Everyone loves a guide with a big smile regardless of the task at hand. If you can keep that smile on your face while you are cleaning dishes, loading kayaks and sorting wetsuits then you are truly a special person. Matt Rodriguez is one of those special people that always has a contagious smile on his face regardless of the task. Over the years Matt has taken countless groups on outdoor education trips, corporate retreats and beautiful day trips — Matt has the unique ability to treat guests like old friends, always with a smile leading the way. Recently I sat down with this incredible guide to see what has been keeping him busy in the Winter.
First car: 1976 dodge charger
Dog or Cat? Cat. Her name is Limuw named after the Chumash name for Santa Cruz Island
Favorite beach: Ooo, that’s a secret and a very special spot in Santa Barbara county
Best place to get a cocktail: from a good friend or new one.
Best place to find me on a day off: Either in my art studio painting or biking around our beautiful town.
Favorite quote: “Do Stuff”
How did you get into guiding? You do remember your first trip?
I was asked to help cater Micheal Cohen’s birthday by a friend and Sbaco employee, which l anded me a job as camp cook on our outdoor education trips. I fell in love with the job from there and moved into guiding a large array of trips for the Adventure Co.
I am pretty sure you get the award for the best wine tour at SBACo, what makes your tours so good? Any tips for new guides?
I’ve been told this before and I’m not quite sure. I definitely get help from the spectacular views along the Santa Barbara coast as well as the ever changing landscapes of the Santa Ynez Valley. I try to treat people to a day of adventure and comfort in an already amazing and special place. With a friendly and welcoming hospitality, I aim to educate and immerse our clients fully into our historical and growing wine country. I customize each trip to their needs and interests to make sure everyone has a fun, safe and memorable experience.
You are also a local artist. Does your work outdoors inspire your art?
My work outdoors fills my life with education, exploration, exercise and countless unique adventures. I get to meet people from all walks of life, all ages and from all over the world. Guiding allows me to problem solve and navigate logistics on a regular basis. While my art allows me to be much more introspective and visually creative; exploring line, shape and color and then sharing that which I’ve learned and created with the world. They actually go very hand in hand.
I hear you might have an adventure of the horizon. Care you share the next travel adventure?
Yes, Actually I just got back from Paris. It was a whirl wind trip, full of random encounters with all walks of life. Exploration of art history of both old and new emerging artists was a common theme spent wandering and getting lost in the culture, food, art, and history has brought many revelations. I’m excited to explore these both in my work as a guide and as an artist. I look forward to many more traveling opportunities and sharing my experiences with friends, family and future clients.
How can people follow you and find out what your up to next?
Here is my instagram handle rodriguezartt
If you have been on a trip with Matt and want to leave him a note, or if you’re just a friend and want to say “hi” – please do in the comments section below. I am sure Matt would love to hear from you!