November 9, 2012
There are moments in life when you just need to be bold and follow your heart.
For me it came just before the end of my sophomore year of college. I realized I was on a path where I’d most likely graduate, get a job, start a family, and work until retirement, and where many people may aspire to have all this, I knew I needed something different.
With the help of a cousin I was able to get connected with an orphanage in Guatemala where I could volunteer. So I took a semester off and flew to Central America to begin what would be a life changing experience.
I once heard that life is 10 percent of what happens to us and 90 percent of how we react to it, and by being immersed in that culture and living with those children I learned this lesson firsthand. Despite the many challenges they faced, they still found ways to enjoy every single day.
After returning home I promised myself that once I finished my degree that I would find ways to continue traveling.
My name is Brennan Perry and I was born and raised in Encinitas, CA. It’s a surf town a half hour north of San Diego and it wasn’t until I left home that I really became aware of how fortunate I was to grow up in a place like that. On any given day you can drive a few hours and find the ocean, the desert, mountains, or even a foreign country and through all that I developed the need for adventure and a respect for Mother Nature.
In the 18 months since I graduated it’s been my mission to find interesting jobs that give me just enough money to travel for the rest of the year. I’ve worked as a resident camp counselor, bar security and an ocean lifeguard.
On my last trip I spent 3 months as a volcano tour guide in Nicaragua and then another 3 months traveling through the rest of Central America.
A few months ago I heard about an event called Baja-Haha. Every year over 100 boats sail from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. I instantly knew that this would be a great opportunity to start another long trip and with less than a week before the group left I was able to secure a crew position on one of the boats.
I can’t deny there are risks involved in traveling alone through foreign countries and when you’re gut instincts tell you something isn’t right, it’s time to make a change. To make a long story short, the Captain of the boat I started on wasn’t as competent as I hoped he would be and refused to stop at the halfway point when his engine broke down.
I had no interest in heading out to deep offshore waters on a damaged boat and with a Captain I didn’t trust, so using the radio on board I was able to hail down another boat in the group that needed crew. As you can imagine, the Captain wasn’t exactly excited about losing his only crewmember, so I literally had to jump ship while we were moving. Luckily the owners of the 2nd boat were awesome and I was able to enjoy the rest of the ride down Baja. Personally I am trying to use it as a learning experience instead of viewing it as a mistake.
My dad tells me that one of my best attributes is that I always have a plan, even though it may be constantly changing. As of now I am just going to enjoy Mexico for a while before I figure out where I’ll go next. Eventually I’m hoping to make it to Panama and from there I can decide if I want to head towards the Caribbean Islands or South America. But who knows, I may wake up tomorrow with a brand new idea and everything could change. I guess that’s the beauty in living out of your backpack.
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