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Thoughts and Feelings

The List That Inspired The List

Hey Team,


I was digging around in the basement of my laptop, Charley, the other day and came across a file simply titled, “50things.doc” and you’ll never guess what was inside when I opened it up! Well, unless you guessed 50 things, then…good on you I guess. Have a cookie.


Here’s the thing, it didn’t contain the 50 things from the to do list longtime readers of Amtrekker have come to know and love. It contained the ORIGINAL 50 list! The list that inspired the list! Not just a “simple” list of things that I could do while crisscrossing North America, but a highly comprehensive list. The list of ALL the things I could ever possible want out of life…when I was 24. (Maybe 25.)


Man is it embarrassing.


Regardless, it got me to ruminating on a couple things. Most notably, it’s AMAZING how much priorities can change in seven or eight years. Furthermore, it’s interesting how many of those priorities have changed as a direct result of the Amtrekker adventure itself. Turns out living out of a backpack on stranger’s couches for two years will change you for life.


But no more messing around. I know what you guys want. Here’s that original list! More >

Princess Emily

**Hey Team! This is a VERY old story. It started in 2002 and was original posted on an old Myspace blog on May 13th, 2006. But it’s one of the most incredible things that has ever happened to me and I wanted to share it without having to link to (shudder) Myspace. So here it is…unedited.** Hey Team, I’ve been pretty busy at Disney these last couple weeks and while I was being thankful for how much more they pay me now that I’m doing design work I had a flashback to one of those moments that makes working the frontlines in attractions worth the negative paychecks. And since only a handful of you have heard this story… Our adventure begins on my very first day wearing a Disney nametag, circa 2002 Orlando. So the Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah nametag, not the gold one. It’s day two of Florida’s version of Traditions and we begin our tour of the Magic Kingdom outside the maingate. Ohhh pretty…there’s the train station…blah blah blah…berm…blah blah blah, now let’s go through the gate. Look, Floral Mickey, one of the most photographed locations in Walt Disney World. Fast Forward to our tour guide catching eyes with a little girl More >


Now What?

Hey Team,

It’s been a long time since I’ve written a blog post for Amtrekker, and what with TBEX going on in Vancouver this weekend I felt forced into evaluating why that might be. The easy answer is, I’m not homeless anymore…but that feels like a cop out. The truth, as usual, is a little more complicated and a lot sillier. (“Silly” as in “flippant” or “lame.” Do not expect clowns.)

At some point, while I was traveling around North America and living on strangers’ couches, a travel blog was born. And not because I was trying to write a travel blog so much as the concept of travel blogs started to grow up around me. In fact, it wasn’t until the tail end of the adventure, when I started having more and more contact with other travelers who wrote for the web, that I realized travel blogging was even a thing. Up until that point I just thought of blogs as a fairly personal thing and that some folks, like me, happened to be doing a lot of traveling, ergo their writing was largely travel centric.

(That may have been a confusing sentence. But rather than trying to fix my slapdash writing More >


Gate 42 to Gate 42: Longest Roundtrip Ever

I think I know where I went wrong. Clearly I’m not greedy enough. Frankly, it’s kind of pathetic how little I’ve learned from Gordon Gecko.

I was on the phone with everyone’s favorite triathlete, @katymoe, making sure the hatches were all battened down (whatever that means…) at the homestead when I hear over the LAX PA system, “Attention passengers of flight 276. Unfortunately we are overbooked by about five passengers on tonight’s flight to Miami. If anyone would be willing to take a redeye through Fort Worth tonight, you’ll leave about two hours later but I’ll also provide you with a $300 American Airlines flight voucher. If anyone would like to volunteer, please come see me at the service desk.”

I practically hung up on Katy. I already had a four-hour layover in Miami so I figured if I have to sit around in airports all night anyway I might as well make a couple Benjamin’s (that’s what the cool kids call hundred dollar bills) off the deal.

“Excuse me, what time does this money plane land in Miami?”

“9:45. Do you have a connecting flight.”

“Yeah, but it doesn’t take off until 10:45.”

“Let me see your ticket. Ahh…it starts boarding at 9:45, that’s cutting More >


A Few Rambling Thoughts on Cruising

Hey Team,

Cruise ships are not a form of transportation. They’re more like huge freaking hotels that you’re locked inside of for 16 hours at a time with a few thousand of your closest friends (provided you don’t have many actual close friends), and when they finally open the gates, you’ve been mysteriously teleported to yet another strange city. I guess teleportation is technically a form of transportation…but let’s not dwell. Here’s my point:

You can’t go around comparing cruise ships to airplanes just because it makes your environmental impact argument sound better. Hell yeah it takes less fuel to fly from Ft. Lauderdale to Grand Cayman than it does to take a boat. Know why? Cause you’re transporting 200 people…not five THOUSAND people in a huge freaking floating city that allows for more entertainment and adventure in exotic locales than the average working class family would have the opportunity to experience during their one and only week of vacation a year by any other means.

And for those people, cruising is perfect. I can’t imagine a better way to get a smattering of everything a great vacation has the potential to offer. Not everyone can drop everything and travel for extended periods. More >


I hate Best Buy

I could have made this post WAY longer than it would need to be to satisfy everyone’s curiosity and, as such, it may not make a ton of sense (Let’s be honest, how many of these do anyway?) but at least it was cathartic. As always, thanks for listening.

Hey Team,

I hate Best Buy.

I know what you’re saying, “Brett, you’re such a nice guy. I can’t imagine you being judgmental enough to not be willing to walk a mile in their shoes and try to see things from their perspective. Surely, they aren’t as bad as you would have us believe. In fact, I would venture to say that you are jumping to hasty conclusions and that you’ve probably had perfectly respectable encounters with Best Buy in the past and somehow you must be letting a single negative experience color your views of a fine upstanding company. Frankly, I expected more empathy from you, Brett.”

To you, I have only three things to say.

1. You talk too much.

2. You sound pompous.

3. I HATE Best Buy.

You guys already know that I’m currently somewhere in the middle of the Caribbean thanks to a generous offer from Princess Cruises and Gary at Everything-Everywhere.com. What More >


Meeting the Amazing Randi

Hey Team,

You know who’s amazing? James Randi. Now that I think about it, I suppose that’s why he’s called The Amazing Randi. Huh. Go figure. If you don’t know who I’m talking about then let me give you a couple broad strokes. Randi is a retired performer who used to be a magician and a mentalist and currently heads the James Randi Educational Foundation. You may have heard of his Million Dollar Challenge, which offers a prize to anyone who can prove under scientific rigor that they have some type of extra-sensory perception. All you have to do is be able to say what it is you can do and under what laboratory conditions you can perform said talent. It’s been available for decades now. Guess how much the foundation has given away in the name of the challenge. That’s right. Zero.

Pretty awesome right? It’s great to know that someone is out there trying to prove that “real” psychics are more often than not, ridiculous amoral performers preying on people who miss their dead relatives deeply. In short, James Randi is one of my personal heroes.

And…I got to meet him at dinner the other night! It was a pre-Carl Sagan More >

Past Brett vs. Future Brett

Hey Team,

Here’s the thing about how I write posts for Amtrekker now days. I usually get an idea while I’m in the middle of doing something else that I can’t just drop so, like a respectable and professional writer, I whip out my trusty notebook, jot down a few lines and open up a Word document first chance I get. The trouble is, it seems Future Brett never speaks the same language as Past Brett.

Case in point: The only line I gave myself to go off of for this post was two words long. It said, “Rubber bands.” It’s even underlined. So…apparently there’s something that Past Brett really wants to say about rubber bands.

I’ve been wracking my brain for the last two days trying to figure out what the heck I was trying to tell myself. The only clues I have are:

1) I know where I was and what I was doing when I wrote the note and

2) I know it has something to do with travel.

As much as I love the movie Memento…this is kind of pissing me off.

That said, I suppose it could be worse. I once wrote myself a note that said:

Q: Why is he dead?

A: Crustaceans.

I would More >

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