About Kev

Hello All, Welcome To The About Kev Page

Hello! I am Kevin “Kev” Monteith, and on this page, you can learn a little about Kev and Travels with Kev.

My mission with Travels with Kev is to help you travel and get that sometimes hard-to-find information you need to be a better traveler. This page is here to help and serve you.

Chicago Union Station Train Sign
Chicago Union Station Train Sign

This page is for those who have never traveled or have little experience with doing so and those getting back into it. It is also here for experienced travelers who need to catch up on Amtrak train travel.

If you’ve tried Amtrak forums and social media groups without success, this site could be what you need. I prefer to focus on the present rather than look at the past through rose-colored glasses. I believe it’s possible to be honest without being overly pessimistic.

I have been traveling on Amtrak and other commuter rails since 2012 and traveled over 200,000 miles on hundreds of Amtrak trains. I hope my experience can help you. My philosophy is to put a positive outlook on travel, but I ground that in reality and set proper expectations.

A Quick Travel Bio About Kev

Kev Aboard the Hiawatha
Riding the mighty Hiawatha to Chicago

After high school, I worked full-time in the printing industry, which allowed me to buy a 1990 Olds Silhouette. This van started my first phase of travel.

In those days, most of my travel was road trips around the upper Midwest, mainly in Wisconsin, but I also made a few trips to Canada in my early travel years. Does that make me an international traveler? I am claiming that.

In the mid-2000s, my travel ended except for a few short trips because I got laid off and decided to get a higher education.

Things changed on May 25, 2012, which marked the start of my new travel adventures. That day, I took my first Amtrak train trip, 63 miles from the Sturtevant Depot to Chicago Union Station aboard the Mighty Hiawatha.

There were a few more trips that year, but it started the following year.

Amtfleet cars in the Chicago Amtrak yard

Learn About Kev And His Growth Through Travel

While I enjoyed the trips aboard the Hiawatha, I wanted something more. My wanderlust was calling me.

A friend told me about his trip to San Fransico, CA, the following winter, and that conversation piqued my interest. Part of my interest was San Francisco, but the other side was I wanted to travel again.

In February 2013, I booked a trip aboard Amtrak’s California Zephyr, and that first trip went well. I enjoyed the journey and fell in love with travel again, and I found out I love planning and researching trips.

Amtrak became my favorite type of transportation. Since my first trip, I racked up over 126,000 miles by riding more than 700 trains later. Today, I am still traveling by train.

With those miles behind me, I learned much about Amtrak, train travel, packing, and life, and instead of keeping all that to myself, I want to share that knowledge with you. I am still learning about travel because things are changing, and I want to stay up-to-date.

My nieces Mackenzie and Abby

The Fun Information

Besides being a traveler, blogger, and podcaster, my other loves include music and family.

Besides running Travels With Kev, I am an organist, electronic media creator, and coordinator for a small Episcopal Church.

One of the most significant life changes in my life was becoming an uncle. My first run at that job was with Abby, my sister’s dog, the Newfie. Then came Mackenzie, aka Little Mack, and now two more have been added, so I have three nieces, two humans plus the big fluffy one, and a nephew.

Abby prepared me for my duties as an uncle to a beautiful tiny human, Mackenzie, or Mack, as I often call her. Abby is now seven, and Mack is four, and they both love it when I visit. Most of my travels take me to see my sister and her family.

About Kev’s Thoughts On Travel

Traveling is more than the destination and the activities I do when I get there; the journey is also important.

I love train travel because transportation is part of my trip, not just “how I get there.” There is something special about sitting back and watching the world go by my window. It is enjoyable. I look at train travel; it does not take away from my travel time but adds to the experience.

I did fly a few times to take a train trip. My favorite parts of flying are what many people hate: the takeoffs and landings. In fairness, I consider myself an intermodal traveler, and by that, I mean that on a trip, I am willing to take trains, planes, buses, boats, or whatever it takes to have a fun adventure.

The Amtrak Hiawatha pulling into the SVT station

About How Kev Started This Page,

And How It Can Help You

As I said before, one of my favorite parts of traveling starts at home (or in a bar or coffee shop), planning trips, and researching destinations.

When I started, train travel was new to me. Finding quality information that satisfied my needs was not as easy as I wanted.

I found an Amtrak online forum as a source of information for traveling on Amtrak. This era was before Facebook groups. I did get some helpful tips, but I found trolls, people with unrealistic expectations, chronic complainers, or those pining for yesteryear travel who loved to dominate the conversations.

Whereas everyone has the right to their opinion, some of those people’s words almost brought down my excitement and made my research unpleasant. I don’t want that for you; we, as travelers, can do better!

We Can Do Better!

I want to help you reach your travel goals and grow as a traveler, and I don’t want you to deal with that as I did if I can avoid it.

There is enough negativity in this world, and you don’t need that to spoil your next adventure or discourage you from going.

I intend to keep this site encouraging and as troll-free as possible. Learning to travel is intimidating enough without all of that noise.

View from an Amtrak Viewliner roomette
View from an Amtrak Viewliner roomette.

Putting this all together

After traveling thousands of miles on the Amtrak and regional railroads rails, I have experienced a few things with thousands of miles by air. Those miles include every Amtrak long-distance train, but for one, The Auto Train. Although not all the routes end to end or all sections, it has been a fun and fantastic journey.

Traveling taught me this lesson: if you look at travel as an adventure and have the attitude of “what happens, happens,” you will get more out of your trip and have less stress.

Like life, our journies do not necessarily have the results we expect, but our attitudes will determine the outcome. Besides, the best stories come from when things go wrong.

Some people have unrealistic expectations for themselves and their travel and are disappointed with their trips. I don’t want that to happen to you if we can avoid it!

Let’s get to know each other!

If you are interested, here are the ways to reach me. Feel free to reach out with any questions you may have!

How about Kev helping you take your travels to the next level?

If Travels with Kev has helped you, you can help me! You can let me know how I helped you, or you can help me by becoming a monthly supporter or giving a one-time gift. If you are interested in helping, check out the supporting Kev page.

Safe Travels!



I do not work for Amtrak or any other transportation carrier. The views and opinions expressed on this site are my own and not those of companies/places I discuss.

Google Adsense randomly chooses the ads on this site, not Travels with Kev. Advertisements on this site do not mean I endorse those companies because I do not know what ads you see.