Let me jump into a very quick story that turned out to be the catalyst to a life changing event. At some point in 2007 I met a guy at a ridiculous Hollywood party, he was sporting a Bulls T-shirt of Michael Jordan doing something awesome. Weird that I remember this? Yeah, maybe. But I’m from Wisconsin and if I think anyone is from the Midwest odds are we’re having a conversation. So, I go up and say:
“Hey man, nice shirt, you from Chicago?”
And he probably said something along the lines of:
“Yeah, where are you from?”
Which then sparked a casual run of the mill conversation in Hollywood that ended with us saying, “Hey, we should hang out some time.”
Flash forward to a few days later….
I get a text on my awesome 2007 flip phone from this guy saying:
“Hey, I’m going to walk over to your apartment, do you want to hang out?
To which I guess I said something along the lines of:
The weird thing about this is that I didn’t know where he lived, I just said yeah because I was in my early 20’s and would say yes to anything. I called my other friend Ethan who knew this guy and told him he was walking over to my place. Ethan said that this guy lived over the hill.
***Just a quick little cool-guy Hollywood talk for everyone: When someone says, “over the hill” they’re basically saying they live in another world. I lived in a studio apartment in Hollywood and to go over the hill I’d have to take Laurel Canyon or God forbid, the Cahuenga Pass. I can’t talk about this anymore because my douche bag nonchalant Hollywood level is starting to get higher than I want. Long story short over the hill is far away…
So when I heard he may potentially be coming from over… and walking… I was confused. It didn’t make sense. Sure enough, a short time later this guy knocked on my door holding a six pack and said, “Hey, I found this on the side of the road.”
After a quick hang out he asked me if I wanted to walk back with him. I had to work at a Sushi restaurant later that night and I didn’t think I could do the walk. But after a moment of thinking I ended up saying, “yeah, sure” (I was early 20’s) and then he’d drop me off at work once we concluded the walk. We proceeded to walk back to his apartment.
On the long walk back he started to tell me how he always wanted to have a travel show and how much he loved travel. He went on, to what would later turn out to be an incredible philosophical approach about travel, and tell me about how important it was to see the small things along the way. How when people travel they can miss things, and essentially it’s all about the journey, not the destination. Of course, everyone knows it’s about the journey but few people actually instill this into their DNA, this guy was not someone who lacked it.
Flash forward to a few weeks later…
This guy comes over and tells me that he wants to document a travel series on YouTube. He wanted to walk from Los Angeles to San Diego, film it along the way, and then upload the videos at night. I thought it sounded awesome. Also, keep in mind that this was the early stages of YouTube, this wasn’t exactly a “normal” thing to do. At some point he said he wanted to call it “The Walkstars" and get his two brothers to walk along with his friend from Hawaii. I said I was in.
Flash forward to a few more weeks later…
We walked from Los Angeles to San Diego. Uploaded videos along the way. Got blisters. Got tired. Minimal arguing from everyone. Some drinking. A total of 5 days walking. I was going through a break up at the time and this allowed me time to reflect on how depressed I was and listen to Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me A River” on repeat. It was a successful walk.
Flash forward to a few months later…
At this point this guy and I are pretty great friends. We connect on a production and life level, we like making short skits, music videos, and we constantly toss around ideas. We have a conversation discussing a scooter trip across the USA. We’d ride 29 mph scooters and instill the idea that it’s about the journey and not the destination. We’d take our time and see things in America that people ignore. We’d meet people along the way. We’d camp. We’d explore. We’d call ourselves “The Scootstars". We’d talk about creating an umbrella called “inTransit” for travels like “The Walkstars" and “The Scootstars" to live under… And yes, we’d film this trip.
I was in.
We spent roughly 3 months together traveling. At one point my scooter broke down so I hopped on the back of his. We spent so much time together we could probably read each others minds, whether or not this was a good thing, I’m not sure, but it sure as hell wasn’t a bad thing.
I can’t speak for him but I can tell you that a few very important things happened to me while I was on the road:
- I realized how much I cared for a woman who was back in Los Angeles. Little did I know but I’d end up asking this same woman to marry me.
- I realized that I wanted to focus on my writing and crafting stories through screenplays.
- I came to a new found appreciation of humans in America. I realized that there are great people everywhere and it’s what makes us, as people, great. There’s a lot of good in this world and people are at the core of it.
Once the scooter trip concluded my life was forever changed. Of course, I didn’t know it at the time. I needed years to reflect and connect the dots. The adventure and journey on the road changed me.
Flash forward to yesterday…
This guy released a sizzle reel highlighting his traveling, himself, and also the soul that is (what I think) his philosophical traveling beliefs. Since I stopped traveling with him after the scooter trip he’s taken public transportation through Central America, A canoe down the entire Mississippi River, a Train through Russia, A Land Rover across America, and most recently a quick trip to commemorate Peter Tosh’s 69th birthday (to name a few).
This guy is Peter Bragiel and he’s one of my best friends. We’ve basically been neighbors for the past 7 years and still collaborate on ideas, videos, and drinking beer. When I watched the sizzle reel I caught a glimpse of our scooter trip and it made me reflect how important that time of my life was. It was roughly a quarter of my life ago but it’s still a fresh memory. Our traveling caught me at an interesting point in my life and I may even go as far as to say it was transformative.
Then I got to thinking… That’s the beauty of travel. Specifically, that’s the beauty of inTransit and what Pete has created. He offers an outlet for those who don’t have it, or want it and haven’t embraced it yet. The motto of enjoying the journey is said so often yet it is rarely approached. InTransit is that outlet. It’s a journey, the adventure, the experience. There’s a cliche saying, “You don’t know what you don’t know” - and in my opinion, that’s the beauty of what inTransit is. You don’t know what you’re about to experience but you’re probably going to be better once you know it. Also, Pete is the anchor behind the whole thing and he's a person who genuinely loves to travel and experience what the road has to offer.
Below is Pete’s sizzle reel and if you haven’t seen inTransit you’re missing out. For me, watching this is an incredible journey that I watched my friend go on and fortunately I was able to be apart of it, if only for a short period of time.
Check out this reel. I can’t tell you how badly I want this to be a fully funded TV show or show that lives online. It’s different from anything you’ve ever seen. I’m not just saying this shit because he’s my friend. Trust me. If you live like this, if only for a little while, who knows what will happen to your life…
Pete's Youtube Channel: www.youtube.com/pdrop