I quit my job, broke up with my long-time girlfriend, and then traveled the US by train for two months alone, staying only with random people I met off the internet days in advance. I made an AMA about it exactly a year ago today - and in it - I m...
A year ago today I made this AMA about my chaotic adventure across the US by train, and spent the following weeks talking with redditors about what happened during my journey. The response was...unexpected. Psychologists, newspapers, magazines, college professors, and screenwriters approached me afterward trying to interview me, or write out my story. I answered question after question, and wrote email after email for weeks after my initial post, but when it came time to actually sell my story...I knew I couldn't. I'd made a promise to you all, and I have every intention of keeping it.
After a full year of writing and editing, I am finally able to say that I have completed the story of my travels. All of it, written out in detail from start to finish in the vein of an adventure book. Every chapter takes places in a different city, with different situations, and with different people. It's fair to say that each chapter is a mini-story in-and-of itself, and the whole trip ties it together. If you've ever wondered what it would be like to debate a US diplomat on Wikileaks, or to fall in love in Seattle, or maybe cross two state-lines following a fever-induced dream, getting sloshed on tequila with an overly aggressive 40yr old cougar and then wake up scared and alone, live on a train, or perhaps what it would be like finding yourself at knife-point in a dark and dingy train station near midnight...all of this is written in here, and more. This was the craziest period of my life (especially being introverted), and I'm more than happy to be able to share what happened, and what invaluable lessons I've learned because of it.
Here is my prologue if you're interested (note:this is a true story, and so it contains some profanity), and below is the actual book if you want to read more...
- I Chose the Rails (Kindle) - I left the file open so you can convert and share with any/all devices.
- I Chose the Rails (Paperback) - This link points to the Amazon copy of the book. If you ordered with me on the day of the AMA or a couple after, the books are all shipped!!! :)
Giving Back - Though eating ramen is getting old, I can't in good conscience do something like this without finding a way to give back. 20% of any profit I make will go to the charity of your combined choice. Just vote here and choose/add as many charities as you like. The winner will get a check made out to them - and I promise to follow up with a picture of it and report back.
Thanks to redditor mcdevimm for spending countless hours editing this for me over the past year, and a very special thanks to redditor must_draw_cats (alt account) for the unexpectedly amazing cover art she made. Her other stuff is awesome too. Thanks to their help, this book is 100% created by, and for, reddit. I think that's pretty cool ;P (Oh and ... they are definitely available for work /shameless plug)
If you guys have any questions about my trip, what it was like to going back to society, what it was like learning to become an author, self-publishing, writing a true story from memory and journals, or anything else... AMA!!
EDIT - This post, besides being dedicated to reddit, the IAMA community, and the [two] [redditors] who traveled solo around the country because of reading my post, is dedicated to a person who I've never met, and yet, whose life I have somehow dramatically impacted. I received a message from him about three months after my OP, telling me that because of my AMA - he divorced his wife.
I didn't really know how to respond, but I tried.
Every day since then I've thought about that message, and tried to wrap my head around the fact that something I did/wrote could have had such an impact as to separate the bond of marriage within the lives of people I didn't even know. Wherever you are man, I hope you found the happiness you were looking for, and if it means anything, just know that your message has kept me going for the months that followed. The completion of this book, it's for you. If you could do something like that because of me, then I sure as hell could do something like this.
EDIT - Holy crap it actually happened
EDIT - Thanks to Indolence for this link http://www.charitynavigator.org/ . Before voting for the charity you can see what they do with the money. Doctors without Borders looks like it's going to win, and National Space Society is a semi-close second. (In case you're wondering)
EDIT - Okay I've extended the paperback purchasing for 5 days total. To be honest, I can't wait for my brief moment in the spotlight to fade, it's unnerving and awkward. I made a promise to myself that I would write the book and then post about it. I've done that, I fulfilled what I was meant to do. Now, I need to start getting these orders processed, and then return to my quiet life. :) Thank you everyone for your support. If you have any more posts/questions I'll still answer them when I can.
EDIT - Paperback is pulled (Amazon has their own link now) and the books are shipped! Phew!