Many couples' idea of an adventure is escaping on a romantic getaway to the beach. But Cody Presny and Haley Brasile, a self-described alternatively "goofy" and "compassionate" couple from Georgia, don't vacation. They venture with purpose.
Cody Presny and Haley Brasile
This August, they're paddling down the Mississippi River to "promote the stewardship and conservation of some of our most important waterways and freshwater resources."
"The Mississippi is a tremendous river that provides for us as a country, and Cody and I would like to give back what we can," Brasile told A Plus via email.
Their adventure first began when Presny met another couple that, according to Presney and Brasile, go by the name CleverPegOnTour.
Their success encouraged Presny to take the plunge with Brasile. “We get inspired quickly so we decided right then that we had to do this now and not later,” the couple said.
Cody Presny and Haley Brasile
Following in their mentors' footsteps, Presny and Brasile decided to embark on a 2,320 mile long canoe expedition down America's most famous river and dubbed it Amongst The Current.
Having both graduated with degrees in Recreation, Park, and Tourism Administration from Western Illinois University, where they met, the couple was uniquely equipped to go on their altruistic adventure. "We like to do things for a higher purpose than just ourselves," they added. "Our background[s] have given us the tools to protect our most valuable resource."
While the couple knows their expedition is more Lewis and Clark than a walk in the park, they're ready to meet whatever challenges come their way. "This trip will test our strength as a couple, no doubt," they said. "But growth is developed through stressful decision making … We are each other's best friends. We love to learn and grow with each other, and we love adventures or new experiences."
On this particular adventure, the couple plans to create a whole host of new experiences for themselves — and others — by volunteering with various organizations in the Mississippi River Network.
From the Gulf Restoration Network to Friends for our River Front to over 20 others, the couple said, "All the organizations that are a part of the Mississippi River Network are very important to us, and we hope to visit them all."
Throughout their trip, Presny and Brasile hope their actions "bring notice to the river and its gifts, to the people and wildlife that depend on the river." They also want to encourage others to care and educate themselves on environmental issues the world over.
"We want people to come join us for sections of the river and to venture with purpose on their own," they said. "Much background and education is needed for both individuals … [but] this is the most magical experience two people can go through together. Both individuals will grow and learn about themselves and their partner."
Come hell or high water, Presny and Brasile prove the couple that saves waterways together stays together.