A little more about Max

To get there it takes lots and lots of little steps in the right direction.

Step one: Choose a direction. Say it out loud, write it down, and tell the world!
Step two: Ask yourself every day if you are headed that way
Step three: Don’t get overwhelmed
Step Four: FAIL!!
Step Five: Repeat steps 1-4 a lot

About MaxAdventure is like a drug; a drug that buries into the depths of your soul. I am beyond addicted and there is no rehab. I wake up every morning longing for the exciting and the new, the captivating and the breathtaking, the profound and the enchanting.

Since before I could walk, I have set my own path. My parents commonly found me climbing drapes or off exploring new worlds before my diapers even came off.

From the ages of 7-21 I spent almost every summer on some sort of back country expedition: canoeing, kayaking, climbing, hiking, sailing. By the age of 16, I became one of the youngest assistant guides at the camp and spent more than a month that year sleeping under the stars. Every day I had the opportunity to help the next generation of explorers understand the beauty of this world. As my skills grew, so did my trips, and I would eventually embark on a 72 day adventure only seeing civilization a few times to restock our food.

After college I attended grad school in London and I fell in love with exploring other cultures. I have been fortunate enough to have traveled to over 30 countries and spent more than four years working my way across Europe, Asia, and Australia.

You may think from reading this that a trust fund or well to do parents indulged my whims (which there is nothing wrong with), but I made my way on pure will, working and roughing it the whole time; everything from bartending to scrubbing toilets. Finding creative and challenging adventures is part of what makes your heart beat twice as fast!

Never stop learning! Never stop growing! Never stop the adventure!

– Max Heavenrich-Vassilos

And then there were three…

Jesse from Culture Shock TVI’ve always largely been against conformity and quickly learned in my twenties that I did not want to be a normal 9-5er.

I spent most of my early life in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and even went to college there. I was such a homebody that I never thought about attending school anywhere else. On top of all that, I wasn’t the most outgoing individual and was downright shy.

I started my first career job right out of college and soon realized this was not my path. At that point I knew a change was needed. I asked myself what was needed to be happy, and made this simple list to strive for:

  • Sense of accomplishment
  • Help others
  • Have more fun
  • Not sit in traffic half the day for no reason

Luckily my boring job soon had layoffs, and the reality of my self-imposed challenge was at hand!

Soon after, I received an email about a one-year business internship in London. This internship was precisely the catalyst I was looking for, and little did I know it would change my life forever.

In London I met Max, Jon, and a whole crew of like-minded adventurous peers. In one short year I went from not having a passport to stamping 18 different countries into that little book. I even attended the following festivals:

  • Running of the bullsRunning of the Bulls
  • Oktoberfest
  • Saint Patrick’s Day (Dublin)
  • Edinburgh Festival Fringe

The travel bug was taking over my body. Next I trekked to Asia for a month and moved to Australia for a year. My life goals became more focused as my confidence grew:

  • Travel
  • Teach people how to experience life to the fullest while on a budget
  • Explain to people how couchsurfing, hitchhiking, adventure sports, etc. are safer than you think
  • Help inspire others not to be afraid of trying new things
  • Create smiles everywhere I go

When I returned back to the states in April 2013 I had planned to road-trip across America and write a book about my experiences. After many months of planning, my plans fell through. Fortunately for everyone I ended up reuniting with Max and Jon and the three of us went on a two-month cross country road-trip. And on this fateful road-trip I was introduced to Culture Shock and within a week Banana was born. The rest is history!

– Jesse Gleaton