Earlier this year I decided that it would be fun to take a train from Boston, MA to Seattle, WA.
This trip spurred from many things, but mainly a love for long trips.
After I graduated college in 2008, my boyfriend at the time and I moved out to California. We took two weeks and stuck to a route that included all sorts of places that we never would have otherwise seen.
We could have easily flown out to California, but you don’t see things like an entire palace made out of corn when you’re rushing to get from point A to point B.
You don’t often sit down and decide to visit a place like South Dakota. However, when you’re driving across the entire continental United States, South Dakota is ‘on the way’. It’s somewhere that you’ve been looking forward to, even. If not because you’ve actually kinda always wanted to see Mt. Rushmore, but then definitely because you just spent 500 miles seeing signs for some mysterious place called Wall Drug which promised the enticing spectacle of “free ice water”.
What I’m trying to say here is that I like taking trips.
I was already planning on leaving my full time job and my apartment lease was due to expire, so I figured, “Hey, I’ve got a bit of extra time on my hands and nowhere to sleep – why not take a three day train trip to get to PAX?”
As Amtrak’s Empire Builder train doesn’t come equipped with wi-fi, I had a three day long trip ahead of me which would be full of looking out the window, introspection, and. . .uhh. . .well. . .That’s it.
It was awesome.
The scenery out the windows was amazing. Each sunset was more beautiful than the last, and each sunrise was even better. The sprawling flatness of Montana was. . .flat (yet, still beautiful). The amount of time I got to truly sit and think about the things going on in my life at the moment was so sorely needed. I even got a chance to catch up on an impressive amount of my steam backlog at night after the sun went down.
It was a great place to think through different game ideas I had. Different projects I wanted to explore. Things I wanted to do.
After I reached Seattle, I immediately got onto another train to take me to Vancouver for Unite. During that train ride, I had the chance to talk about this trip I had just taken. I loved it, it was great – but by the end of it, I was definitely lonely.
I wanted to do that train ride again – but this time I wanted company. I wanted to get a ton of people together, put them on this train, and head out west.
I figured out how this could work logistically, and with the encouragement of those around me, realized that this actually could be a fun idea.
Thus, Train Jam was born.
I often pretend to be super confident in all of my ideas – you will regularly hear me publicly boast that I have ‘the best idea ever’. But, in reality, I’m pretty sure that I’m just a dumb idiot who likes kinda weird silly things. I’ve been completely overwhelmed over the positive response that this has been receiving; it’s amazing to hear people getting just as excited about this as I have.
March 13th needs to hurry up and get here, because I really can’t wait to get everyone on this train and start jamming!