OFF THE BEATEN TRAIL: A young man’s soul-searching journey through Central America

At eighteen, Jake Heilbrunn entered college like millions of other high school graduates. But after developing a chronic skin condition and falling into depression, Jake realized staying in school didn’t align with his dreams.

Listening to his inner voice and following his heart, he took a leap of faith, left school and hopped on a one-way flight to Guatemala. Without a phone and having no knowledge of Spanish, he spent four months backpacking through Guatemala, Nicaragua and Costa Rica so he could explore other ways of life and disconnect from a society dominated by social media.

From camping in the jungle and teaching poverty-stricken children to meet inspirational people from around the world, Jake's quest took him to exotic locations beyond the fringes of civilization.

His pilgrimage led him to realize there are limitless ways to live and that people can create their own destinies through self-reflection and by taking action. Jake’s story shows that it is in the pursuit of our dreams and passions—not the destination—where we find personal fulfillment and inner peace.

This is a brave, beautiful book. Most of us experience periods of doubt and discontent at some point in our lives, and the way we respond to those seasons can chart the course for the rest of our lives. Jake made a bold choice to question everything. The lessons of his search, told here in Off the Beaten Trail, can help you when you arrive at your next set of crossroads.

Chris Guillebeau

NYT bestselling author of The $100 Startup and The Happiness of Pursuit

Jake Heilbrunn has written an extraordinary book that every young man should read. It will inspire you and it will empower you to follow your heart and live the life of your dreams.

Jack Canfield

Author of Chicken Soup for the Soul® and The Success Principles