International Insights: David "Bam Bam" Bramlette
Bam Bam (Dave Bramlette) is a former Special Forces Ranger and is a current daredevil. He travels all over the world so he can fly in the air. He's lived in Europe, skydived in Kenya, wind tunnels in Russia, Paragliding in Peru. That's just in the past year or so...
Bam Bam lives life on the edge. He has a raw and passionate way of living. He is both sides of the coin. He almost always lives in the moment, yet thinks long term. His view on travel and goals are worth taking notes on. Enjoy this fervent and informing interview.
Name: David "Bam Bam" Bramlette
Originally From: Chicago, USA
Currently In: Anywhere I lay my head haha
Occupation: Future student/Volunteer at breeding center in Galapagos Islands/No idea because it changes month to month
Increase Freedom (IF) - Tell me about yourself:
David "Bam Bam" Bramlette (BB) - Well, if I had to describe myself in certain words they would all have to be contradictory. How are you supposed to describe yourself as a human being? We’re walking contradictions. I have been a warrior and I've kept the peace. I am a creative and I am destructive.
I am reckless (or spontaneous depending on your outlook on life and I am careful, thoughtful, and practiced. I practically burn my money to have a good time, yet I have a good-sized nest egg waiting for me when I'm old and crushing beers in my rocking chair on the front porch somewhere unknown. I'm a lover, but never more than just for a few days at a time.
My point is how the fuck do you answer a question like that? YOU ARE NOT YOUR FUCKING KHAKIS. That's a fight club reference if you didn't catch it.
IF - What’s the coolest place or experience you’ve been that you didn’t get a picture of?
BB - Wow, you know that's a real hard question you know? On the one hand, a picture is definitely worth a thousand words. But on the other hand, when you're in a moment, sometimes it just is totally inappropriate to pick up your cell phone and snap those pictures. It’s a very fine line. I'm a firm believer in enjoying the moment or maybe I'm just a little camera shy. But me personally, I fucking hate "posing" for shots.
I think shots should be authentic and correct for the moment. My favorite pictures have always been action shots. Whether it’s from a Go-Pro and I'm flying 1 meter off the deck in my wing-suit and I'm going 200 kph or I've got two forty ounce beers taped to my hand feeding one of them to my buddy who is wearing nothing by a candy string G-string. Both are good.
My favorite shots are never the - OK guys let's go stand by this crap because its what were supposes to do when we visit "X" place. Also, people take too many photos. And of course, they never get looked at. It’s like people can't just fucking Cahill and enjoy the moment. Look at this beautiful sunset - I'm going to watch it through my cell phone camera because otherwise I'd be too uncomfortable with myself and my own consciousness.
But to actually answer your question - I do not have any. I live completely in the moment. I mean I'm sure there were times in my life where I was like “fuck I wish I had captured that”, but I sure as hell can't think of any off the top of my head. The past is THE PAST, let that shit go, yo.
IF - What was the last gift you gave and to who?
BB - The last gift I gave was some nice shirts to a friend of mine. She was just hired for some big deal and it was the beginning of her getting her foot in the door. I had them shipped to her house as a surprise. But that all kind of just fell to the side, long distance is no bueno. I also like to buy flowers randomly for girls I'm interested in. Not sure if that makes me a player or whatever. But if I enjoy talking to her, I'll send her flowers. Because? Because why not?
People deserve nice random shit sometimes, Haha. I do what feels good for me. It’s all selfish really. I sometimes do nice shit for other people because it makes me feel good. Honestly, not really doing it out of the kindness of my heart. I think if people acted on what makes them feel GOOD, then people would be a lot happier.
Obviously, that doesn't include hurting other people. If you do bad shit, bad shit is going to happen to you. So, don't do bad shit. Simple principle. Killing isn't necessarily bad either. Some people just need a firing squad for the universal health of all of humanity.
IF - If you could unite the entire country with one mission for the next 5-10 years, what would it be?
BB - Dude, that one is soooooo easy. COLONIZE MARS. We need to become interplanetary species (and subsequently an interstellar species) in order to keep this gravy train going. If we keep going at this rate of burning fossil fuels and the on-going nuclear proliferation of weapons, its really only a matter of time until we ruin this planet and are all dead. I mean maybe that would be a good thing. Maybe were all just some fucking mold on bread that needs to be cut off so the rest of loaf is still good to eat.
Colonizing Mars is the first step to solving the population crisis that nobody seems to want to discuss and the drain on our natural resources. They say that there's more natural resources in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter than the Earth, like many times over. LET’S GO GET THAT SHIT. We need to get off this rock. Would you take all your money and invest it into ONE STOCK? No, YOU GOTTA DIVERSIFY YOUR PORTFOLIO. That's what we gotta do.
Diversify our portfolio as an interstellar species. Not to mention... Who doesn't want to see if there's other intelligent life out there??? You know, or we could just keep sucking down fossil fuels like our grand parents smoking cigarettes while they breast fed our parents. Remember! The experts said there was nothing harmful about cigarettes too!
IF - What do you think about when it’s most quiet in your day?
BB - Usually, I’m thinking about what is coming next. I’m never really dormant. Even when I’m in off mode, I’m usually planning/dreaming of something that has a higher chance of getting hurt or killed than your average normal human activity. We’re animals. Some of us are on the eternal hunt.
IF - What is the quote you try to live your life by?
BB - “Better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.”
I will put a bullet in my own head before I ever bow down or surrender to anybody. Let Trump burn down Congress and seize emergency powers. I have been praying my whole life to fight the good fight.
IF - Name your top 3 Bucket-list items:
1. Tour from California to the southern tip of Argentina, then back up the other side. Motorbike possibly.
2. Cross-country paragliding trip in central Asia
3. Become a free-flying wing tunnel god
IF - What’s the thought process when you make life-changing decisions?
BB - Thought process? hahaha. I guess I just pick a long-term goal and then do whatever I have to do to accomplish that. You make that long-term goal and then there are a hundred 25 meter targets in order to get the 600 meter target. Eventually, all those little things you did add up to something great. I can relate it to base jumping.
Everybody sees the proxy wing-suit videos on YouTube think those people are crazy, buuuuut it’s not quite like that. What you don’t see is how many skydives that pilot has, or how many times he’s flown that particular wing or how many times he’s flown that base jump, but much higher above the line to scout it. It’s all 25 meter targets so he’s well practiced when he shoots out to 600.
IF - If you could implant one simple idea into the brain of anyone that meets you, what is it?
BB - Don’t be a dick.
IF - You’re stranded on an island and you don’t know if you’ll get rescued. You find a box with 2 books in it, what two books do you hope to find in the package and why?
A: The Bible - the pages are thin so they probably make great kindling
B: Probably some survival guide haha.
IF - What’s your favorite travel memory?
BB - Aw man. Probably Kenya. Skydive Diani December Boogie 2016. So many good times. Nothing but jumping and partying. Anything goes... Riding on top of buses and breaking my shoulder. Wrestling matches on top of the bus. Riding on mopeds with drunk Africans, great times with my friend who’s dead now. But that’s base jumping. We party hard because we know some of us won’t be here next year.
IF - What is one thing most people get wrong about you until they really know you?
BB - I think some people think I’m lazy and indifferent. But the truth is, I don’t get wrapped up in the bullshit that other people seem to cling on to. I don't value something based on what other people value. I care about what I chose to care about. And fuck the rest.
IF - Travel accessory you take everywhere you go:
BB - BASE rig or skydive rig or paraglider or speed wing or tunnel suit
IF - You win two 1st-Class tickets to anywhere in the world, where do you go and with who?
BB - SE Asia. Anybody who wants to come. Or sell the other ticket and party like a rock star
IF - What is the pivotal moment in your life that you’re most grateful for?
BB - This may surprise people, BUT joining the army. It was a really good move for me. The Rangers and SF [Special Forces] challenged me enough to keep me focused otherwise I probably would have been in trouble with the law or just been wandering aimlessly like a lost puppy. The army gave me a purpose, comradery, a steady paycheck, and a place to exercise the violence that is in me.
IF - You find a magic lamp, what are your first 2 wishes?
1. To have joined the Rangers about one year before 9/11 instead of when shit was winding down in 2008
2. Or that I was born 500 or 1000 years in the future when the space exploration age is beginning. I want to be on the equivalent of a Marco Polo or Columbus style expedition.... but to space.
IF - At age 75, what do you want to look back on that you’re most proud of?
BB - Will probably be dead
IF - If you could be any animal, what would it be and why?
BB - Dolphin. Those dudes are always having fun. And they have sex for pleasure. And they’re hanging with 200 of their best friends swimming around eating fish all day doing flippy-doos. Sign me up, yo.
IF - What’s your favorite travel app?
BB - Facebook
IF - What is the best life advice you would like to share with people?
BB - Chose a path. Run with it. And if you decide you don’t want to do that anymore, get off that path and get on a new one. Rinse and repeat. Stagnation is death. Always change. Always evolve.
IF - What is the best travel advice you would like to share with people?
BB - Don’t things in advance unless you have to. For example, I’m in South America right now. I stopped buying plane tickets when I was here. I’m taking buses. Not only is it cheaper, but I’m not locked in to certain itineraries anymore. If I want to stay and surf I can do it. If I feel the urge to run, I can. I like to have the freedom to be able to move. Some of the buses here are really nice. Some are hell on earth.
IF - What world problem would you like solved right now?
BB - Overpopulation. By colonizing Mars.