On the morning of November 23, 2012, Rob Greenfield left on a plane bound one way to Cabo, Mexico.
The adventurer allowed himself the use of his iPhone to document the journey and a passport but brought no change of clothes, money, or access to funds for the journey. He instead packed optimism, a simple plan, and ambition to return to San Diego by December.
Rob’s intention was to subside day-to-day by doing work/exchange or entertaining for room and board, plus any other unplanned supplies he might need. To fully enjoy the excitement planned, he decided to make enjoying the sun and also exploring the areas he passed through a priority.
While his hope was to not receive any financial aid, Rob pledged that if he was in need of support and received it, upon returning home would spend $3 on school supplies for children in rural Mexico for every $1 that he was gifted.
From Cabo, his home in San Diego lies approximately 804 miles by air, 1,052 miles by road, or 860 miles by water transport. Therefore his options of finding abode back home would be offered by bus, hitchhiking, airplane, or by sailing. He left enthusiastic and ready to experience the extraordinary.
Landing in Cabo and allowing new acquaintances to help guide his trek back proved to be as interesting as he predicted. While there were incredible moments and beautiful landscapes to further inspire his journey, points of the adventure were tough.
During one episode, he found himself squished in the back of a Mexican truck full of fish without a peso in his pocket, and only a few inches of wiggle room during the freezing 900 mile route back home. But such experience only allowed him to contemplate a brilliant lesson: “Happiness is a Choice”.
As quoted from his Facebook page, “Something I’ve learned through my adventures is if you don’t have any expectations, it’s easy to be happy. Live one day at a time. Take it all in. Be present in the moment whatever that moment may be. Joy can be found in any situation. Learn from your experience and embrace the situations you find yourself in. It’s all happening for a reason. When times are tough and you want to give up, remember that the sun will always rise to shed light on a new day and you’ll feel better in the morning.”
Cold, hungry, and fueled by little sleep, Rob embraced every emotion and aspect of the journey. 1,360 miles, 11 rides, 54 hours on the road, 17 in the back of a truck full of fish, over 1 million cacti passed, and incredible new memories formed, Rob rolled back into San Diego.
Immense gratitude was relayed on his Facebook page to the many kind individuals who offered him shelter, transportation, and good conversation. And a few months later, Rob also carried out his promise to visit an orphanage in Ensenda, Mexico, and bring them much-needed school supplies.
Such a journey helped to fuel his admiration of the human spirit and expectation-less adventures.