Hello! My name is Bennie Giles. You can call Bennie, Ben, Giles..whatever feels right to you. I’m retired military. I got out of the Army back in 2005 after serving 8 years with them and 4 years in the Marine Corps prior to that. Yes, I was in infantry, but by choice. Don’t judge! 😉 During my service, I was lucky and traveled to about 31 different countries. Even though I had some time off to explore, I rarely had the opportunity to see those countries my way.
What is “my way” you ask? Well, I like to take my time and look at everything. Maybe even sitting somewhere like a bar or cafe and just watch the locals go about their business. I also like to take the road less traveled and see what’s hiding back there. Of course, that’s not something everyone can do. I’m very confident in my ability to take care of myself if trouble arises, and it has several times.
After getting out of the military I kinda became a jack of all trades kinda guy. I’ve operated heavy equipment like front-end loaders to cutting and coloring women’s hair as a licensed cosmetologist. Even though I feel like I’ve accomplished great things, I have to say it was not easy. You see, I have PTSD and a traumatic brain injury. I’m not going to go into details about the struggles that come from those two things, but they have caused me much heartache and headaches.
Every now and then, I need to get away and clear my mind. I’m not big on medication being used to fix my mental issues. I find that getting outdoors and away from stress is the best therapy for me. So, I have started to plan long distance expeditions like paddling entire river systems, thru hiking national trails, or bicycling national trails. I know that sounds scary and stressful to many people but I find it very relaxing and therapeutic.
Despite all the research I usually put into these adventures, I have a natural tendency to do everything the hard way. I usually end up making many mistakes and muscling my way through before learning of a much easier, more comfortable way. That’s one of the main reasons I like to share my experiences in this blog, so that you don’t make the same mistakes I did. And if you do, well, now you know how to handle them! There really is no “right way” of doing something. Everyone’s journey is their own. Remember that. It’s very important.
Be safe and do what your paycheck can handle, and you’ll have fun!