A reflection on five years on StP

So I just realized that October marked five years since I signed up for StP and wanted to get some thoughts down about it.

I discovered the traveler scene when I was 17 completely accidentally. I was chilling in a park and there were a couple interesting looking people there so I asked if they wanted to smoke a bowl with me. We started chatting and they told me about a way of life I was completely unaware of. It immediately enticed me and I started doing research about it. I bought some Crimethinc books and fantasized about hopping trains after high school.

A Google search about trainhopping brought me to StP and I signed up. Looking through the forum I was interested in what I saw but entered with caution thinking that the community would be aggressive towards a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed kid intent on learning everything. I was surprised and thrilled at the welcoming nature of the community. I asked some dumb questions in the beginning but quickly learned a lot. I started planning my first trip.

I graduated high school around the time my mom decided to move so I decided it was time for an adventure. Thus began my disastrous time working in Yellowstone.

I got back from Yellowstone and worked for a while to save up money. The next adventure was Asia. It was a different way of traveling than I had planned when I first signed up for StP but I loved it and spent almost three months exploring Thailand, Cambodia, and Japan. I wrote this StP post while there.

After I landed came the Rideshare From Hell, which to this day is probably the worst ride I’ve ever had.

I got back and went back to work with the company I had worked for before, who were surprisingly chill about me coming and going constantly. I saved up some money and decided it was time to hit the road in the States. I hitched to the hitchgathering in Nevada City, where I met some folks and ended up hopping a freight train with them to Ogden. We rode a unit so it was very cushy but the folks I was with were annoying so I parted ways with them after a while. I got stuck in Wyoming for days and learned many lessons, including not to hitch on a schedule and to have the right gear.

I got back from that trip and got a different job. At the time I was in contact with @WanderLost Radical while he was in Southeast Asia. He asked if he have some gear shipped to me from Canada that he could pick up when he got to the States and after making sure I wasn’t doing anything illegal, I agreed. The day he got into Seattle, he hit me up and said he was with someone named @Geraldo. I’d only been 21 for like a week but I met them at a bar and told them I was hungover and could only have a drink or two. That one drink escalated into a bar crawl through Seattle where Lucia kept buying me drinks until we ended up at an awesome Days N Daze show. After a while I couldn’t drink any more and had to insist that Lucia stop buying me drinks.

Before they left town, I exchanged contact info with Lucia. We started messaging back and forth every day for months and came up with a plan to travel together to the Jambo. The drive from Portland to the Slabs was my first major road trip and I had a blast. We ate well, drank well, and had a good time on the trip. The Jambo itself was crazy and amazing and I met a ton of rad folks there.

I had brought tattoo supplies to the Slabs and got to talking to @Snorting Nitrons, who wanted a tattoo. I’d only done one before and warned him it would be bad but he was into the idea so we proceeded. I started tattooing him then @Cornelius Vango walked past and told me I was doing it wrong so they grabbed another needle and gave me a quick but super clean smiley face tattoo to show me how it was done. The tattoo on Jay turned out super janky but he still likes it and I’m glad I did it because it was the beginning of my friendship with Jay.

My hitching trip back from the Jambo was interesting. It was going well until it started blasting rain and I had a sketchy ride that was draining I ended up catching a Scamtrak back to Seattle. It was super nice ride.

That was the 2016 Jambo and I’ve had a few adventures here and there since then, mostly with Lucia. They’re always awesome and crazy and a welcome break from normal life. Last summer @Snorting Nitrons resurfaced on StP and I went to visit him in Portland. Not remembering much about him, I had told him I’d be there for a night or two but that turned into a week. I had a wonderful week at NoPrezRez (RIP) hanging out with Jay and the crew of rad folks that came through there. After being at school all year surrounded by boring college kids, hanging out with folks who were like me was fucking awesome and exactly what I needed.

Last summer I went to visit @zim in Oaxaca and had an awesome time. I don’t think I would have ended up there if she wasn’t there and because of my limited Spanish I would have been totally fucked without her. I’m glad I went.

I was bummed to miss the Jambo the past two years but everytime I see my StP friends I am reminded of how rad this community is. I’m not as involved in the community as I used to be but I will forever be grateful for @Matt Derrick's work on this site and all the other rad people who contribute. Y’all are rad as fuck and even though I can’t be on the road right now, I like reading about what other folks are up to.

Anyways, I know this is a lot of text but the gist of it is thanks for five rad years and here’s to five more!

Safe travels,

Artist/writer/traveler/etc. I'm a mod on this site so don't hesitate to send me a PM if you have any questions! [B]Please do not PM me about train info. It is not my area of expertise.[/B]
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Deleted member 16034

I closed my account
You totally forgot to link the 24th birthday on the island post
Click here to buy the Anarchist's Guide to Travel!


Subverting from within
Oct 15, 2013
Bellingham, WA

Deleted member 21429

I closed my account
STP restores my faith in social media. ~ peace

Matt Derrick

Permanent Wanderer
Staff member
Aug 4, 2006
Austin, TX
wow i had forgotten about a lot of those stories, they're great! i dunno how they slipped through being added as featured threads but I'm going to add them now.

thanks for being such a great mod and active member over these past five years!
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