Just like you, we here at DadWagon (who have toiled alongside Matt Gross, aka the Frugal Traveler, these long months) have also been happily following Matt’s career. We four DadWagon writers are paid only in pixie dust and sexual favors [ed. note: speak for yourself], so we are glad that Matt has a robust for-money career outside of blogging here about whether his baby Sasha is too fat or whether strangers should babysit her.
And as fans of his writing (despite the awful things we said about him here, here and here), we are glad to see his announcement from last week, that he is stepping down as the official Frugal Traveler.
For context, it’s worth knowing that the Frugal Traveler’s gig is something like Lassie’s–an iconic role that actually is filled by different players over the years (it’s true–Pal was the first Lassie, but don’t forget Lassie Junior, Spook, Baby, Mire, and Hey Hey). But I was reading Matt’s work as the F.T. long before I got to know him or work with him, and he made the franchise what it is: smart, funny, useful and, as evidenced by his last feature story, even somewhat literary.
Which is why it’s great that he’s branching out. As he posted at the New York Times, he will still do travel stories. And I think they’ll be all the better for not having to adhere to the Frugal Traveler form. He is a man with a little beard and a big mind.
And I hope that his fans from the Times will find something on this blog worth coming back for, whether they are parents or not. We do talk about parenting, of course, but also about Soviet children’s literature, the utter meaninglessness of existence, creepy New Yorkers, Happy hate, and healthy lies. For a quick introduction to our work here, browse the archives of the Week on the Wagon, a weekly rundown of all the love and bile we’ve shared here. Matt will undoubtedly continue to blog here about travel, as will I, because that is a large part of our lives, and of our experience as fathers.
In classic DadWagon fashion, it’s not really Matt or his fans I’m thinking about. It’s me. Not only do we have his fine fans from the Times blog migrating here, but now that he is unyoked from the Frug, we will also be free to ride him mercilessly, to force him to blog about the diaper wars or the lack of universal pre-k seats in New York City, until his fingers bleed. It will make him wish he was back walking the shoulder of some godforsaken Slovakian highway, Frugaling his blistered feet ten miles to the next blighted village where he will have to beg for porridge.