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Amazing Nomads - Magic Bastos

WORLDWIDE | Thursday, 10 March 2011 | Views [1645] | Comments [1]

Tell us about yourself, and your project.

Hi, I'm Bastien Perret, my nickname is Bastos. I'm French. I became paraplegic after a Kite Surfing accident on the 6th may 2005. I suffered spinal injuries and, as a result, lost use of both of my legs (but not abdominal muscles).

Before my accident, I was really into extreme sports, including skiing, skydiving and kite surfing. I also worked in Ski Patrol in La Plagne (a famous ski resort in French Alps). In May 2005, only a few days after my crash, I told my friends that I would be skiing, paragliding, and kite surfing very soon.

This wasn’t a lie, as only a few months after I left the rehabilitation centre, I started skiing again. Ever since, I've been working hard to prove that life in a wheelchair doesn’t have to be boring. After my accident, my family created an organization called “Magic Bastos” in support of me after the accident. Today, “Magic Bastos” is a big network of people who believe disabled people can take on incredible challenges.

I continue to work in La Plagne ski resort in the winter. It was not possible to be on ski patrol again with my disability, but I continue to work with the team to organize rescues. I spend the rest of my free time travelling and gliding (on snow or on water). My hobbies are travelling and sports – and I love to mix both. When travelling, I am always looking for the next adventure activity.

Since my accident, I have ridden 4x4s in the African desert, practiced kite-surf in Morocco, participated to a TV show in Tanzania, climbed El Cerro del Plata in Argentina, and participated to the Winter X-games in the USA.  My last adventure was a solo world tour of cable wake parks. On my trip I visited 5 continents, 9 countries (South Africa, Hong Kong, Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Australia, USA, Brazil), and 30 cable wake parks. Each week, I changed location by plane, train, boat, car and my wheelchair, and in each place I was hosted by local people.

What inspired you to take on this challenge?

All of my life, I have loved travelling. Usually, I travelled with friends or with an organized tour. On this past trip, I had 6 months, but none of my friends could join me. I finally to decide to leave by myself, and as you can imagine, this was a big challenge for me!

For my cable wake park's world tour, I had different missions. First I wanted to prove to everyone that life, and our planet, are beautiful. I also wanted to show other disabled people that anything was possible. I planned to meet other disabled people across the world and compare and discuss the handicap situations and challenges.

When I had my accident, it was very important for me to have a reference and other examples so that I understood what I could do with my disability. Now, I found a lot of different ways get the most of my new life, and I want to share my experience to help other people in similar situations.

Is there one anecdote/experience from your trip that stands out?

In this adventure I had many awesome experiences. I will tell you about the best experience in each country.

South Africa - fishing for local fish (the sneok) with my friend Christo. Also, the football World Cup atmosphere was amazing!

Philippines - the welcome from the Deca cable wake park's manager in Davao. He invites to stay for a week at the hotel, and to eat and to ride in his cable.

Thailand - I found a crazy man who hosted more than ten travellers everday in his house in Bangkok, for free.

Indonesia - the perfect party atmosphere in Batam Cable wake park.

Singapore - meeting with Dr. William, an incredible doctor in a wheelchair.

Australia - when I went to the stadium to watch the semi final of the Australian football championship.

USA - when I went skydiving in Florida.

Brazil-  the crazy night party in Itanaus. 

What are your hopes for the outcome of this project?

If in my adventure, I was able to give any positive energy, courage and friendship to others, I shall have accomplished my goal. I made many strong bonds with people along the way and truly feel like I have spread my message.

I am planning to travel through Europe next for a European wake boarding tour and hope to keep sharing my adventure with everyone I meet.

Is there a message you would like to pass on to other travelers?

I used CouchSurfing.org for my entire trip. This website is magic. You can meet the best people this way when travelling and I encourage anyone who wants to share their life and their city to become a member. For me it was always a happy surprise to meet the generous members of Couchsurfing. It just goes to show that there are a lot of very nice people in the world who want exchange, give and share.

Life is too short don't waste it, go riding and travelling.

Check out the video interview with Bastien here.

Related Articles:

Come on in, the water's fine. A Guide to Better Couchsurfing

Amazing Nomads - The Fuego Project

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Tags: amazing nomads, couhsurfing, disabilities, extreme sports, kite surfing, magic bastos, off the beaten path, skiing, sky diving, travel

Comments

1

Hey how's it going just love your story and think it will Inspire some of my patients, I am a Spinal Injuries Nurse in Wales and have many young Spinal patients who could do with a story like your I will show them this , thamk you for sharing you story, good man I am also a traveller myself and would love to bump into someone like you on my travels one day, take care :-) xx

  Theresa Mar 10, 2011 10:09 AM

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