The drink made him feel funny. Not the normal warm, lightheaded feeling that accompanied most fizzy refreshments, but a more intensely disorienting sensation, as if he was on his fourth, not his first.
Before he knew it, Sebastien was outside in the dark. Foreign hands groped for his wallet as his head swam and he fought off the unconsciousness slipping over him. Later, as he stumbled home, he tried to cross the street only to have a car smash into his left side, shattering his wrist and leaving him with a few broken ribs.
Eighteen-year-old had been in Australia less than a year, and he had been drugged, robbed, and hit by a car. Most travelers would have taken the hint and assumed that, from then on, they would probably fare better from the comfort of their living room. But as Sebastian saw it, this was a wake-up call. Life can be chaotic, unforgiving. Literally any day could be your last — so why not make the most of it?
A few years later, a fully recovered Sebastian launched Off The Path, an adventure travel blog that documents his exhilarating experiences around the globe. In the years since the launch, his life has been anything but routine. He’s traveled to almost 100 nations, called 10 different countries home, and sought out any and every experience guaranteed to send adrenaline through his veins. He’s jumped out of a plane soaring over Queenstown, New Zealand; kayaked amid a pod of killer whales off the coast of British Columbia; canoed over 31 miles (50 kilometers) in Sweden; and zip-lined in South Tyrol, Italy. When he set out, his goal was to make every day its own adventure — and a quick look through his colorful Instagram feed and his exclamation-point-ridden blog makes it clear that he has succeeded.
Though it was Sebastian’s perilous experience in Australia that kick-started his appetite for thrills, the seed of his wanderlust was planted years earlier. Half-Spanish and half-German, he grew up on Mallorca, Spain, where he spent his days hiking along the island’s coastal cliffs and sailing and swimming in the waters below. When he was 14, his family moved to Germany, where his grandparents lived, and he soon grew used to taking flights around the continent to visit other relatives.
Eventually, his family embarked on two big trips, one to Egypt and another to Central America. From there, Sebastian knew there was no turning back. He’d been bit by the travel bug, and there’s simply no cure for that.
Sebastian’s love for travel has guided him to the through a whirlwind of thrills, and on the surface, his high-octane adventures might seem intimidating. After all, not everyone, has the cojones to bungee-jump backwards in Scotland or swim with whale sharks off the coast of western Australia. But Sebastian is cognizant of this. He recognizes that insane escapades aren’t for everyone, and he aims not to urge people to strap on a parachute or step into a rock-climbing harness but to simply find where their limit is and push it a little.
After all, accidents happen anywhere. You can fall off a cliff and die. You can get attacked by a bear and die. You can get lost in the woods and die.
Or, you can sit at home and choke on your lunch and die. When anything is possible, why not get off the path and explore?