HOUSTON (FOX 26) - A Houston native arrived in Australia after not touching solid ground in 335 days. He rowed there. Solo. Unsupported.
"I'm still pretty disoriented about getting integrated back into society after being back out there on my own. I have to figure out how to live with people again," he said during a Skype interview.
He set out for Australia from the Pacific Northwest last July, but his real journey began years ago. The 1997 Kingwood High School graduate always had a thing for pushing the limits, from riding his bike across the country to flying A-10 Warthogs in the Air Force. He was by all measures a success, but something was missing.
"I just wasn't happy with how I was living my life, fully, so I wanted to figure out why I was not living my life the way I thought I should be living my life and I needed some long term introspection," he said.
So he did what anyone would do in that situation. He had a custom 28-foot long rowboat built and decided to row it across the Pacific Ocean because it was the hardest thing he could think of to do.
His sister Cindy says the family was less than thrilled to hear the plan.
"What put that in your head to spark this idea. But I wasn’t surprised, just because I know him a little bit maybe? It was still pretty much 'Where did this come from?'" his sister said.
But they supported him. It was long and hard voyage. He was lonely, sometimes talking to random birds landing on his boat. He was able to keep in touch with loved ones via email. Along the way he was doing more than just finding himself on the world's largest ocean. He was raising money for a charity called Water Mission, which provides clean water for third world communities.
"I actually became acutely aware of where my water was coming from and whether I would still have some for the duration of my journey," he said.
It all came from rainwater or an on-board desalinization machine.
He made it, of course,.landing on a beach in Cairns Australia on June 8. Now as he's getting his land legs back, he's contemplating his next move in life. I mean, what can you do after you've achieved incredible things on land, air, and now sea?
"I'm telling everyone I'm trying to find jobs that will take me into space," he said.
Your move, NASA.