Name: Shawn Sullivan
Where from: Colorado, New York, and San Francisco, California
Roots: Irish and Italian
Click here to meet Shawn in video!
Who did you grow up with?
What does Shawn think of the World Trek? (video)
My parents were divorced, so I grew up on an airplane flying back and forth between New York and Colorado.
What do you like to do with your friends?
I like to go way out into the forest, where there is no one else for miles and just hang out.
What is your favorite food?
Thai food, in particular pad thai. Or I don't know, it might be coconut curry soup with lemongrass in it.
Where is your favorite place?
An ancient redwood forest called Headwaters in Northern California. There are trees there as big around as houses and almost 300 feet tall. Unfortunately this place is in grave danger of being clearcut.
What are you afraid of?
I'm afraid that by the time I have children, when they want to go hiking, there won't be any places left for them to hike in.
What are some really fun things you've done?
When I think of things that I have done that I would consider fun, mostly what comes to mind are the times I have spent deep in the wilderness. I love being out far from the noise and lights of city, where you can see the stars and breathe. To me, there is little that compares to the thrill of backpacking into rugged country where survival depends on staying alert and being prepared.
What's the most stupid thing you've ever done? One October, I climbed a 14,00- foot mountain in Colorado solo with no gear (not even a jacket), and I had to descend in the dark. If a storm had blown in or I had twisted my ankle, I could easily have been killed.
What are you good at?
I like to think that I am good at a lot of things, but the thing I do that other people seem to appreciate the most is cooking. Although, I am a strict vegetarian I am told I have a knack for preparing things that even meat-eaters enjoy.
What are you not so good at?
I have trouble learning foreign languages, which is a big obstacle on Odyssey treks.
What is your advice to young people today?
Get out there and live. Youth is all about taking risks and learning from mistakes. Chase your dreams and don't be afraid of failure.
Who or what has had an especially strong influence on the direction of your life?
Traveling has broadened my mind more than any other experience that I can think of. I love to get out there and see how other people live. Interacting with other lifestyles has not only helped me overcome my own preconceptions, but allowed me to accept my self and not take life too seriously.