Minh Matsushita, RIP

Tamara Jones of the Washington Post profiles the lone American killed in the London bombings of 7 July.

LONDON — Minh Matsushita was a man forever in motion, an adventure always in progress. His passport was a pocket-size accordion of pages bearing faded stamps and mysterious visas.

Even as his boyhood friends from the Bronx settled down, got married, pursued careers and started families, the 37-year-old Matsushita just kept reinventing himself. He might be a beach bum in San Diego one year and a tech geek in Manhattan the next. You could find him snorkeling in Australia, or hiking across minefields in Cambodia.

Dude, what are you doing?, friends would remember asking time and again, when he would alight between trips on someone’s back porch to drink through the night and tell his tales. Minh always smiled, shrugged and gave the cavalier answer his buddies came to think of as his personal motto:

“No worries, man.”

For the past 18 months, Matsushita had been living out the dream of the perpetual wanderer, exploring remote corners of the world as a tour guide for an Australia-based agency called Intrepid Travel. Leading tourists on treks through the jungles and paddies of Southeast Asia, he also found for the first time in his life something more than adventure….

The details that would define Matsushita in death were flat and one-dimensional, predictable, prosaic, so very much not like Matsushita himself.

No one would know that he loved thick steaks and cheap beer and heavy metal music from the ’80s and rafting on wild rivers. No one would know that he diverted tourists from the prescribed itineraries to introduce them to the kids he befriended in Cambodian orphanages. Or that he himself had fled war-torn Vietnam as a little boy with his widowed mother and the Japanese American businessman she would marry, Minh’s adoptive father.

His family has set up a fund now to benefit the orphans, with Intrepid Travel promising to match any donations.

via LaurenceJarvikOnline

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