The Five Most Brave Moments In My Life

October 13, 2015

After writing and publishing this incredibly personal post, which took every ounce of bravery I had inside of me, I began to to think about other brave moments in my life. I have always loved that from a young age, I have been filled with an abundance of courage, curiosity, and confidence. I am obsessed with trying new things. I am always the first to volunteer myself in a group. No adventure ever seems too intrepid for me. The following five moments were the bravest of my life to date:

Moving to New York City 

After breaking up with my ex-fiancé and my Graduate School closing down all in the same week, I had to make a huge life-changing decision. Where would I go? What would I do? I choose to move to New York City and enroll in another Graduate School. My father was born and raised there and since I was a little girl he would take me on a Father-Daughter trip every Christmas. I had always known that at some point I would call the Big Apple my home, I just did not know when. It seemed like the perfect time to rebuild my life in my favorite city in the world. I remember so clearly the first day I walked along the streets as a Manhattanite. Of course, a part of me was nervous about this new journey I would be undertaking as a young, single woman, however I had never felt so empowered before! I will forever be grateful to New York City for embracing me during a tough period in my life and turning me into the successful, strong, and street-smart woman I am today.

Bungee Jumping in Macau

I have skydived over the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, skinny dipped in the piranha infested waters of the Amazon River in Brasil, and swam with great white sharks off the coast of South Africa, but nothing scared me more than bungee jumping. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Do one thing every day that scares you” and I have tried to employ that philosophy throughout my life. When I visited Macau a couple of years ago, I had the opportunity to jump from the world’s highest bungee at the Macau Tower. I have never been more frightened, which is why I knew I had to do it. I wrote about the incredible experience in detail here and surprisingly it remains one of my most highly trafficked posts with over 200 comments.

Posting my Boudoir Photos Online

I do not know one women who does not have some kind of body image issue. I have struggled with hating and loving my body throughout my life, as I have fluctuated between being in amazing athletic shape, too skinny, and too overweight. I decided to do a boudoir photoshoot right before I was married on a trip to Santiago, Chile with Kyle Hepp. It was during a period in my life where I felt like I was in really good shape and I wanted to celebrate that with photos that I would gift to my soon-to-be-husband. Being almost naked in front of the camera was at first terrifying and then liberating (champagne helped). I decided to post my photos online after the experience (you can see them here, here, and here), to encourage other women to do the same even if it is during a period in your life where you are unhappy with your body. I promise one day you will look back at the photos and have nothing but admiration for yourself.

Saying “I Do”

Although I was 100% certain I was marrying my soulmate, it took me six years of a long-distance relationship to say “I do.” I actually knew from the moment I locked eyes with my husband, Lucas, in a crowded nightclub in Buenos Aires, Argentina over a decade ago, that he was the one. It was truly love at first sight! However, I chose focusing on Graduate School and traveling around the world instead of marriage at first. I broke his heart, but he waited patiently for me. Not a lot of men would do that — I know how lucky I am — and not a day goes by where I am ungrateful for his willingness to let me follow my dreams and wait for me to eventually return to him. On our wedding day, I could barely breathe, however the second we were pronounced man and wife I knew I had made the best decision of my life.

Having a C-Section

Throughout my entire pregnancy, I had this strange feeling that I would eventually need a c-section. Therefore, I read everything I could find on the subject matter. I have no idea where this thought process originated from? When my pre-eclampsia reared its ugly head and I had to have an emergency c-section, you would think I would have been emotionally prepared since I was highly educated on what was about to happen. However, I completely fell apart; I uncontrollably sobbed and was shaking during the entire procedure. It is not every day that a person is literally cut in half while fully conscious. Thankfully, I kept focusing on hearing my son’s first cries and then once he did, I began to focus on watching my husband’s face for clues as to what was happening. Tears of joy streamed from Lucas’ face and I could finally relax. Recovering from the c-section took me six long weeks. No matter how scared I was or how much pain I was in, I would not change Joaquín birth story. Every love story is beautiful, but ours is my favorite!

What was your bravest moment?

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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31 thoughts on “The Five Most Brave Moments In My Life

  1. Colleen Brynn

    You have conquered some amazing things! Having a c-section is one of the things that scares me most about baby making!! Yet, you say it took almost 6 weeks to recover… I know of women who take that long to recover from vaginal births, so that speaks to your resiliency for sure!
    While I could never bungee jump (no interest, really), I would love to do a boudoir shoot one day. I know I messaged you about it a long time ago. I haven’t really had the money/time yet, but that is definitely something i want to do one day.

    1. Andi Perullo de Ledesma Post author

      C-sections have to one of the worst surgeries EVER! And they are hardly talked about and when they are talked about they are talked about as if they are routine procedure. I won’t go into gory details, but there is NOTHING routine about them. Unfortunately, I will now have to have another one if I choose to have a 2nd baby. Fun! I think this time will be “easier” though since I know exactly what is going to happen. I would never bungee jump again, but I’m glad I did it. You definitely need to do a boudoir shoot. Your pictures would be AMAZING!!!

  2. Katie @ Domestiphobia

    You have so many! I’ve been skydiving, but yeah. That bungee jump looks absolutely petrifying. I’m not sure I could do it! It sounds kind of weak in comparison to these, but I think one of my bravest moments was finally announcing my intention to write a book. (Or maybe one day several.) But as Colleen above can attest, my true bravest moment will be actually finishing one. 😉

    1. Andi Perullo de Ledesma Post author

      That is HUGE!!! Making an announcement like that take A LOT of guts. I too wanted to write a book one day, but I finally took it off the Bucket List. It’s just not going to happen for me. So, I’m SO excited it will happen for you. And yes, for sure your bravest moment will be writing the last sentence and then publishing it. I’m here to cheer you on though!!! YOU CAN DO THIS!

  3. Valerie

    Good for you! You definitely have an adventurous spirit. I like “controlled” adventures – bungee jumping would definitely be something I’d chicken out of, but I did fly the high-fast zip line the Volo dell’Angelo that connects two mountain towns in southern Italy. An incredible flight and a victory over my fear of heights!

    1. Andi Perullo de Ledesma Post author

      Ooooh that sounds like fun! I did a zip line in Cuba and in Mexico and they were both so much fun. A fear of heights is definitely a challenge to overcome, so I’m really proud of you for facing your fears girlfriend!!!

  4. Leigh Shulman

    I’d say sharing your struggles with post partum anxiety is pretty high on this list too. 🙂 And that bungee jumping photo is absolutely everything. I love it.

    I’m horrified of heights, so I forced myself to jump off a bridge near us in Salta. I don’t think I’ll do it again, but I love that I didn’t allow fear to keep me from doing something.

    Do something that scares you every day, I always say. Even if it’s something small. Conquer fear daily. It is so liberating.

    As always, a wonderful post. It’s always a joy to hear from you. Besitos!

    1. Andi Perullo de Ledesma Post author

      I couldn’t believe someone had taken that bungee jumping photo of me! I gasped when I saw it!!! I can’t even begin to describe how scared I was on top of that platform. I’m sure it was the same feeling you had on top of that bridge in Salta. I LOVE that you jumped!!! Yes! Fear will not win, ever! So glad you enjoyed the post. I always enjoy hearing from you. Much love and kisses!

  5. Heather

    Bravest moments…so subjective. I Shark dive, skydive, have bungee jumped, traveled the world on my own, moved across the country on my own, gone gracefully through a divorce, remarried when I said I wouldn’t, became a stepmom, survived three forms of cancer and an Alarm 2 fire landing me in ICU. I have led an incredible life, the good and the bad. But I think my bravest would be leaving my abuser. Some people wouldn’t say that’s brave, but it was hard and it required thinhs in me I wasn’t sure I had. 8 years later I’m grateful I somehow mustered up the courage.

    1. Andi Perullo de Ledesma Post author

      Yes, bravest moments are extremely subjective… I cannot believe the life you have lived! Wow, I have both goosebumps and tears! You are one brave and courageous chick!!! I definitely think your bravest moment was leaving your abuser. I’m so proud of you for finding the strength to do it. I hope you write a book one day! <3

  6. alyson

    What an awesome, reflective post, Andi. Makes me take a step back and ask what risks I’ve taken in my life. Not nearly enough! I’ve realized I’m kind of terrified of nights so that bungee jumping photo scarves everything out of me! But I am interested in doing zip lining — little closer to the ground but definitely out of my comfort zone by a long way — and this is so inspiring. Great to get to know you better, too. 🙂


    1. Andi Perullo de Ledesma Post author

      Zip lining is so much fun! I really hope you do it one day!!! I’ve done it in Mexico and Cuba. Bungee is definitely not for everyone. Trust me, it scared me for days AFTER I did it!!! Thanks for your sweet comment and I’m glad you feel you know me better.

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  8. Kristin @ Camels & Chocolate

    I will never forget how scary jumping off that tower was! Mine would be:

    Moving to NYC also
    Hitchhiking out to the Spanish countryside solo then skydiving
    Moving to SF for Scott when I knew no one
    Deciding to quit my magazine job and live a freelance life
    Moving back to 15 minutes away from where I grew up

    A whole lot of moving makes my list, ha!

  9. Mila @jestcafe

    The bougee jumping and boudor pictures are my favorites. It is amazing to see somebody looking as sweet as you do, also doing such fearless things! Breaking boundaries. I love it.

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