Hey, I'm Matt Derrick, the founder of Squat the Planet. If you're reading this, you obviously want to know more about me, so here we go:
So if you haven't guessed from seeing this website, I'm a big computer geek / gamer, but I like to do other things as well. I enjoy photography
and making videos
, and I'm pretty much addicted to traveling by any method necessary. I've been thinking about bike touring a lot lately, since it seems to meet a happy medium between freedom and minimal cost.
I love metal, some punk rock and especially punkish electronic music. I'm also big on comic books, sci-fi books, horror movies, conventions, etc... I told you I'm a nerd
I'm a huge fan of exploring abandoned places (aka Urban Exploration), and I'm constantly documenting places I'd like to explore someday, which has kind of made me an encyclopedia for that kind of stuff. Check out my list of destinations
In the future, I'd like to ride trains in Australia, bike across parts of America, and see what the squats in Europe are like. All the while documenting various punk/anarcho cultures around the world.
I'm always looking for people to travel with, so if you're interested in any of these things, send me a message!
I first started traveling when I was eighteen, after my car blew up in Eugene, Oregon on my way to Los Angeles in 1998. After meeting my first travelers there I spent the next six months hitchhiking up and down the west coast, and finally hopping my first train.
After that adventure I did eventually make it to Los Angeles where I spent the next three years working and living in the punk rock scene. I eventually figured out that LA is fucked, and it was at that point I finally left that awful place and started traveling full time.
It was at that point (2001) that I started Squat the Planet as a website. Keep in mind this was long before anyone knew what a 'blog' was, so I was just coding the html in windows notepad to fulfill my geeky needs while also documenting my adventures. My hope at that time was to inspire others to travel in the same way I was at that time. You can still see an old version of this website here
It wasn't until 2006 that I added a forum to the website, which turned out to be StP's most popular feature. Since then it's grown into the community you see before you today.
In 2008 I decided to give up train hopping as my main form of transportation, and moved on to buying a school bus on ebay that I named Thunderhorse
. I spent almost a year in New Orleans before driving up to Yellowstone National Park to work for the summer.
I drove down the west coast through San Francisco and Los Angeles on my way to Slab City. After spending a few months there I finally made the bus' last trek to Austin, where I eventually traded it for a van that crapped out on me a few months later
Since then I've ridden a go kart on railroad tracks
in the desert, renovated a boat
to sail the Caribbean
, and worked my ass off to make StP the website you see today. I hope you find it useful!