Huntington Beach surfer, J.J. Brito, officially launched his literary career at the International Surfing Museum in H.B., on Saturday December 18, with the release of His book, The World’s Richest Busboy. It’s an autobiographical story of a guy diligently working his tail off to fund the travels that’d eventually shape his life into what it is today. It documents his years upon years of enthusiastic, surf inspired travels en route to the furthest corners of the earth (J.J. refers to it as his “trans-world wander”).
And, although certainly scored some epic days in the water, the path he chose for himself was an unpretentious and self-sufficiently modest journey that landed him in situations and introduced him to people that would impact his life profoundly.
J.J. found himself trekking all over the globe, from multiple stops in Indo, Australia, all over each nook and cranny of Central America, and South Africa (to name a few). His story is both inspiring and spine tingling. I won’t give anything away, but I will say this: If you’re the type of person that’s been known to simply “take-off” at a moment’s notice… beware. After reading it, you might just find yourself on the next flight to Indo (which wouldn’t be a bad thing at all). It’s true. As soon as I finished the book, I found myself staring across my room…at my duffle bag… my mind began to meander. It really will inspire you to dive into something off the beaten path.
I had a chance to speak to J.J. at his book launch and I have to say: What a mellow, down to earth guy. I was immediately greeted, scored a copy of his book, and got it signed by the man himself. It’s really no surprise that a guy like J.J. could survive a stroll across the globe. His positive vibe and respectful demeanor are the type of things that translate to any culture and pummel through any language barrier. On the road, most people will appreciate that, and hopefully respond with similar tact…hopefully. As you’ll read in his book, there are always people/places to be wary of.
Here’s a few words form J.J.:
SOLSPOT: This is your first book, right? What was the biggest challenge you faced while writing it?
JJ BRITO: Yeah it is. The toughest part was getting the manuscript to where I was satisfied enough with it to go to print. I constantly fidgeted with sentence structure and word choice over the course of the entire book. It was a full on mission!
SS: Your Father told me, at the book launch, that there was a moment where he hadn’t heard from you in a while and was ready to hop the path to find you in Africa! Any comments on that?
JJ: Well, at that time computers hadn’t yet become a common household item. I’d usually write a letter home once a month to let my folks know everything was fine. But because I was on the road for up to a year at a time, it’d be easy to let the weeks slip away–especially if I had set up camp in a particularly rural area. I apologize to my parents for having sometimes been slack with keeping in touch.
SS: Any plans of hittin’ the road and checkin’ out any other countries in the future? Where would be your next stop if you got a one way ticket anywhere in the world?
JJ: I think once it gets into your blood, the desire to explore new countries never fades. I love long road trips; it’s a good way to get an idea of the size of the earth. So I’d probably take that one way ticket to Siberia then travel overland across Mongolia, China, Nepal, India, and end up on Sri Lanka to ride some warm waves. I’ve never taken that route before.
SS: How did surfing translate in all the different spots you visited?
JJ: Well, in places like Australia, South Africa, or even France, where the surf culture thrives, I simply blended in with the other wave riders. On the other hand, in places like Dominica, I didn’t run into a single other person surfing. But the locals seemed intrigued to see a foreigner with a surfboard and would stare as I paddled out alone into the surf.
SS: Any advice to youngsters aspiring to hop a similar, not-so-beaten, path?
JJ: Trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right it probably isn’t. Also, be open to other ways of life. Things will be different than they are at home. Enjoy that difference; it’s exciting to be immersed in another culture. Send out positive vibes. No matter where you are in the world people feed off of each other’s energy. And all importantly, realize that you can go to just about any place you want. You don’t need to have an endless cash-flow to get out there and live it up. In fact, I feel so many great things happened because I didn’t travel with much money.
SS: What are you up to now? Still surfin’ everyday?
JJ: I’m currently living in Huntington Beach and trying to get my book off the ground. Definitely still surfing when the waves are fun. But if the conditions are dismal, I’m getting work done. I built a little surf cabana on a piece of land in the south pacific and I’ll be spending more time there in the near future. I’m looking forward to landscaping the property, planting gardens, making bamboo furniture, fishing and surfing.
SS: Any plans on another book?
JJ: I do plan to keep writing. I’m learning that it can be an awesome tool to send messages that can help make the world a better place. So far, the response I’m getting from The World’s Richest Busboy is going beyond my expectations. People I’ve never met before have actually thanked me for writing it and that makes me feel really good.
SS: Where can folks score a copy of The World’s Richest Busboy?
JJ: You can get one off the Sundaze Publishing website here, and there’s also The World’s Richest Busboy facebook page.
Thanks JJ. Your story is sure to instigate a number of kids and adults to embark on life altering journeys in search of “the all too elusive”, almost unobtainable chase to find that perfect wave. But that’s the whole point, isn’t it? It really is all about the journey.