Back in 2008, I left Hawaii and set out on an adventure that took me across the USA by Amtrak train, I called it the Amtrek. This week, for the Vagobond Travel Museum, I bring you the collected articles and videos from that trip. The trip began in Honolulu and then went to Portland, Oregon from where I crossed the country and ended in New York City with a one way flight to Barcelona – the truth is, the trip has never ended since I’ve never gone home.
Along the way, I couch-surfed and asked my hosts the same set of questions, those videos are below and worth watching. Keep in mind, this was before couch-surfing had gone mainstream.
Here are the ten lessons I learned on that trip:
- The trains through the Rocky Mountains have the most incredible viewing cars for enjoying the magnificent landscape.
- Sacramento is a lot cooler than I thought it would be and the train museum is a must see..
- Utah is an incredibly rugged and scenic state filled with some very cool folks in Salt Lake City.
- I want to travel by train to Austin, Texas and Detroit, Nashville, and New Orleans. I’ve still never been to those cities.
- I love New York and Boston – taking a train to them was the way to go. People in these cities rock.
- Philly and Chicago are both incredibly cold in winter, but the people I met in them were pretty great.
- It’s better not to hurry, a 14 day rail pass was too short for a true American experience.
- Too many museums in too short a time can’t be appreciated – so get a longer rail pass.
- Libraries are havens of free wifi and peaceful places to work – trains should always have wifi and should have libraries for passengers.
- Making the wrong friend can suck out part of your enjoyment of life and destroy a train trip – the right friends can make a boring stretch very exciting.
Couchsurfing in Hawaii
Arriving in Portland
Amtrak USA Rail Pass
They Live (in Portland)
White Christmas in Portland
Portland Karaoke Christmas
From Portland to Sacramento
The Sacramento Train Museum
Sacramento isn’t so bad
Sacramento to Salt Lake City
Photos from SLC and a Fat Woman on the Piano
Salt Lake City
SLC to Chicago
Chicago isn’t New York City
Chicago to Boston
Boston to Providence, Rhode Island
Rhode Island to Philadelphia – short trip, no events!
Philadelphia to New York City
Vagobond in Queens
New York City Trepidation
Art at the Met and Thoughts Before Leaving the USA
The Host Videos
Couch Questions in Hawaii
Christmas in Portland
Couch Questions in Portland
Couch Questions with MJ in Sacramento
Couch Questions in Salt Lake City
Couch QUestions in Chicago
Couch Questions in Boston
Couch Questions in Providence
Couch Questions in New York City