day life eventually became too quiet for me. By the end of spring 2016, I took a radical decision that transformed my life forever: I left Switzerland, quit my engineer’s job and abandoned my flat overlooking the Alps and the lake of Neuchâtel, in order to begin a crazy adventure. I went to Australia for a year on a Working Holiday Visa, with nothing more than my backpack and my camera.
After that, nothing ever was the same anymore. I know it sounds a bit cliché, but it’s the truth! I couldn’t picture myself going back to the chemistry world, so I decided to keep on travelling: a few weeks around Europe, a month in Canada, an extraordinary stay in Hawaii, a second trip to Australia, but also a mixed experience in New Zealand, a huge cultural shock in Japan and a road trip in the west of the United States. I described all my travels on this website, that I created in 2017 when I came back from Australia, and on which I could finally give free rein to my passion for writing. And then, at the beginning of the summer 2018, I finally came back home in Saint-Nazaire.
This is where a new chapter of my professionnal life began. I worked the entire summer at the Tourism Office of Saint-Nazaire on a seasonal contract, enjoyed it a lot, and then was hired on a permanent contract in March 2019, settling down again in the region where I grew up for the first time since 2007. I still updated this website from time to time, but on a less and less regular basis: I wasn’t travelling so much anymore, and I didn’t really know what to publish…
I eventually put it on hold at the beginning of 2021 to throw myself at a brand-new project that I had in mind for a very long time: writing my first book, a fictional novel inspired by the year I spent in Australia. I’m still working on it at the moment, and I can’t wait to unveil it! Finally, in 2022, another turning point: I quit my job at the Tourism Office by the end of the summer, focusing now on more future trips and on my desire to go further into my career change. I also entirely updated this website to give it a second life: I’ll republish some ancient articles in the future, but also many unreleased stories. I hope you’ll enjoy reading them as much as I’ll take pleasure to write them!
My traveller’s alphabet
26 letters for 26 places, atmospheres and travelling anecdotes, have a look at my traveller’s alphabet!
Countries I have visited
For a few hours or for many years, find out the 30 countries that I have visited!