Abe Lincoln and The YP Manifesto's version of the bixby canyon bridge


Change your approach. Exploration, health, service, and real life are the new keys to education.


  • Led by YP Founder Matt Friedlund
  • May 29 – July 9, 2016
  • LA to Portland: ~1,200 miles
  • Hike, Bike, Bus (that carries bikes)
  • See all of a place: Camp + Host Homes + Hotels
  • Free (mobile) Wi-Fi! And Workstations (often via most beautiful landscapes!)
  • Volunteer Service Projects!
  • Options to Work-for-pay!
  • 3 Meals/Day
  • Speaker Series: “What Makes A Life Worth Living?”
  • Daily Fitness Opportunities! (Or just cycle the whole route!)
  • Engage Communities – On your own, in a group!
  • $2,700 + Course Fee = ~$3,700




Choose a Class!


with Matt Friedlund, M.A.

What makes human life worth living? What does flourishing, or the “good life”, look like? And how are we supposed to know which option to pursue given our limited life experiences? These questions are uniquely personal, and require more than academic reflection because we each end up living out our answers in real life!

This is why Ethics are so valuable to the human experience – to date, they have provided the primary tools for struggling with, articulating, and then making sense of the with the existential and physical results the answers bare out.

In answering these questions for ourselves, we’ll enlist the help of technology, travel (in the broadest sense of the word), and, of course, some of humanity’s brightest minds (see syllabus). We’ll see that there are 3 basic categories for evaluating a life worth living: Living well (i.e. choosing well, regardless of consequences), Circumstances going well (i.e. positive consequences or circumstances, regardless of your impact on them), and Feeling well (i.e. how I feel about life).

But we’ll also see that when a human lived on earth matters, too. We’ll start with the Ancients (Plato, Aristotle), and start to notice that what made their lives worth living was slightly different than those in the Age of Enlightenment, and those responding to it (Kant, Kierkegaard). We’ll see that those in and around the era of Postmodernism are going to take a different approach yet again – and that will help us to begin to grapple with our current place on earth from a cosmological perspective, the theory of humans in a multiverse (as opposed to a “universe”), and what that means for how we understand our lives as worth living today. (Note: these are loose categories, but more on that later).

In short, we’ll do an overview of some of western philosophy’s most influential thinkers, all the while asking ourselves such a deeply personal question.

The question was initially posed to Matt by theologian Miroslav Volf in a class at Yale Divinity School. When paired with (the option of) #AdventureClass, it is meant to provide a crazy real-world approach to answering these important questions – and how we deal with others’ answers. 

For those not attending #AdventureClass, many of the lectures will be filmed, outdoor-adventure style, during the trip.

Meet Professor Friedlund!

I’m pumped! I’ve been pumped about teaching courses on adventures since I started at Yale in 2013! I studied ethics and social enterprise, with the intent to create better educational and volunteer/job experiences along our routes. The online/in-person hybrid provides a lot of potential – for students, for professors, and for the virtual public! I see myself as working towards similar goals as a lot of the major free or low-cost online course platforms – bringing a lot of the clever videos, lectures, and information sharing to a more “traditional”, accredited college setting. It’s going to be awesome exploring some of America’s most epic landscapes and interesting subcultures while asking such profound questions!

Sign up for the trip here. Register!

Sign up for the class through Huntington University here.



EN362: Creative Writing - Poetry

with Dr. Del Doughty

Poetry, as Allen Ginsberg said, “is not an expression of the party line.  It’s that time of night, lying in bed, thinking what you really think.”  Our best poems represent us at our best and most human.  From poetry, we learn what we can do and become, and we connect with a tradition that runs deep to the roots of our culture.  In this class, we will follow two paths at once:  we will learn to write in the traditional vein, composing songs and sonnets in traditional meters.  We will also learn to compose in the manner of contemporary poets who rely heavily on notions of reappropriation, ambience, nonsense, randomness, and the cut-up technique.  At the end of the course, students will possess a richer linguistic palette for expression and communication as well as a gain in their overall capacity to be creative. Dr. Doughty will be on the route for approximately 2 weeks, otherwise he will instruct his online course remotely.

Check out the syllabus: EN 363

Register for EN362: Creative Writing – Poetry via Huntington University

Meet Dr. Doughty!

Del Doughty’s poetry books include The Sound of Breathing (2000), Flow (2004), and Most of the Cars at Wal-Mart Have American Flags (2011).  He teaches writing at Huntington University.






  •  How do I register for either of these classes?

Check out this link – it walks you through the process of registering for the classes through Huntington University. It is open to non-Huntington students and easy to register! If you have further questions about registering, contact the registrar: RegistrarsOffice@huntington.edu.

  • Will my credits transfer?

It is highly likely – Huntington University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission! Basically, it’s a well respected, private, 4-year university. Do check with your home institution – some require credit transfer forms to be completed before outside classes are taken or transferred in.

  • How do I register for the trip? Is that separate from registering for a class?

Yes – you register (and pay class fees, etc) for the class through Huntington University, and the trip through The YP here.

  • Are these online or in-person courses?

Both! The course structures are based online – so you submit all your work online, like you would with any other online course. But your professor is also spending time traveling with you up the west coast! Engage your professor in a unique atmosphere! Interact and ask questions in person, and listen to their curriculum-based General Curriculum lectures at the intersection of their work and the question “What Makes A Life Worth Living?”

  • How many hours a day will I need to be studying?

It is recommended that for every hour of class time 2-3 hours are required for “home work”. Students should plan to spend about 4 hours each day doing class work. Students can work in cafes, host homes, or The YP Base Camp, which moves about 50 miles each day, and ensures students have Wi-Fi with a safe, warm, dry, comfortable place to work each day.

  • Do I have to take a class to join the trip?

No! Some people will prefer to just come explore the west coast with us! Do a few service projects, maybe even do some work along the way. We simply remind non-students that the atmosphere is geared toward learning and getting work done!

  • Is adventuring up the west coast safe?

Yes! Matt Friedlund has safely led myriad adventure trips totaling more than 20,000 miles across multiple continents – one even broke a world record for the largest group cycling the longest distance without a support vehicle! This adventure is also in the safest category of adventure because it is based on a bus – no one cycles on roads that are even a little dangerous. Combine that with only traveling about 50 miles a day, tons of local connections, and community service initiatives, and #AdventureClass is as safe (or safer) than any college campus.

  • How “Adventuresome” do I need to be?

Our main demographic is women in college with little to no outdoor camping, cycling, or hiking experience. Of course, our alumni are proficient hikers, cyclists, and campers – but there’s no pressure! Ride on the bus about 1 hour each day – study, work, and sit around for the rest of the time if you prefer! We do spend considerable time in the parks and forests, and the Wi-Fi is often set up outside. The “adventure” experience is as much about understanding the way much of the rest of the world lives as it is about being outside or “outdoorsy”.

If you have more questions, or would just like to interact with a person – email info@theyp.org or call 203-441-0544. Someone will answer your questions promptly!


Meet Matt

Matt Friedlund founded The YP in 2011 to run short adventure trips for inner city and rural youth. Seeing even a little bit more of the world  really changed their lives, so he tried the same approach with older kids (like himself!), trying to get jobs or into prestigious graduate programs. In 2013 he led a world-record breaking bicycle expedition 8,000 miles around the US. It got people jobs and acceptance letters from fancy schools – it also did a hundred hours of community service each week and hosted myriad community engagement events. Since then, Matt has led cross-continental expeditions around Europe and the US, and helped to lay the groundwork for small-group expeditions around the world. His goal is to make traveling all six of the populated continents accessible to most people by 2020. He is currently working on planning the #Adventure2016 trips and developing curriculum for the college course he will teach this summer on the ethics/philosophy question “What Makes A Life Worth Living?” He has studied at Yale, Huntington and Oxford Universities. Shoot him an email: matt[at]theyp[dot]org!