I haven’t written at all on this blog since I went to Alaska.

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There wasn’t much internet connection there. Only one wi-fi hotspot, at the only coffeeshop in town. Otherwise it was a sign-up computer at the library, and with only an hour, I had a lot of Facebooking to do. More importantly, I hadn’t really spent much time setting up this blog to have any relevance to what I want to do with it.

I am really interested in transformation. What makes people change? Why do we seek out new experiences, climb unclimbed mountains, and forge into virgin territories? On the other hand, why do others never leave the house?

For a long time, I stayed in Chicago while helping people to change their lives through their housing. A few years ago, I realized that I needed to change my life first. I moved to California, and took some time away from real estate to reflect on the life that I was living. While in San Francisco, I thought about the impact that nature had on my life, and what I wanted to accomplish with my time here.

I realized that I wanted to work with kids, and I wanted to be outside a whole lot more. I looked into educational farms – there’s quite a lot of awesome places where they teach kids about where eggs come from (chickens) and how you make cheese (magic cows). I found wilderness therapy, thought that sounded neat, and a couple of weeks later I’m on my way to Alaska.

That was back in January. Now I’ve been back in California for a week, and I’ve been thinking about what I want to do with what just happened. I had this life-changing, monumental experience – different than what I had been doing on so many levels, but the same on so many others. How do I take this process that I’ve gone through and translate that for other people?

I’m going to spend the winter in Oregon, getting to know some new people in a new place. I feel like there’s a balance of liberalism (greenest city in America!), surroundings (wet & pretty!), and culture (highest per capita amount of microbreweries in the country!). It’s like San Francisco, only slightly more Alaska.

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I’m planning on going back up North this Spring, with some more questions. I want to understand more about the Wilderness Experience. I want to spend more time canoeing with the bald eagles, seals, and whales. I love having the open sky in all directions, even when it’s gray and cloudy. I love the simplicity of my daily routine, and I love having my head wrapped around the lives of 9 kids all day long. I am immersed in incredible richness while I am out there, and I feel really good about my life.

Here, back in the city, things are good. I have plumbing, email, music, a microwave, and on-demand gas on the stove. There’s take-out, graffiti, public transportation, and great people-watching. I can dive right into movies, magazines, and gossip.

The problem with having incredible experiences is that they become addictive. My life feels so good while it is being transformed. Having a deep philosophical conversation with a kid while staring out across open tundra feels so engaged, completely connected, and totally a part of the magic of the world. Here, I feel like a small little blip, like no one would notice if I walked away from it all.

To make myself feel larger, I want to create some conversation.
What change happens when you go to the wild?
What does the green movement have to learn from the outdoors movement, and how are they fighting each other?
What does the USA have to learn from other countries about the benefits of Wilderness Therapy?
What is Experiential Education, and how can it change the world?

Little man, big questions…

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