We could have done a destination wedding, but for us it was like, ‘let’s get married where we’re going to establish our lives.’
What the world needs now is love, sweet love…and that’s exactly what Michael Lindsay and Matt Schueller have been sharing with their audience since officially launching their gay travel blog MichaelandMatt.com in 2018.
In fact, the couple of eight years was married against the lush green splendor and beauty of Oregon that June, and they bring as much joy and love to their globetrotting adventures as they do one another. They also love other couples and singles operating in the LGBTQ+ travel blogger space, where there are dozens, and routinely share lists of their favorites on their website.
The pair first met in 2014, when Michael was moved and beguiled by Matt’s “coming out” video. Matt had been vlogging on YouTube since 2007, Michael in 2013, and they made contact. Studying dentistry at the time in Lincoln, Nebraska, Michael flew to meet Matt in Seattle, where he was attending Seattle Pacific University. It was love at first “IRL” (in real life) sight, and Matt, a freelance writer and photographer (and, as of 2022, licensed cardio nurse), joined Michael in Nebraska until he graduated. That same year, they cemented their relationship and started posting jointly on social media.
Today, they bring a grounded sensibility and authentic personal life to their namesake blog (which has chronicled the ups and downs of events like buying a first home), Instagram (@michaelandmatt), and YouTube (www.youtube.com/c/michaelandmatt), while also being incredibly photogenic, humorous, and relevant to even budget traveler and backpacking queers.
In December 2021, they won “Gay Travel Influencer” honors from the Gay Travel Awards (along with a trip to Costa Rica).
Based in Portland, Oregon, we recently spoke to Michael and Matt about many topics, including married life, having children, the most popular destinations for travelers, whether to get dental work overseas, and must-bring items for gay travelers.
First, let’s get this out of the way: why “Michael and Matt” instead of “Matt and Michael”?
Matt Schueller: Because when I looked up domain names I tried every combination and basically everything was taken but Michael and Matt!
Fair enough. What’s the best thing about doing this as a married couple?
MS: Having someone to blame when things go wrong!
ML: I think having someone else to help shape the experience. Maybe you’re forced to meet new people [when solo], but it’s nice traveling with someone and sometimes it’s nice to say, ‘we’re going to go here and do this and this is our plan and we’re experiencing it together.’ Or for him to look something up that I wouldn’t have. We do travel differently, so something I might want to do he might not have booked and may enjoy, and it’s a nice way to get a broader view.
MS: The one thing I really like about traveling with my spouse is having someone I feel confident traveling with, travel well with, and since we love each other and live together we get to look back on those experiences. That seems very sentimental and powerful. Look at all these things we did!
How exactly are your styles of travel different?
ML: I’m more moderate budget or higher. He doesn’t care. I wanted to do some more luxury stuff on our honeymoon, and he booked an overnight hike of like 15 hours in the rain through the jungles of Thailand.
MS: I’ve really enjoyed opportunities to enjoy more luxury, but it always feels like a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I don’t know if I could book that on my own. I love hostels and staying in group housing and doing more backpacker-type of travel. I love those situations where you meet a lot of people, and spontaneity. And Michael likes more planned, structured, nice accommodations with great food. I like to take the risk and see what happens.
Michael, as someone in the dental space, how do you feel about “dental tourism” in foreign countries? Do you recommend it?
ML: It’s hit and miss. You can see somebody who went to a different country and got good work done and then see people
who did the same thing and think, not great. I don’t know that I recommend it. Not that there aren’t good dentists in other parts of the world, but did you find one? I’m risk averse.
MS: I can’t wait for us to go to Turkey and get our veneers.
You were married at Oregon’s Bridal Veil Lakes in the Columbia River Gorge, about a half hour from Portland. How did you decide where to do it, and did you also consider exotic destinations like Bali?
ML: We knew we would move to Oregon after I graduated dental school in Nebraska, and I have family in Vancouver, Washington, which is 20 minutes away. We could have done a destination wedding, but for us it was like, ‘let’s get married where we’re going to establish our lives.’
MS: We wanted as many people who were part of our lives to attend, and we knew doing a destination wedding would be expensive, much smaller, more private, but not what we were looking for.
Michael and Matt’s wedding in Bridal Veil Lakes, Oregon • Photos by Dylan Howell
Is the wedding your most popular video so far?
ML: Like six years ago I posted a “Best Boyfriend Surprise” that has 1 million views. Matt was living in Lima, Peru for three months, and six weeks in we were going to meet up in New York and he thought I would come a day after him, but I finagled it so I landed an hour before him and he didn’t know I would be there.
Which articles on the blog have been most popular so far?
MS: The most popular articles are about Puerto Vallarta. “Hike From Boca de Tomatlan to Playa Las Animas,” covers walks through all the different stops along the hike.
ML: It’s a really cool hike that Matt found online, but it’s not necessarily well-marked or advertised anywhere. Not many articles are written about it! It’s our favorite thing that we did in that area and took a lot longer than we thought and I didn’t bring enough sunscreen!
MS: I think now it comes up in a web search and is easy to see. The other is our “Top Food Places in the Zona Romantica.” Puerto Vallarta is a great time. We did some food tours and have been there quite a few times and keep expanding our list of places where we’ve tried the food, and have a list of top recommendations for street food, which is another popular article.
ML: It’s a place we’ve returned to the most and feel we have a decent handle on.
Which destinations that you haven’t been to yet are on top of your list to visit?
ML: Australia and New Zealand.
MS: India. Specifically New Delhi. That’s an area we have yet to travel to. It’s a completely different world to me. And we’ve done a lot of travel in Mexico but haven’t been to Oaxaca yet and heard amazing things about it, specifically about the food scene. There’s so much good culinary stuff packed into that city, and I want to go to the street markets. And it’s jungle-y and by the mountains and seems very Portland-y.
This winter you announced plans to have children. Can you elaborate?
ML: Matthew and I have always known we wanted to start a family, we just hadn’t landed on how. Being two men, we had three options: fostering, adoption, and surrogacy. Given some recent struggles we’ve seen with friends and family in fostering/adoption and successes with surrogacy, we opted to start [with the latter]. We’ve called a bunch of IVF clinics and are on a waiting list for a call to get scheduled for a consultation this summer. We also want to do a double embryo
transfer and are hoping to have twiblings. Crossing our fingers!
As a couple that already juggles full-time jobs, how will having children impact your travels?
ML: We anticipate quite a bit. We definitely traveled a lot last year and are open to it again this year, knowing things are going to be so different when we have kids. At the same time, we know it’s not impossible to be mobile with children. It just takes four times as much planning, and we want to share our passion for travel with our kids and show them the world.
How do you feel about discussing or recommending places that are considered dangerous to LGBTQ+ people?
MS: I think it’s super important to talk about these places for anyone considering travel there, so they’re well informed and equipped with the info to not get in trouble. I talk about my own experiences and say, ‘these are great businesses and places I’ve been to and felt welcomed, and these neighborhoods I would avoid.’
ML: I don’t think we are overly affectionate in a way to trigger someone to do something untoward towards us when we travel, but I also think it’s important to get a real world perspective because a lot of times people will perceive other parts of the world as dangerous and the people that live there are like, ‘but you live in the US and people get shot at school all the time, what are you talking about?’
MS: No. I wouldn’t want to support a place where that’s happening, so we wouldn’t go to a place where LGBTQ+ people are being visibly punished. But is it worth talking about the LGBTQ+ people still in those areas though? I struggle with a balance of not wanting to support those countries because they aren’t accepting and bad things happen to LGBTQ people, but I don’t want to ignore the people because they still need support and there are people working in tourism in those countries. They still need support, and how do we bridge that gap?
What should LGBTQ+ people always travel with?
MS: All your electric chargers. A converter for the wall, which I always forget and go, why did I not bring this? If you’re staying in hostels or public spaces at all, a padlock.
ML: Cellphone service. That’s the easiest way to find info, where you are, share your location so if someone can’t find you, and use Uber and other rideshare apps.
Finally, since this interview will run in our Pride issue, which destinations do you most love or still want to visit for Pride?
MS: Puerto Vallarta. I know that’s typical to go there but it’s a favorite destination and huge for pride and always a good time. I haven’t been to Pride in Madrid, Spain yet but that’s on top of my list because I’ve heard so many good things, and Reykjavik pride actually.
ML: We had some friends from Europe come to Portland pride and they loved it! It’s kind of small and weird and intimate, which is very different from Seattle, which is all barriers, a huge street, and everything seems very far away and corporate. Portland is like a narrow two-lane street.
MS: Portland feels more like you’re in someone’s living room. Everyone knows each other and it’s very homey. You can just walk out into the street and join the parade if you want to.