Who the hell am I? Well, my name is Brett Littleton, I’m 27 years old, and I call Colorado home, although I don’t see it as often as I’d like. In late 2007 I took a position as a Field Service Technician at a company that, for now, shall remain nameless. Field Service Technician. Sounds fancy. Not really. The guy that comes and hooks up your cable is a Field Service Technician. What makes my work interesting, and my blog worth reading, is the fact that in my case, ‘the field’ spans four countries on three continents, and since signing on the dotted line I’ve spent just about half of my life travelling to and fro. Here’s a look at where I spent 2011.
Instead of hooking up cable, I service and install (kick and cuss at) a high-tech laser-based measurement system in coal-burning power plants. Now, most of you have never been in a power plant. They’re dirty. Really dirty. Asbestos abounds. Often after a day of work I look like I just got off the set of that chimney sweep spot in Mary Poppins. They’re also hot. Really hot. I’ve measured damn near 200 degrees where I was working (Oh yee of little faith, I have pictures, you’ll see them eventually). Normal people won’t do this shit because they’re pussies, or have self-preservation instincts or whatever. But they pay me alright, and fly me all over the world. The good news is that this lasery-measurey-thingy is supposed to help reduce greenhouse gasses, and as such I can drink my way across the small towns of this little rock of ours and still claim that I’m helping to make it a better place.
Turns out, power plants aren’t the kind of thing that people want anywhere near them (interesting, because most of us like it when our lights turn on). That means most of the places I visit have a certain where-the-fuck-is-that quality about them. Muleshoe, Texas. Ottumwa, Iowa. Grevenbroich, Germany. Get the idea? I’m typically alone, which sucks, and I typically cope with all the lonely by making myself an irregular regular (a term coined by one of my many bartenders) at the closest watering hole to my hotel. Getting drunk in random places with random people makes for a decent story or two.
A couple of reasons I wanted to start recording my misadventures, and why you, my dear reader, should give a shit:
1. First and foremost, there’s some really interesting stuff to see out there. Really interesting. And getting sent off the beaten path is a good way to find some of it.
2. I travel so much I can’t remember what state I was in 3 weeks ago. I don’t want to forget all these experiences, and I’d like to have something to show for it when I’m done. Even if that something is a little nest egg and some random unread blog.
3. I’m slightly more insightful than pornography.
4. Travel is different from Tourism. Not worse, just different. People don’t understand that (4-years-ago-me included). I’m more of a Traveler than a Tourist, which means I rarely have time to sight see. ”Yes, I flew into Philly. No, I didn’t see the liberty bell. I know, it’s a travesty, but I’ll try to make do.” Travel, in my opinion, is a helluva lot more interesting than tourism, and makes for some incredibly interesting experiences. I find myself almost instantly injected into the blue-collar culture of my host-towns; the vast majority of tourists wouldn’t dream of setting foot in Buffalo, Texas, let alone living and working there for 2 weeks, and I’ll wager my good leg they don’t bother chatting with the locals.
The bottom line is I think the stories are worth telling and the pictures are worth seeing. So have a look. Or go watch a kitty with the hiccups on youtube. Whatever.