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Blog Posts

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

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 able to work […]

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What if It All Falls Apart?

I just launched two big new Unschool Adventures trip: a 6-week adventure in Spain for teens and a 2-week hiking trip in Spain for parents. I put a lot of time, money, and research into these trips, and I’m super excited for them to happen. I also know that, for any number of reasons, they might […]

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Who I Want to Be at Age 35

This September I turn thirty-five. Most age landmarks are arbitrary, but 35 is where I personally separate “young” adults from “adult” adults. So I’m taking this upcoming birthday as an opportunity for personal reflection as I move into the adult-adult, no-more-benefit-of-the-doubt, no-excuse-not-to-have-your-shit-together stage of life. Here’s who I want to be at age 35: a […]

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My First Online Course: The Way of Adventure

Today I’m proud to announce The Way of Adventure, my first online course. It’s an advanced leadership course for ages 13-23, but you can participate at any age. The best part: it’s 100% free. What’s the message? One the big reasons I created this course was to better explain my idea of “adventure.” I consider myself an […]

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2016 in Review

Welcome to my annual year in review! I’ve got lots of photos and stories to share with you from a very adventurous 2016. This year I’m also doing something new: Instead of just recounting the past 12 months, I’m also doing a forward-looking review. I’m going to tell you now what I hope to have accomplished by the […]

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Book Review: The World Beyond Your Head

The World Beyond Your Head is Matthew Crawford’s second book, following Shop Class as Soulcraft—one of my all-time favorites. I enjoyed this book, but cannot say that I recommend The World Beyond Your Head to the casual reader. It’s much denser, more philosophical, and less accessible than Shop Class. But if you have a soft spot for sometimes-intractable political philosophy […]

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How to Take a Self-Directed Gap Year with Zero Starting Funds

*Update: This post was picked up by the American Gap Association blog* Today I’m interviewing Victor Saad for my podcast, and while googlestalking him to prepare for the talk I watched his fantastic TEDx talk: The whole talk is worth your time, but something that stood out to me was how Victor funded a 12-month, travel-intensive series of apprenticeships that he […]

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Failure Survey, 2015-2016

I’ve been reading a lot of articles about the pernicious effects of social media: how we see only the highlights and victories of other people’s lives, and how that makes us feel less accomplished or worthy. I’m guilty of perpetuating this, of course. On Facebook I only share the most beautiful photos, positive praise, and inspiring […]

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Book Summary: Deep Work by Cal Newport

Without concentration there can be no learning, and today our ability to concentrate is taking heavy fire from the armies of Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, clickbait links, and plain old email and text messages. Just as we begin to get something important done, our phone vibrates—or we check our inbox, or scan our Facebook feed—and we are pulled away into another world, […]

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