Meet Daniel Altman. With his partner in crime and videographer Benson, Daniel and Benson are two dudes who embarked on a 13,000-mile road trip across the United States.
Cool, but that’s been done before. Here’s their unique twist:
They planned and carried out their trip based on missions set for them by random people across the internet.
Daniel created Internet Adventure Club and received hundreds of missions to complete. Daneil and Benson started in San Diego and lived on the road for two months.
We caught up with Daniel to get the scoop on his adventure. Be sure to watch the video below.
What do you do for a living?
I am bartender and amateur game dev / modder (recently won 10k in a blizzard contest)
How did you convince Benson to follow you around to document?
This Reddit post I wrote – “Looking for an independent filmmaker to go on an adventure“. I had a few people contact me from that, and Benson was both the closest in age and most qualified candidate. Luckily we’re both very laid-back people and got along quickly.
Most striking memory?
Coming back to our car in Seattle to find it had been broken into. It was very surreal.
How’d you get people to send you missions?
Reddit! Someone posted our initial “pitch” video to Reddit and that was enough to get a few hundred missions and offers of couches to crash on.
Offroading in the desert was pretty awesome. Oh, and in Chicago we got to volunteer for work-in-progress Museum of Holography (the building’s currently a mess and is undergoing reconstruction and holographic artifact collection), and it was really cool to learn about the history of the place (and the science of holography). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zHAVQfVYps
What did your experiences couchsurfing and interacting with strangers teach you about people/human nature?
People, for the most part, are awesome, friendly, and welcoming. I would not have imagined so many people would’ve opened up their homes and cooked us meals, but they did, and we could not be more grateful (although sometimes it was to trade a mission like cleaning someone’s apartment).
What does adventure mean to you?
To me, adventure is about doing things that challenge and scare you. Getting as far out of your comfort zone as possible. That’s where you can learn about yourself. In my default state, I’m a fairly introverted person. So spending two months couchsurfing with complete strangers and going on random adventures with people from the internet was a bit daunting.
For me, most likely bartending for a while and going back to school for computer science to pursue a career in the games industry. One thing I learned on the trip is I’m not sure I could be a”full time adventurer.” It’s a lot of fun but it’s absolutely exhausting. Some people manage to make ends meet through sponsorship or ad revenue, but you’ve got to be really certain that’s what you want before you down that road.
For Benson, continuing his work in the film industry while editing together a documentary series from all the footage he recorded over the course of the summer.
Advice to young people?
Oh man, that sounds like a lot of responsibility. Possibly, “don’t quit your job and spend all your money on a crazy adventure“. Or, more optimistically, ALWAYS HAVE A BACK UP PLAN. Benson had a back up of everything. We had car and equipment insurance, which came quite handy when our car was broken into and things were stolen (including our back up hard drive full of footage). I set some money aside so I wouldn’t be completely broke after the trip (enough for a few months of living expenses)– and worst case scenario I had the un-glamorous and millennial option of moving back in with my parents.