Hello I am Skippy, I am a Master of Philosophy, an avid reader, and games enthusiast (card, board, video). I am interested in the way that people interact with technology, how they interact with each other and the way they investigate and navigate the world around them.
This campaign can be summed up as a live blog of rail riding and couch surfing to better understand America and its peoples. The Trip will hit 18 cities across North America.
The long story version is like this. The plan is to collect stories by exploring North America by way of the light rail systems. The impetus behind this trip consists of some assumptions about the way we have come to travel the world around us. 1. Traveling is simply the utilitarian process of getting from point A to point B and is not regarded significantly as an event in itself. I hope to flip this assumption by showing the benefits of choosing a transportation method that encourages a greater interconnectedness with fellow passengers and the environment. 2. We accept that in the United States we have freedom of movement. As a developed country this implies access to a well organized, affordable and user-friendly transportation infrastructure. I intend to explore the infrastructure and see how it affects the lives of travelers. In particular I will be travelling frugally and in a minimalist nature, taking only 2 carry on bags and riding coach. 3. American cultural identity is forever in flux and can only be defined by its point of observation in time through sharing personal stories.
The route is as follows: Lowell, MA; Boston, MA; New York City, NY; East Hampton, NJ; Kissimee, FL; Largo, FL; Gainesville, FL; Atlanta, GA; San Antonio, TX; Denton, TX; Denver, CO; Salt Lake City, UT; Santa Cruz, CA; Renton, WA; Chicago, IL; Carbondale, IL; Toledo, OH; Guelph, ON, Canada; Boston, MA; Lowell, MA.
The reasons for visiting these locales will be made clear through the course of the journey. Along the way I will be interviewing people, recording observations and conversations. I plan to leave the end of April 2012 and expect the trip to take 2-3 months. I hope to collect, curate, circulate, and communicate every detail of this trip. The trip is very much oriented towards data collection via my personal space my eyes, ears, and email. That is why there are perks that allow for people to play along at home.
Once the trip is finished I will start process for editing the blog as a book. As soon as that is ready I will post the books as a .pdf available under creative commons licensing to the blog. After that I will be doing a print on demand run of the book for interested parties.
A side project on this trip will to be create a series of fictitious travel stories a Crowd Sourced Narrative. This will either be compiled as a novel, a series of short stories, or as a compilation of ideas available for public use.
This journey presents a rare opportunity to collect local anecdotes from all over the country hopefully shedding light on what makes American regions unique as well as what binds us as a national culture. This project will attempt to make a written snapshot of North American and its inhabitants. It is kind of graffiti style quick fire 'I was here' kind of shout out. It is not meant to be an all encompassing portrait of the individuals and locations.
This train trip is a great way to vicariously be a vagrant traipsing across the countryside. If you ever thought about chucking it all in and running away on a train this is campaign you should follow.
What We Need & What You Get
Here is a break down of the $$$ wanted for this trip.
Trains $829 x 2 = $1658
Foods $7 x 3 = $21 x 60 = $1260
subtotal = $2918
Covering my bases back home
Rent 300 x 3 = $900
Bills 400 x 3 = $1200
subtotal = $2100
Total = $5018
Look to the side to see the perks for contributing to this campaign. Cool perks include an index card from the road filled with neat info from the trip, a handwritten letter mailed to you, there are play at home opportunities as well, there is a sweet bonus if you can get the city that I am visiting up to $1000 I will write an in-depth review of the city.
Other Ways You Can Help