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Trip Report: The Sierra High Route (Part 2)

August 25th, 2018: My friends Julie, Fred, and I just finished hiking 140 miles of the Sierra High Route. This is second half of the report. Here’s the first half. Warning: Very long post with lots of pretty pictures! Recommended viewing on a larger screen. Quick recap of the first half: The Sierra High Route […]

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Trip Report: The Sierra High Route (Part 1)

August 25th, 2018: My friends Julie, Fred, and I just finished hiking 140 miles of the Sierra High Route—what some call the hardest hike in America. Our friend David joined us for the first week. This is the report. Warning: Very long post with lots of pretty pictures! Recommended viewing on a larger screen. This […]

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Looking Back / Looking Forward

August 7, 2018 My past year: Running two big Unschool Adventures trips: Southeast Asia 2017 and Spain 2018. Feeling like my heart’s not in it anymore. Not because of anyone or anything in particular, just because after 10 years of trip-leading—more than 24 total months of my life—my cup overfloweth. Developing a brand-new Unschool Adventures program: […]

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You Can’t Ruin Your Kids

This article was first published on The Alliance for Self-Directed Learning, where I have a monthly column. Don’t miss my previous article, Hail the Almighty Diploma! At the heart of every parent lies the question: “What if my children fail?” And silently following it, another, more pernicious one: “What if it’s my fault?” The first […]

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Life Update / Spring 2018

Ten years ago I was working at a ski resort by day, writing my first book manuscript by night, and looking for international trip leader jobs. I interviewed for my top-choice position at a gap year company, got rejected, and decided to try to organize my own trip instead. Having recently spent 3 months in […]

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Are Teenage Brains Really So Different?

Hey everyone—I’ve been reading lots of books as part of my career pivot, and I’m experimenting with different ways of sharing what I learn. Below is a summary I’ve created of Frances Jensen’s 2015 book The Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults (Amazon). If you like this post, let me know in […]

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2017 in Review

Welcome to my annual year-in-review post. I had a very busy 2017, jam-packed with adventures and travel. Let’s see where I’ve been! Medellín In January I escaped to the southern hemisphere with my good friend Julie to explore Medellín, Colombia: a place that has called to me for years. We split an Airbnb, hiked, and […]

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Tools for Building a Cheap and Meaningful Gap Year

Last month in Thailand I ran into my friend Alex. She’s in her late twenties, recently quit her job, and flew to Chiang Mai to spend 3 months learning new skills (using online courses), exploring new job opportunities, and reflecting on her next big move in life. I asked how much she’s spending in Thailand. She […]

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How to Get Stuff Done as a Self-Directed Learner

I’m super excited to announce that Launchpad, my 19-day “virtual workshop” about self-directed goal-setting and productivity, is now open for on-demand registration! Those of you who know me (or my podcasts) know that I’m fascinated by the motivational challenges presented by homeschooling, unschooling, attending a free school, choosing to educate yourself without college, and other […]

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Career Trajectory Update

September 7, 2017 I just finished working my 12th summer of Not Back to School Camp: an annual milestone where I reflect deeply, talk with long-time friends, and choose new directions for my life and career. After camp last year I determined that running Unschool Adventures trips doesn’t pair well with my longer-term goal of being […]

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