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Trip Report: Southern Sierra High Route

On Saturday August 3rd, my friend Julie McPherson and I embarked on a 5-day trek through the California High Sierra mountains. We followed the Southern Sierra High Route, a challenging itinerary that combines on- and off-trail travel at high elevation (9000′ – 13,300′) and extends the classic Sierra High Route (which Julie and I tackled […]

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On Doing Half of a 10-Day Silent Meditation Retreat

What is Vipassana? Broadly speaking, Vipassana is an old-school Buddhist meditation technique which translates as “insight into the true nature of reality.” But I’ve always been familiar with Vipassana in a more specific sense, in regard to the 10-day silent meditation retreats offered around the world, free of charge (including room and board). Ever since […]

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A Love Letter to my Readers

Dearest reader, You know me, but I probably don’t know you. Maybe you follow my Facebook posts or email newsletters. Maybe you enjoy my books, articles, or podcasts. Maybe you’ve considered sending one of your kids on a trip with me. Maybe you came to one of my talks, yet you and I never talked. I […]

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2018 in Review

Welcome to my annual year-in-review post, where I answer the question: “Where exactly have you been, Blake?” It was another whirlwind year. Are you ready? I’m ready. Here’s the story. Germany & West Coast USA In January I found myself in Deutschland for love. This was an intense and magical period, filled with wintery bike rides, inscrutable […]

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In Praise of the Low-Income, High-Purpose, High-Freedom Career

While considering where to take my career at age 36, I consistently find myself balancing three factors: Income, Purpose, and Freedom. In this blog post I share the notes I’ve written to myself on this subject. The Three Scourges of Modernity In developed western countries, I think many of us suffer from: Owning too much […]

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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. (Update: I recorded a podcast episode […]

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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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