It’s time to reflect on a very successful year here at Matador Trips. Today, we look back at some special Matador community members we highlighted in 2009.

One of the funnest things about editing Trips in 2009 has been connecting with destination experts from the Matador community. Nearly every week, we’ve introduced an expert on a different city, region, or country around the world.

Here’s a random, geographically diverse selection of five of them:

1. The Philippines – MichaLola

“Her goal as the Philippine travel expert is to shed light on her diverse, dynamic, and intriguing homeland made up of 7,107 islands. She aims to dispel the inaccurate stereotypes that have been attached to this nation and would be more than happy to provide tips, suggestions, and answer your every query and travel concern regarding the Philippines.”

2. Iran – Jason Rezaian

“I’m fortunate enough to be one of very few Americans able to travel freely to Iran. With that country dominating the headlines once again, there are so many misconceptions swirling around about it. I’d love to help clear some of them up. I assist journalists as well as private citizens in their travel plans for Iran, and I would love to answer any questions you may have.”

3. Antarctica – rico nico

“I’m flattering myself with the title of “expert,” but if anyone is curious about how you can get to Antarctica and be PAID for it, I’m happy to provide some useful suggestions.”

Photo: El Lobo

4. Spain – El Lobo

“Southern Spain, called Andalucía, is my specialty, as I guide cultural walking tours every summer in Sevilla, Granada, Córdoba, and the Alpujarras. I’ve lived, studied, worked, and traveled extensively in Galicia, Cataluña, Extremadura, Madrid, and the Cantabrian coast. I also spent two years living in Sevilla and Granada.”

5. Kenya – jonnyontheroad

“I lived in Kenya for two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer and traveled just about everywhere in the country. If you’re looking for trip or service ideas, let me know.”

Recently, in order to leverage the knowledge of our experts to an even greater extent, Trips began posting guides on “What NOT to Do” in various destinations. This series gives destination experts a chance to get candid, outlining the avoidable attractions in their region — and what to do instead.

Photo: ajari

1. What NOT to Do in Japan

Turner Wright advises you to stay out of the pachinko parlors.

2. What NOT to Do in Paris

The view from the Eiffel Tower isn’t worth the climb, according to Matt Scott.

3. What NOT to Do in Chile

Eileen Smith lays out which Santiago-based wine tours are good to go.

4. What NOT to Do in Egypt

Nick Rowlands explains how John Wayne, legs, and camel farts might fit into your Egypt itinerary.

5. What NOT to Do in Guadeloupe

If you’re headed to this virtually unknown Caribbean archipelago, Anna Brones has the info you need.

Community Connection

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