Trevor Perelson: Living his Dreams



By Wilton Schultz

After Trevor Perelson finished high school, he wanted to live and experience his dreams. He began by travelling across the United States on his bicycle for his grandmother’s 103rd birthday. “I just took the long way,” Perelson said. “It was between four and five months, but I was hanging out, I wasn’t going full on every day.”

2012 Tam Alumnus Trevor Perelson didn’t take the standard route after he finished high school. He’s journeyed around the world, having new experiences and meeting new people.

“There was a list of dreams that I wanted to experience and live,” Perelson said. “It just didn’t seem like college was gonna give those to me… I’ve learned more from the people that I meet and the experiences that I’ve had than I ever did in school.”

Upon finishing high school, Perelson rode his bike through the Lost Coast, an area near Mendocino. In addition, Perelson travelled through California. “I rode my first freight train, I worked on my first project for Burning Man, [and] I helped build a barn,” he said.


One example of a dream that Perelson wanted to achieve was building a tall bike. “Another one, that happened this summer, was to built this tall bike, which is a bicycle on top of a bicycle, so you’re really high up in the air, and to travel on this tall bike,” Perelson said. “I didn’t think that I’d build this tall bike on the other side of the planet. The universe allowed me to build it in Dublin, Ireland. That’s what ended up happening.” He then rode through Wales and England into France on this tall bike.”

Perelson’s most recent journey was to North Carolina, where he (probably) is now. “I rode my bike, I hitchhiked, I took a bus, anything unconventional but with my bike,” he said. He recently finished a Wilderness Medicine course in North Carolina.

“I have all these experiences and these revelations and frickin wisdom that frickin flows through me, but I don’t have a paper to prove it happened or anything, I’ve got no credits or anything,” Perelson said. “ For a while I had this guilt thing, that I should go to school and get this tangible thing that I could prove to people, but I got over it and realized that that was making me unhappy…. School isn’t for everybody, the format didn’t work for me and didn’t make me happy, so why would I do that to myself.”

In the future, Perelson plans on going into Wilderness Therapy, which is a type of therapeutic intervention through the wilderness and wilderness activities. “At this point no, [I don’t plan on going to college], but who knows what’s gonna happen tomorrow,” he said. “I don’t think that having one set career for your entire life is really sustainable, especially for me…. We’re constantly evolving and changing.”

After Trevor finished high school, his parents had different views on his approach to life. “My mom thought I was a wingnut,” he said. “She wanted me to go to school and do that thing, and she thought I was crazy.” Perelson’s dad was pretty supportive, because he did the same thing when he was that age.

Perelson’s friends are happy for him. “Friends like to see their other friends happy, as long as you’re happy and fun to be around,” he said. “It’s not like I’m stressed out and hating life, I’m enthused and stoked and excited about life. Every single day I’ve got a new thing to learn and experience.”

Psychology teacher John Hartquist is still in touch with Perelson. “He was just one of these unique kids. He didn’t think like the rest of the Mill Valley kids,” Hartquist said. “He wasn’t about GPA and trying to get ahead and make tons of money. He just cared about getting out there and experiencing life, which was kinda cool and refreshing, and he didn’t care about what other people thought about him.” When Perelson was at Tam, he was a good student and a very creative and independent thinker. “Learning things was more important to him than the actual grade associated with it,” Hartquist said. “He wanted to go out there and explore and kinda see how it truly is. I think it was courageous in a way, a lot of people wouldn’t have given up the southern Marin-Mill Valley dream of going to college.”

One day Hartquist was out on a mountain bike ride when he saw Perelson.  “Out of the fog was this dude riding his bike towards us, and it was Trevor and I hadn’t seen him in years…. His tires had slashes in them, but at the time he didn’t want to buy new tires, so what he’d done is he took dental floss and stitched up his tires with dental floss so he could keep going.”

Perelson is still out there, living his dreams, meeting new people, and experiencing life. “I’m so inspired and frickin stoked on where I’m going and what I’m doing and there’s so much I want to do. I don’t even know what boredom is. I never have known what boredom is. There’s so much to do, and so much to work on, so much to improve on and experience all that. It’s overwhelming how much fun there is to be had. It’s not really all for me. I’ll be chasing dreams and experiencing dreams and interacting with people, and when they find out that I’m living a frickin dream, it touches people, like if they can do that why can’t I do that. It’s contagious…. Your dreams are tangible, and you’re the only one that knows how to achieve them, so just take the steps in order to achieve them, and go and do it, regardless of what anyone has to say.”