CroppedBuddha

About Ryan

Age: 28
Citizenship: Canadian
Home Town: Elliot Lake, Ont.

Ryan was born and raised in Elliot Lake, a small uranium-mining town in Northern Ontario; at least it was when he lived there; it’s now known primarily as an affordable retirement community. The most recent guide book put out by Lonely Planet, Canada, has this to say about it:

Elliot Lake is not only notably orderly and prosperous, it’s also strikingly dull in a friendly, bizarre sort of way. Movie buffs, think Pleasantville meets early Dogville. For self equipped paddlers and hikers, though, it’s a gateway to one of Ontario’s best undiscovered parks.

Being an expert on Elliot Lake, it's a sentiment that he tends to agree with; especially the last bit. Go there. Bring a tent.

With very little happening in Elliot Lake, he spent most of his summers working and playing at YMCA John Island Camp. It’s here that he first got a taste of expedition-style travel as a wilderness river guide. It was also at this summer camp that he, in a very Stand By Me moment, made a pact with some friends to sail 'around the world'. The idea being that it'd be the ultimate camping trip.

After attending university in London (Ontario, Canada; not England) and finishing a post-grad diploma in Toronto, he took off to Australia for one year. This was to be his year of travel; the year that would ‘get it out of his system’. The idea was to spend a year down under, get a little worldly, then go home to a job and live like everybody else.

It was in Australia, during a 30-day whirlwind circumnavigation, in a barely working 1983 Nissan Vanette, that he remembered the pact he’d made to sail around the world. Within 30 days of the revelation, he was flying home to get a job as a working stiff for exactly two years, save some money, then travel for real: This time around the world.

Upon returning to Canada he worked, and secretly enjoyed, a job at a giant investment company in downtown Toronto for two years. He was really starting to enjoy his life in Toronto but knew that if he didn't leave then, I'd never leave. The time had come to cast of the bow lines; to set sail.

Brian O’Neill was the only other member of the ‘summer camp pact’ who could be convinced to go through with it. The others, while still good friends of both Ryan and Brian, weren’t able to leave their established lives as easily for this adventure.


Briancropped

About Brian

Age: 24
Citizenship: Canadian
Home Town: Sudbury, Ont.

Brian has far more important things to do than write about himself in the third person on some stupid website.

He's traveled with Ryan all the way from New York City to Tahiti, before flying home to attend his sister's wedding and spend some time working for once. He and Ryan have shared in some fantastic adventures along the way.

It remains to be seen whether or not he'll rejoin the trip in the future. Here's to hoping so.


Jon

About Jonathan

Age: Twenty-Something
Citizenship: Canadian/American
Home Town: Toronto

Jon spent a lot of years living and growing up in New Jersey, but is a Canadian through and through.

While not actually travelling on this journey he's still very much part of the website; the man behind the curtain; our civilization man if you will. He stores Ryan's broken and abandoned travelling gear. Not only that, but he co-ordinates pick-ups and drop offs of said gear. If Ryan meets up with somebody who's coming from, or going to, Toronto, he'll usually have something for them to pick up or drop off. Ryan is often blissfully ignorant of the work he does for him. He's sort of an unsung hero.

Most notably though, he's been responsible for the design, sale and shipping of those t-shirts you're about to purchase. He's the t-shirt man. Without him, there would be no shirts.

He also points out some of Ryan's many typos when he's feeling generous.

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