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An inspiring memoir about my soul searching journey leaving college to backpack through Central America & what I learned along the way.
An inspiring memoir about my soul searching journey leaving college to backpack through Central America & what I learned along the way.
154 backers pledged $6,240 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$6,240

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I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples." –Mother Teresa

What I am Doing

I am writing a book about my journey leaving an unfulfilling path and backpacking through Central America.

Why I am Writing This Book 

Why fund my project and read my book?

Have you ever felt like you were going down a path that you felt pressured or expected to follow, but deep down, you knew it wasn't the right direction for you? 

This happened to me, and I couldn't ignore my inner voice. A few months later, I found myself deep in the Guatemalan jungle, well beyond the outskirts of civilization. 

Hiking through the hot and humid Guatemalan Jungle
Hiking through the hot and humid Guatemalan Jungle

By backing my project and reading my story, I hope you will acknowledge your own story and realize that you can take your life in any direction. My journey is a testament to the fact that there are limitless ways to live our lives, and when we follow our intuition, the universe guides us down a path that is nothing short of our wildest dreams. You will forever be a part of my journey turning this book into a reality and helping me make a positive impact in the world. 

Trends and Statistics

My Story

After an unfulfilling first semester of college that resulted in major stress, anxiety and unhappiness, I knew that I needed to make a change. Although doing well academically, I had no passion for what I was doing. I realized that going to school and getting a degree might not be the right path for me - at least at this point in my life. I decided to take a chance, leaving school behind to follow my heart and explore other ways of life. 

With just a backpack and on a shoe-string budget, I spent 4 months traveling through Guatemala, Nicaragua and Costa Rica without a phone, yearning to disconnect from the widespread dominance of social media. From living in the jungle and teaching English to poverty stricken kids, to meeting inspirational people from around the world, my quest took me to remote and exotic destinations throughout Central America.

While outwardly, Off the Beaten Trail is about my travels and experiences, it is truly about the universal struggles we all face (fear, the possibility of failure, “what ifs,” external expectations and pressures and self-limiting beliefs) and how to move past them. Each chapter contains a new adventure, a new lesson that can be applied to enrich your everyday life. 

Teaching English through dance moves
Teaching English through dance moves
Me and my awesome students
Me and my awesome students
Grabbing some shade at half time during an intense soccer game
Grabbing some shade at half time during an intense soccer game
A "Chicken bus" - the locals main mode of transportation and how I traveled throughout Central America (an adventure in and of itself)
A "Chicken bus" - the locals main mode of transportation and how I traveled throughout Central America (an adventure in and of itself)

What your money will be used for:

I have written the book and it is currently in the hands of a professional editor. Here is what I need in order to make this book professional grade, high quality and get it into your hands so you can have it for years to come:

40% - Printing and Shipping (This includes the cost of physically printing each book, labels for shipping and shipping itself.)

20% - Formatting and Design (This includes covering costs of book cover design, interior design, uploading and formatting to fit the compatibility of a professional print and ebook format.)

20% - Promoting (Publicizing campaigns online, media events, advertising)

10% - Editing (This is for finalized edits, in order to review the holistic and organizational structure for my book as well as ensure grammar and syntax are correct.)

10% - Other important fees (This includes purchasing an ISBN number, an LLC for my self publishing company.) 

*The benchmark goal is the minimum amount I need. If, by the grace of God, I raise over my funding goal, all extra money will further help me print and distribute more books, create and record an audio book as well as support me in the promotion process and expand to impact more people (book launch, book tour, etc.) 

 How Kickstarter Works 

Kickstarter is an online fundraising platform. Backers (you guys) are the kind folks who pledge money to join the creator (me) in bringing this book to life. However, Kickstarter is an “all or nothing” fundraising platform. I will only get the funds if I raise my goal of $6,000 or more. By donating to my project, you will be rewarded with different prizes (example: copy of my book) depending on how much you donate (see rewards!)  

Follow my journey!

If you would like to follow me as I continue on my journey spreading motivation, inspiration and other positive messages (as well as my daily life), you can follow along on:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JakeHeilbrunnauthor/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQGJ5QXyG50w0YThtA3zjjQ

Snapchat: jake_heilbrunn

My Blog: http://eyesfullyopen.com

Instagram: jakeheilbrunn https://www.instagram.com/jakeheilbrunn/

Twitter: @Jake_Heilbrunn https://twitter.com/Jake_Heilbrunn

Writings recently featured in: 

Psychology Today - The Disturbing Truth About Anxiety and Depression in College

Thought Catalog - The Secret to Writing 100,000 Words in 3 Months (Or Accomplishing Any Long Term Goal)

Pick the Brain - How to Overcome Procrastination By Facing Your Fears

Me alongside my Guatemalan Family and other volunteers
Me alongside my Guatemalan Family and other volunteers
Me and volunteers from all over the world before embarking on a weeklong journey through the Guatemalan Jungle
Me and volunteers from all over the world before embarking on a weeklong journey through the Guatemalan Jungle
Helping build an eco lodge in Nicaragua
Helping build an eco lodge in Nicaragua
Volunteering through Workaway on a permaculture farm and eating only raw foods
Volunteering through Workaway on a permaculture farm and eating only raw foods
A beautiful waterfall in Costa Rica
A beautiful waterfall in Costa Rica

Risks and challenges

As a self publisher, I am fully responsible for creating and promoting my book, and every dollar helps me reach this goal. This is my first book and as exciting as the process is, it’s definitely challenging and there are lots of unknowns. I realize that I can’t do it all on my own, but with your help, anything is possible.

The publication date has not yet been determined. Book rewards for backers will be shipped out as soon as available.

If I acquire more backers and funds than anticipated, this could further delay shipment and publication date.

There is something special about Kickstarter, knowing that I have a community of people supporting me in this mission. This book is not about me, it's about the power of the human spirit, something we can all relate to. For you to be a part of this journey with me is truly incredible.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Thank you! I appreciate you supporting me and every dollar counts.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    I will give you a shoutout on Twitter for supporting me and write a personal thank you via email.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    You will get a FREE ebook/kindle version of my book the day it is released!

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    You will get a FREE and SIGNED print copy of my book.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    You will get 2 FREE and SIGNED print copies of my book.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    You will get 4 FREE and SIGNED print copies of my book, one of which will include a personal message to you on the inside cover. Your name will also be printed in the back of the book, letting the world know you helped make it happen!

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    You will get 7 FREE print copies of my book, one of which will be SIGNED with a personal message to you. You will also receive an exclusive PDF article titled"5 Questions to Ask In Big Life Decisions." (Your name will also be printed in the back of the book, letting the world know you helped make it happen!)

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    You will get 10 FREE and SIGNED copies of my book, one of which will include a hand written thank you letter on the inside cover. Also, I will set up a 30 minute Skype call where you can ask me any questions about traveling, college, anxiety or anything else! (Your name will also be printed in the back of the book, letting the world know you helped make it happen!)

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    You get to name a character in my book! Whether your name or the name of a loved one, we can choose one together. (You will also get the reward for the $500 reward.)

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Funding period

- (30 days)