I’ve known Jake Carr almost my whole life. We went to high school together, lived together for a while in Chicago and share a passion for the outdoors. Exactly two years ago Jake set off on an adventure that’s been on my bucket list for more than a decade: through hike the Appalachian Trail. He set out March 24, 2017 on a 2,190 mile journey from Georgia to Maine. He now lives in Alaska where he’s a guide in the summer and has been house sitting this winter. I can think of no more perfect way to end Season 1 of Saturn Returns than with this interview. I’m off to Spain to hike my own long hike.
Marah is my younger sister. She recently graduated from college and is in a time of great transition. She talked about her friends, studies, travels and future goals.
Marah and I both went to Ohio University
North Olmsted has a new middle school and high school.
Julie White is a professor at Ohio University who advised Marah’s project on Home and taught her in Umarkhed, India.
Bhumi is Marah's mentor and yoga teacher.
Marah refers to this blog post in the episode.
Stephanie Shear left Chicago where she had lived and worked for 5 years to pursue a commuter Masters program at Penn. Instead of getting an apartment in Philly, she travels the world for three weeks at a time returning to Philadelphia when class meets in person one weekend each month.
Stephanie is earning her Masters in Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania.
Divvy is Chicago’s bike share program.
Indego is Philadelphia’s bike share program.
Vipassana centers around the world teach free 10-day meditation courses to anyone who is interested.
In case you were still wondering how glitter was invented
Ruth Bader Ginsberg is arguable the most bad-ass Supreme Court Justice our country has ever seen.
Young Life is a Christian organization Stephanie was a member of in college.
Phi Alpha Delta is the pre-law fraternity Stephanie was involve with as an undergrad.
Follow Stephanie on Instagram @shearcheer or send her an e-mail at email@example.com
Kate Esposito is a friend and former college of mine who recently moved back to the States after spending several years teaching in China. She talks about growing up in Connecticut, her love of improv comedy and the importance of mental health.
Craig and I visit Krka National Park, the Sibinek Falconry Center and visit Dubrovnik. We end the trip with a flight through Germany, a bus through Bosnia and a return day in Milan.
On the third installment of my month-long cycle journey Craig and I set up camp on the edge of a minefield and on another night have a private observation tower. We visit Zadar and listen to the sea sing and investigate an abandoned hotel on Krk Island.
Week two brought us into a better rhythm, bigger hills and more camping. Craig sees Venice for the first time and most of it is under water. We cross two international borders and see first hand how awesome the European Union’s free movement of people is, experience some rain, hills and beautiful vistas.
Naviki route planing app
maps.me mobile offline maps
Google Maps is a tried and true classic
Venice is Flodding
Couch Surfing is a Web site for community and finding free places to stay
Sofar Sounds puts on secret house shows all over the world
Mushroom Bar in Trieste had a good vibe and great tunes
This past fall I cycled from Milan, Italy to Split, Croatia with Craig Andrews, who I met while I was living and teaching in Laos. We toured unsupported, carrying all of our cycling and camping gear on our bikes. This is the first of a four part series on the month long journey.
Bassel Almadani is a singer and songwriter based in Chicago. He is the lead singer of the funk and soul band Bassel and the Supernaturals, which in addition to putting on great shows, champions issues related to the war in Syria.Read More
Staff Sergeant Craig Sweetnam is an Army reservist, bushcraft enthusiast and father. He shares the boredom and headspace of his 72 hour bushcraft school solo and how he feels upon returning to Aiken, South Carolina after spending 9 weeks in Maine.Read More
Ernesto Dillon is 22 years old and wants to make the world a better place. He has protested against pipelines in Standing Rock and West Virginia where he put his bushcraft school skills to use. He dreams of cultivating his family’s property in Panama and finding fulfillment in an unpredictable world.
Allison Figueroa is a Florida native and a junior at Boston University studying science with the goal of working as a scientist in the National Parks. She's taking the year away from campus to study bushcraft in Maine and ecology in Equator.
TJ Wichmann went to college, lived in China, joined the Navy and then systematically checked off all the things on his bucket list by age 33. Now at age 40, he's interested in slowing down, getting the creative juices flowing and living out of his mini van.
Molly Mitchell is an Alaskan Native and an only child. It took her leaving Alaska for the American Southwest to truly appreciate the wildness and grandeur of her home state. She studied at the Jack Mountain Bushcraft school where she learned about medicinal plants and their applications. Molly has worked on farms in New Mexico and Alaska where she has a dream to homestead at her dry, solar-powered cabin.
Sam Yusko graduated from high school this past summer. Instead of going strait to college, he made the decision to take a gap year. He worked as a Boy Scout camp counselor, spent 9 weeks at Bushcraft School in the Maine woods and this winter he’ll work in a rubber factory before embarking on a section hike of the Appalachian Trail before beginning his studies at the University of Toledo next fall.
Traditional public school wasn't for 18-year-old Zander Melillo. The Quebec native filled his time painting graffiti, hanging out with his girlfriend and working in restaurants. He's now working towards a dream of buying land and running a sustainable living community.
Colin Clifford left home at 18 to see the world as a Marine. After his service he returned to his home state of Maine to learn the art of Bushcraft. He's now a registered Maine Guide and a Teaching Assistant at the Jack Mountain Bushcraft School.
I talk to Inanna Orchid, a fiber artist from Portland, Oregon who has found a second home in Savannakhet, Laos. She learned the art of batik making in Thailand and now has a home studio in Laos. She sources her fabric from local weavers and takes inspiration from Hindu gods and the world around her.
At a family reunion I talk to my cousin Becca and her boyfriend Luke about school, work, love and living out of a van. Luke is an introvert who dropped out of engineering school to become a digital nomad living out of a van and building Web sites. Becca is an extrovert with a wildlife degree but hasn't been able to find work in her field. She met Luke and decided to join him on the open road.
I take my new roommates (Corey and Amy, also American teachers abroad) on a long bike ride to Xieng Khuan, colloquially known as Buddha Park. We take in the sculptures, climb inside and on top of tall structures and debate the feasibility of a similar attraction for other religions with surprising outcomes.