Tell us about yourself, and your
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
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
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
Brazil- the crazy night party in
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
Check out the video interview with Bastien here.
Come on in, the water's fine. A Guide to Better Couchsurfing
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