Passport Express: The Train People

It sounded pretty outlandish. Very bold. Potentially a little crazy.

“Hey let’s take 41 creative people from around the world who (largely) don’t know each other, throw them on a train together and travel the breadth of the United States in two weeks”

Well I don’t know about you guys, but personally, I like crazy.

I like big ideas. I like new things. And more than anything else, over the past few years I have discovered that I like (no, I love) the alchemy & excitement involved in meeting new, creative people. Of spending time with them and sharing our hopes and ideas and our fears. Of creating little memory nuggets together and using them to fuel us and push us forward. I’ve discovered how important it is to become part of a community, to love it fiercely – and to maybe even to let it love me back.

I’m not sure how it came to pass (really not planning on questioning it either, in case it’s discovered that it was a terrible mistake!) but somehow, I was invited aboard the Passport Express as one of a group of mentors. In collaboration with Passion Passport and Amtrak, we mentors (or conductors, as we preferred to call ourselves!) were there to give presentations as well as foster, encourage and hopefully help guide the group in some kind of organised fashion as we traversed the country. As much as we were meant to be the ‘wise’ grown-ups, I’m positive that my fellow conductors would all agree that the members of our group all taught us more than we could have ever hoped to have taught them…

On this trip, I listened more than I talked. And what I heard were the voices of a wildly talented group who all have the same concerns, doubts and hopes that I do – actually, that I think many of us do. For two weeks it wasn’t a case of wondering and working in isolation, but of asking and listening and realising  ‘Ohhhhh, we really are all in this together.’

I’ll be following this post with a series of others – mainly photographs of the various towns and places that we visited, the people that we met and the stories that we found. Meanwhile, I’d just like to introduce you to my fellow journeyers. They are all so extremely talented, and so incredibly giving of their talents, their thoughts, and their hearts.

I hope you can take a moment to check out their work, and say hi:

and the amazing, hardworking staff from Amtrak!

Adrienne Pitts / The Passport Express

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