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Episode 18 - WalkAbout - Part 1 - Jeff Burt-Gracik and Matt Wright

Host(s): Brandon Hill and Dustin Fenton

Guest(s): Jeff Burt-Gracik and Matt Wright

Synopsis of the show: Friends reminisce about an epic backpacking trip

Story parts:

[00:01:40] – What is WalkAbout?

[00:02:50] – Introductions of Matt and Jeff

[00:04:18] – Story 1 – How to interact with strangers

[00:05:54] – Story 2 – Butterfly

[00:07:07] – Story 3 – Houses with old papers

[00:07:48] – Going back in time

[00:08:05] – Story 4 – Solo

[00:09:44] – Anticipation of time and ideals

[00:10:42] – The first day is the longest

[00:11:15] – Fear of the night…and all the bumps in the dark

[00:12:58] – Reflection of Solo

[00:13:32] – Solo Part 2 reflection

Quotes from the show:

“I somehow miss judged or [failed to] realize how long a day actually is when you have to sit in one place and be with yourself” [00:09:21]

“48 hours is a long time” [00:10:04]

“What is the right thing to do, what am I supposed to be doing? I know what they told me to do (practice the discipline of solitude), but I don’t really know how to do that. I think what I discovered is that there isn’t a how; there is a how you do it.” [00:10:47]

“The fear was…that was a battle in itself, especially at night” [00:12:28]

“You should find time to try to be by yourself, force yourself to sit and listen to what you think.” [00:13:12]

Photographs from WalkAbout 1999

Guest Biographies:

Jeff Burt-Gracik: Jeff Burt-Gracik is an entrepreneur and artisan behind J. Alan Pipes and Alan Brothers Supply Co. His flagship brand was founded in 2004, and with innovative design, uncompromising quality, and global partnerships has led it to become one of the world leaders in its industry. Jeff is an alumnus of Greenville College (B.A., 2001) and Princeton Theological Seminary (M.Div, 2006) and holds an honorary Master of Pipes (2018) award for his contributions to his industry. He lives with his wife and two children in San Diego, California where he enjoys photography, cycling, cooking, and travel with his family in his free time.


Matt Wright: Matt was born and raised in a small southern Illinois town named Olney, Illinois. He has been married since 2002 to Nikki and has two teenage boys, Mason and Landon. He graduated from Greenville University in 2003 with a degree in Fine Arts. He works as the Head Tennis Professional at the Oak Brook Tennis Center near Chicago. He also works as an artist and teaches calligraphy courses at College of Dupage. Examples of his artwork can be seen on his Instagram @donavonmatthews.

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