The Young Philanthropists

More than 1,000 Baltimore, Maryland residents gave thousands of hours of volunteer power to clean up about $20 million in damages. One of our first thoughts was “We can provide that sort of volunteer power on our new platform because so many people can come at once!”

We’ve helped families whose farms or homes have been demolished by tornadoes.

And we’ve provided hundreds of hours of volunteer power to schools, community organizations, and individuals over one or two days.

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And we’ve done some pretty cool art projects – as well as marketing, event planning and public speaking!

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But what’s better than offering a community 100 hours of service over a weekend? Offering 10,000 hours of service! (Duh)

Leon makes Adventure Fun!

#Adventure2016 is our first adventure-styled platform that aims to provide thousands of hours to communities around the US each week (for 12 weeks!)

Trade School Picture

We can spread love one community at a time. We can help pick up after disaster strikes. We can help healing begin. And we can simply go and be. With others. As they move toward a better future.

volunteer power in iowa

 

A Few Videos From Past Expeditions!

We’ve been around since 2013. We’ve broken a world record and traveled around Europe and North America several times!

We’ve had a blast setting up multiple routes around two continents!

But the point has always been to set up routes around continents that allow everyone to travel, study, work, volunteer and engage communities safely and inexpensively!

So come join our #Adventure2016 platform this summer!

The following is a post by Young and Wild Expedition 2013 participant, Monica, about her experience in Palestine. Since 2013 she used the connections she made while cycling around America to obtain work in China – and from there to continue traveling and investigating the world. The following is her account of her time in Palestine. We love her work because she provides a perspective from someone who has and continues to Go and See the world, to relate to it and to ask why the systems in place are as oppressive as they are – humans in 2015 should not need to live under oppression. Here she is!

Woman on Mountain top in Asia,

I came to Palestine knowing little about the history and situation here. I only knew that I wanted to live in the Middle East, in the Islamic world to experience it for myself, to rid myself of any potential prejudice I had from American Islamaphobic media. The plan was to teach English at a center for three months and study Arabic while living with a host family in Hebron. What I have encountered and experienced in the last two months has completely turned my world upside down and transformed me into somewhat of an activist.

tent homes in palestine

People living in tents where there homes have been demolished by Israeli forces for no real reason other than to rid them of this valuable Occupied land. People stay though and continue to rebuild even when they make it impossible them to live thus “to exist is to resist”.

I’ve learned so much about the culture and life here, the beauty of it and the tragedies of the Occupation that go unnoticed by the international community. They sometimes make it seem like an equal fight – or even that Israel is a victim – but they don’t show the wide scale oppression, the apartheid, the murders of young people, the child arrests, home demolitions, constant surveillance and humiliation, night raids and arrests, the terrorizing of civilians by soldiers and illegal settlers in the West Bank and endless other violations of human rights. Media often only show the stabbing attacks by Palestinians. It begs the question though, “Why do people try to stab soldiers and civilians knowing instant death awaits if they do?”

tear gas in palestine

What school time looks like for Palestinian children in Occupied Hebron. (The main image at the top is the person who fired this gas).

I’ve learned so much about myself and what I want in life. More than anything I’ve realized that I must do what I can wherever I am to try and make life better for people. It’s not enough for me to live a safe and comfortable life to myself not taking any risks while others are suffering. And while I don’t think I can change the world, I know there are small things I can do anywhere to work towards a more just world. Everyday I think of a quote I once heard by a documentary maker, “We don’t fight evil because we think we’ll win, we do it because we must.” That’s what I’m trying to do now by showing solidarity with Palestinians at demonstrations, at checkpoints where children have to pass to go to school in the morning and are often met with tear gas because a few children are compelled to show resistance by throwing rocks at soldiers, and sharing my experience here with those back home. More importantly, just listening. Really hearing what people are saying and showing that I understand and I stand with them.

American girl with people in palestine

Just hanging out. So much of Going and Seeing is just hanging out, getting to know individuals and their contexts, their hopes and dreams and fears.

While I thought teaching would be very draining and detract from studying Arabic, it has actually been incredibly enlightening and rewarding. I get to hear voices of the young people! Their unique ideas, hopes and wishes! And I get to hear about the Occupation and how it affects their lives. Currently, many of my classes have been cancelled because students cannot get here from the surrounding villages due to checkpoints and road blocks by Israeli forces. I guess it’s supposed to be for “security” but really it’s a form of collective punishment that restricts freedom of movement for those who have done nothing wrong, leaving many feeling like they are living in a giant prison.

small school children at a check point in Hebron, Palestine

A typical morning now for school children in Occupied Hebron. Going through checkpoints, harassment from settlers, getting their bookbags searched, being scanned by handheld metal detectors, watching their teachers and parents get bodysearched against the wall. Meanwhile illegal Israeli settlers are allowed to walk freely with unconcealed weapons.

This is why it is so important for young people to travel, especially to places vastly different from their home cultures. We need more empathy in this world, for all humans, not just our own. It’s the saddest thing to me that I sometimes feel I have to prove peoples’ humanity to others, because it should be instinctual, but it’s not. By trying to protect only our own communities we are doing so much harm to others, and we need to keep working towards not profiting at the expense of others. Maybe a way to get past that is making what is unfamiliar and scary to us more familiar. I don’t see the Middle East/Arabs/Muslims as threatening as my government and fellow Americans would like to believe, but rather the most warm, genuine, peaceful and loving people I’ve met. And I don’t see Palestinians as terrorists, rather the most resilient people who have endured so much and have truly been failed by the world refusing their freedom and justice, yet continue to show resistance day after day.

girls in Palestine protesting

A group of school girls protesting along their daily route to school.

If you’ve heard of us, you might be wondering how we make traveling accessible to everyone – and we’re so glad you asked! Because how we make traveling accessible to everyone is also at the core of the way we do things. And it’s also the way we contribute so much to so many communities, organizations and individuals.

How We Make Traveling Accessible To Everyone

Mountains in CO

Community

6 people jumping in front of sunset on beach during #Adventure2016

We travel in Community! Life is more fun with friends! It’s also safer, less expensive, and when the community turns their attention to accomplishing a task, it’s way more productive! So our platform makes traveling accessible to thousands – and that makes it that much less expensive for everyone! It also allows people to get resources they wouldn’t otherwise have access to, like purchasing in bulk and splitting costs.

Work-Down-Pricing

 

 

This is how we make our pricing accessible to everyone. We offer discounts to people who are willing to work and do their own thing, and we offer to pay people (via discounts off the total price) to prepare for the trip (blog, train, filling out the General Curriculum proposal).  So we start the cost at $3,500 per person per summer (or 3+ weeks), and then we offer them discounts for the services they won’t use. Many people can work down their total price to under $2,000 for the whole summer! We offer Internships – see next – which allow people to come for free. So if someone wants to pursue other endeavors – i.e. not do an internship – they’re able to work down their final price to whatever they can afford. In many cases, traveling around a continent with us can be cheaper than the cost of living in your college town during the summer!

Internships

Young Philanthropists Business Services

 

Interns come for free! We have all kinds of internships! Internships fit nicely with allowing people to work down there total price – interns come for free because we give them about $3,500 worth of work to do! It’s the same concept behind allowing people to work down their final price, it’s just more organized. Of course, internships are also about learning to contribute value to a company, to communities and to every-day individuals. Interns are how we hope to train future YP leaders and to make traveling the world accessible for everyone for generations to come!

Volunteer Service

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When you’re willing to engage with someone and make their life better much less money is required. It’s why you sleep on your friends couch instead of purchasing a hotel when you’re in their city, even if they’re not the main reason you’re there. Volunteer service works similarly – we don’t need to spend as much money to stay in some of the places we stay in because of the significant amount of work we do. Of course, the financial aspects aren’t the only reasons volunteer service helps to make traveling accessible. It also helps individuals to meet and engage under positive circumstances. So instead of flaunting wealth or being way under-dressed – two social faux-pas most people will run into if they’re traveling around a whole continent – coming in and serving makes a trip much safer and much more fun! It also ensures sustainability – communities are keen to have our traveling community back the following year simply because of the good work!

College Classes

Make with books and computer on adventure

Taking college courses actually makes traveling the world more accessible than it might otherwise seem. Students can often use tuition money to cover the slight added cost, in this case, of taking a course on the road like they might use it to pay for expensive books or technical equipment. College is accessible to many people simply because the US government loans out money – and sometimes for no return on investment. When your taking a college course while traveling around a continent, which aspect is generating the most knowledge value? The going around the continent or the class? It’s hard to say. And that’s our point – we’ve clearly added a lot of value to college courses by making them accessible while traveling around a continent, which is also to say that traveling the world is more accessible when it’s paired with accredited education. That’s right – sometimes you just need the right people to get behind you to make something accessible.

General Curriculum

Man speaking to make traveling the world accessible to everyone

How does the General Curriculum help us make traveling accessible to people? Well, it doesn’t play a major role. But so much of what makes something accessible has to do with perceived value. The General Curriculum allows you to meet brilliant, sometimes internationally renowned, local experts and leaders – and meeting remarkable leaders certainly adds value. So even though it’s not as obvious, as, say, getting you a Summer Job, we still think it goes a long way in making traveling the world accessible to people. It also allows us to pass on a lot of knowledge for how travel can be accessible to people. And that’s a big deal because knowledge makes a lot of things accessible – just like a lack of knowledge makes a lot of things inaccessible.

Summer Jobs!

boy showing paper to intrigued old woman

This might seem self-explanatory. People need to work because they need to make money to live. Having a summer job while you’re traveling around a continent makes traveling accessible simply because it allows you to afford it! It’s wild, we know. Check out the summer jobs here!

Adventure!

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When two leadership team members Matt and Leon first met, it didn’t take them long to realize the power adventure had to make traveling accessible to everyone. They knew this inherently because they were each from poor backgrounds and they met while Leon was cycling around the world and Matt was cycling across America. They each spent about $5 a day! And while we’ve come a long way since then, and now realize that extreme adventure travel isn’t actually very accessible to many people (often simply because they don’t like it or wouldn’t otherwise think to do it), we still use an adventure-style platform! Adventure-style means we’re not caught up in spending money for weird luxuries that make little difference to one’s personal experience – it also means that we’re able to take travel ethics seriously. It means we use less fossil fuels. It means we eat healthier food. It means we use less resources. And it means that we’re easily able to explore the places on earth that are being impacted negatively by over-consumption. In short, adventure-style travel allows us not only to make traveling accessible to people, but to help them understand their impact on the world and the communities they might not otherwise travel through.

Collaboration!

celebrate going to get an education on the beach

We collaborate with everyone that we can! We’ve already mentioned that we do service projects for every non-profit or individual who needs us, but collaboration goes so far beyond that! We collaborate with big for-profits to make traveling accessible to everyone, too. In fact, they supply a lot of the summer jobs! And we collaborate with the places we stop – to ensure they get a positive return on investment from hosting us, but also because traveling around a continent isn’t accessible to anyone if no one is willing to host! We collaborate with universities and schools and literally everyone who will work with us! Collaboration is at the heart of making traveling the world accessible to everyone.

 

We’d by lying if we said there are only 10 reasons for engaging people around a continent – there are so many more! But there are 10 that stick out to us, that form the core of our trips. Indeed, these are the ten reasons we keep running trips – these are the reasons we think it’s reasonable to say that we’re pursuing World Peace.

10 Reasons For Engaging People Around A Continent

1. Community

6 people jumping in front of sunset on beach during #Adventure2016

Community is a big deal. Business scholars and Organizational Psychologists say that if CEO’s can sufficiently foster their company’s culture – or the way their company Community interacts – then those companies are almost guaranteed to succeed because they can accomplish anything they attempt!. We think that if we get a large, diverse community together to travel around a continent and engage other communities with service and fun and food – we could take meaningful steps toward World Peace. We can strengthen the way communities interact simply by helping them to engage in positive circumstances. Community Service Projects. Celebrations and fun ideas and beautiful landscapes! We can change a lot just by introducing people to each other.

2. Parties

party on sand around bonfire

Everyone likes a good party! Celebrating with friends, interesting conversation with new people, and meeting people with personalities so fascinating that you can’t help but stay in touch! We like the saying, “A good indicator of the health of any people is the quality of their parties”. Attending parties around the world have made our parties at home better. On trips, we throw parties to raise funds for the materials to do service projects in the area. Because parties are good ways to meet new people. Grow networks. Collaborate. Brainstorm. And realize that having a good time is something worth collectively working toward. So come on! Let’s go have a party!

3. Volunteer Service

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We literally have the power to spread goodness around America – one service project at a time. Volunteer service could be something we all do regularly – as an attitude of service because it’s more fun than not being useful. Think about the sheer volume of volunteer hours – the insane amount of help we could provide so many communities! So many of us have the time and the resources to help others – let’s go do it!

4. Educational Opportunities

Make with books and computer on adventure

Educational opportunities are ubiquitous while traveling around a continent. Everywhere you look is something to explore – the environment, the city, the people! But it’s downright elite education when you pair travel with an accredited (or just intentional) curriculum that includes hands on opportunities for work experience! (That’s why we offer college courses and many speakers from local communities). But if you’re traveling alone you can still engage local leaders or experts. Often you only need to contact them with a bit about your travels and the question you have for them – the best leaders know the importance of engaging anyone who puts forth the effort to acknowledge their expertise!

5. Experts Are Local People (Somewhere)

man and women looking at pies, Alsace, Germany.

It’s insane how much local experts know and do! And since we’re traveling around a continent – it’s insane which experts you’ll meet! International experts and regional experts alike – the connections you’ll make with local experts will change your world. Oh – and if you’re keen to meet someone in particular, there’s no better place to find them than their hometown. Haha. Duh. (Ok. That’s a little creepy. But seriously, the amount of wisdom you’ll get from local leaders will change your life!)

6. Accessibility

Golden Gate Bridge represents The YP Mission Statement

Making travel accessible to everyone would change a lot. And engaging people is what makes travel accessible! Most travel and tourism has been based around the idea of not engaging with certain types of people – “We want to be safe!”, we’ve told ourselves. But social – person-to-person – sites like AirBNB.com or Uber have revolutionized some industries by admitting that sometimes engaging with strangers isn’t so bad (assuming reasonable accountability). Engaging people around continents is a big part of how we make travel accessible to everyone. As we volunteer and work and study and engage locals for fun and for getting things done – not only is travel more accessible, but it’s way more fun and useful to our lives, too!

7. Anti-Hate; Or, Opportunities To Love

Silhouette of a woman doing yoga on the beach at sunset

We put a lot of faith in the introduction. We think a lot can be accomplished simply be introducing people to other (types of) people in positive circumstances. So we put people in a ton of fun, useful circumstances with other types of people around a continent. And we’ve even noticed this in ourselves – as we’ve met, worked, studied with, and celebrated with people from around the world we’ve been able to spread love around our own social circles in creative, meaningful new ways! We impact more people in better ways than we ever could have before! There’s a whole world of people out there doing awesome things in their countries and communities. And the best ideas or the richest way of life have not always been where we’ve expected. If love is the antidote for hate – then traveling to engage people might make fighting hate, well, kinda fun!

8. Adventure!

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Adventure is awesome! It’s also a little scary. It meets us only when we’re about to leave our comfort zone and begs us to come with it! It meets us all at different places, which means it doesn’t always take us to the same place, either. That’s why when adventure is based around meeting and helping and learning about people around a continent, we can all meet adventure in different ways. The social element of adventure makes it accessible – some people want to hike the highest mountains or surf wild waves, others want to sit and chat over coffee, and others prefer to check out the local museum. Recognizing adventure in the day-to-day means you’ll never know who you (and maybe some friends) will get to have coffee with, or what event you’ll end up involved with at the museum. But it also means that you never know who you’ll meet or what you’ll learn. You might learn some things that cause you to reevaluate your life or your values. You might meet someone who changes your life. You might be impacted by the natural environment in ways you never imagined. Seriously. Adventure is awesome! But it’s also a little scary. Because it’s guaranteed to change you.

9. Collaboration!

celebrate going to get an education on the beach

Collaboration is the opportunity to do things with other people. So by definition of engaging people around a continent – that changes collaboration. Like, alot! Because you’re doing lots of stuff with lots of people! Seriously. Do it! Like, whatever you want. Climb a mountain. Start a company. Solve a problem in a community somewhere. Quiz yourselves on the native species. Meet a CEO – someone you and a friends really admire. Or a Pastor. Or an artist. A writer. An activist speaker person. You literally can do anything you and a few friends put your minds to! So we set up this adventure platform for you to go around a continent and meet with the people and make friends and do work with them. Often these relationships continue – many of us are still working with people we’ve met on the road. Some of us our best friends. It’s the most fun.

10. What’s number 10? You Tell Us! What else can engaging people around a continent change?

You want to start cycling around the world, but you don’t have much money for gear to get started. Or, if you’re like the majority of people, you just want to go on a weekend trip – adventure cycling style – without spending much cash. Here’s How To Start Cycling Around The World For Free Or Cheap. Or, you know, just explore your region on a bike.

Get A Bike!

Cyclist gives thumbs up in Yellowstone NAtional Park

If you’re going to cycle around the world – you need a bike! And one of the most common mistakes touring cyclists make is to think that they need some extra-special bike. You don’t! We use new bikes from Wal-Mart (or the equivalent) to go across Europe or the Americas. Or we’ve used old steel-frame touring bikes from Craigslist. The benefit from getting a new, expensive touring bike is that you won’t have to make so many repairs. Our Founder, Matt, purchased a Huffy 10-speed on Craigslist (for $40) and participated in the Great Bike Ride Across Iowa this past summer (2015). So don’t think you need a fancy bike to go a long distance. Or, if you’re having an especially hard time finding a bike, get in touch with We-Cycle-USA, a non-profit that helps people get super cheap bikes or bike parts! You could also do like Tom, and sort a bike for about $25!

Get Panniers (Or A Trailer)

The Panniers are those bag-looking things attached to the bike wheels. And they can be crazy expensive. Like $500 for a set of four. But we think this set of Nashbar panniers, which runs you closer to $150 for four, is just as water-proof and just as round-the-world durable as anything Ortlieb makes (er, uh, we think so, anyway).
But if you’re looking to only spend something like $0-$10 and have the time to make your own panniers, these are pretty cool!

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 You could also get a Trailer – they run $170-$350. Or you can build your own!

Get A Tent

A good 4-season tent can run you thousands of dollars. It’s insane how much outdoor gear can cost! And if you’ve already searched craigslist, checked ebay, hit up your local thrift shop, and Googled “Cheap or Free 4-season tent” –  still to no avail, you might be starting to despair. You have the option to start cycling in warmer weather with a cheap tent and assuming that you’ll find the right cold-weather tent before you actually need it. This sounds absurd, but literally no one from The YP has been on a long-distance trek and not been provided with the gear they need when they need it. Adventure travel, once commenced, is rarely unsustainable simply because of the people you meet.

But there are quite nice 3 or 4 season tents for about $100. Or consider Bivvies – also for about $100. Bivvies are little sleeping bag liners that keep you warm and dry. We tend to use these (Bivvies or the $100 tent) if we can’t find cheap used stuff at one of the aforementioned sellers. They’re durable, from legit companies, and we think they’re the best value for the money.

Get A Sleeping Bag

Two men in sleeping bags drinking coffee watching sunrise

Sleeping bags can also run you close to $500. But they don’t have to – if you need a 0 degree bag you don’t even need $100. And the same for warmer summer bags. And since your bike is carrying the weight – instead of your back – you don’t need to worry as much about the weight! So no worries about getting a 5 or 6 pound bag! Besides, the weight you’ll lose by carrying a penny-farthing stove will help shave off extra ounces if you’re still concerned 😉

Get Bike Lights, Mirrors, Helmet, and Other Accessories

2 people change a bike tire

Bike lights can be upwards of $100. But there are also quite reasonable options for only $20 (or $30-$40 for front and back). And even if you don’t plan on riding at night, if you’re doing a multi-day tour, it’s probably a wise idea to get one for the front and back anyway. You just never know when having a light on your bike is going to save your life. Consider a headlamp, too! If you’re feeling extra creative, try these!
 Or, if you’ve already got a flashlight around the house (or an uncle with a flashlight obsession), you could just strap the light onto your bike!

Get Water (Containers)

 You’ll be drinking lots of water. So much water.If only because you’re smart – or you understand how painful dehydration can be. So how to carry it? We tend to just use bottles that we collect along the way. A gallon jug isn’t that inconvenient a shape But if you’re keen to spend money on a dromedary bag – they’ll run you anywhere from $30 to $75.

Water Filtration System

A standard, high-end water-filtration system will run you $70-$120. You could also consider water treatment systems, or tablets and boiling water. Depending on where you’re starting your trip, you may not need to worry about this just yet. If you wait to get on the road before buying a bunch of gear, we’ve found that not only will you not need to throw a whole bunch of expensive stuff (you thought you needed) out, but that you’ll also stumble across amazing deals when you need them!

Get A Cooking Stove

These can run you anywhere from $15-$50. And they’re quite trendy in the outdoor world. We think it’s insane how much these companies charge for a stove, fuel, and how often they tend to break. We use penny farthing stoves because they’re much lighter than the stoves and can burn any fuel – which means when you’re somewhere where they don’t sell the fuel you’ve been using, you don’t need to worry. While petrol (gas) isn’t very clean to burn (like de-natured alcohol or even just rubbing alcohol), you really can burn any fuel in these babies! And don’t forget to pick up a cheap pot to cook in at goodwill – or just your current kitchen!

 

Get Sleeping Pads/Mats

This is another area where the outdoor world can charge a premium for a product that, well, might not work like you’re expecting it to. We prefer the cheap foam mats. While the self-inflating ones are cool (here’s one for $30, though it’ll likely stop working after a couple weeks on the road) and the ones you inflate yourself are also cool, if sometimes frustrating, we simply don’t think they’re worth the extra money. Get two foam mats and you’ll still spend less money. Or, you’re also just as likely to get a mat, if slightly misshapen, left over at a carpet store. Seriously – they often have a similar type of foam pad for under carpets. It’s the same stuff. They can’t use it. You can. Go ask.

Totals

Item

Cost

Bike

$150

Panniers

$150

Tent

$100

0-Degree Sleeping Bag

$90

Accessories

$100

Sleeping Mat (2)

$30

Cooking Stove

Free (Make it yourself, it’s better!)

Water Filtration

$70 (But wait to purchase it unless you know you’ll use it right away!)

TOTAL

$690 (MID-LEVEL AND CONVENIENT)

Our Founder, Matt Friedlund, was studying ethics at Yale University when he had a big idea. His ethical breakthrough at Yale could change your world – Literally. Because it simply involves showing it to you. The whole thing. The idea is simply to make traveling the world accessible to everyone – so that everyone is able to travel the world, kind of like college, only without the massive price-tag. In fact, for many, it won’t necessarily even have a price tag.

To Move Toward World Peace, We Need To Know The World

This isn’t about globalization or weird one-government stuff. This is simply pointing out that if we’re going to fix the world’s most serious problems, we’re going to need to understand them. And to understand them we need to go and see them. Study them, work on them, yes, but studying them from dusty academic halls, or working on them remotely doesn’t do the trick. We must have first hand knowledge about the world. We must go and see. Go and study. Go and work. And we need to do it en masse – not leave it up to the elites or most privileged in society. Because let’s be honest, if a dearth of people go and see they can’t help but create a dearth of ideas.

If You Met Thousands Of People On Each Continent Ethics Would Skyrocket

Most of us think of ethics in the “negative” sense. The restrictive sense. The “don’t do that” sense. Don’t break the rules. But Ethics is also about doing what’s right. What’s best. What reaps the gigantic benefits for all. Ethics is about potential. About where we can go, what we can do, what we can create and be and love. And in that sense, ethics can tap limitless potential. And think about it, what would allow humanity to tap into limitless potential? Limitless collaboration and creativity? Duh. Meeting each other. How can you collaborate with people you’ve never met? How can you help people you don’t understand? Making traveling the world accessible to people is the first step toward world peace simply because it puts us in touch with others and it allows us to understand the direction we need to move in.

We’re Making Traveling The World Accessible To Everyone

people crossing a bridge in Grand Canyon.

But not just any type of travel. Think about it, does the guy ranting about the “culture” in Angkor Wat while he spends ten times the local yearly wage really see the place? Does he really travel? To be honest, we’re not sure. But it’s not how we travel. To ensure that we actually meet people and actually engage them and their community, we follow a few specific ethics. You know, ’cause if you’re traveling with guns to fight, or with money to wave your status around, well, we’re certainly not arguing that that type of travel could initiate world peace. Here’s how we travel:

Service – We do tons of service projects. Tons. But not because we think it actually helps. Just because we know that people don’t mind allowing us to visit if they know we’re going to do their chores. We’re going to make life easier. Better. In a physical sense. Because even when a traveler makes a mistake, it’s not as big a deal when you know they mean well. And it’s easy to know they mean well when they’re cleaning out your gutters.

Education – We learn! So much! Officially (like college credit), and just for fun (like listening to local experts speak on an issue). We read about the places we visit. Because for some reason it’s way cooler when we learn things for ourselves. Cities and memorials are way cooler when we understand their significance. The wilderness is way cooler when you understand the species, the history, and the sacredness.

Community – Community makes travel safe, comfortable, and inexpensive. It makes it way more fun. And it provides a legitimate platform for artistic or professional success, activism, engagement, education and service. It makes this whole thing possible. Community has always been the key to human life. It only makes sense that it’s the key to ethical advancement.

Health – We focus on health. Our personal health. The planet’s health. Physical health. Mental health. Spiritual/Emotional health. Like, we’ve got mad workouts for you, with some of the most beautiful scenery. And Dieticians and Nutritionists, Trainers and Athletes, Mentors and Counselors and Spiritual Guides. Seriously. It’s time to start taking your health seriously!

Accessibility – Accessibility is what it’s all about, otherwise we’ll never get to a point where people can actually meet thousands of others on each continent. So seriously – we’re making it accessible to everyone! Get involved!

#Adventure2016 Needs You!

#Adventure2016 route map

#Adventure2016 is our first step to making traveling the world accessible to everyone. Everyone wants to see America – and most American’s haven’t even seen it! – so we’re starting there. And we’re seeing most of it, a few miles at a time, all during summer 2016. Think you can’t afford it? You can! We work with sponsors to allow you to blog, train, or study something specific in our General Curriculum for whatever you can’t afford. And our substantial network around America means we can help you get a summer job! As in actually make money! Don’t have the time to join for the whole summer? Join for a week! Or a day! The service projects need you! And think of the things you could learn from our local leader-speaker series. Or our academic speaker series. Or our international community of friends. And if you can’t travel to us, we’ll come to you! (Seriously, we’ll send representatives from our platform to your community as our route travels nearest to you).

Get Involved!

Long lines on grass wait for food truck food like you already have friends

Say you’ll join us! Seriously, just say it on social media. Share a status saying that you’re joining – for a day, for a project, or for the whole trip! Or if you’re not one for words, share this post!

 

 

 

 

The travel industry could be a source of profound good in the world. But we need to make serious changes before that happens. We’re a not-for-profit that is working to make traveling the world accessible to everyone. We think that these 8 changes to the travel industry could foster world peace – seriously! We simply think that if we’re to move toward World Peace, humans around the world will first need to meet each other. Since humans have been having trouble meeting each other (and interacting peacefully) for, well, quite a while, we introduce people in 5 particular ways. We introduce people via our platform of Service, Education, Celebration, Community and Accessibility – anyone can come! We have parties, work, do a ton of volunteer service, get into shape while we’re exploring the world’s most beautiful landscapes, and if we’re not taking college courses then we’re reading for the General Curriculum.

These 8 changes to the travel industry could foster world peace.

It’s our basic travel ethics. But they’re being combined to change the way we do business. And one day, if you’re interested in joining, we believe we can change the way the world interacts. Our ethics are driving the way that we’re making traveling the world accessible to everyone.

Itinerary Flexibility: The Line Between “Professional” Adventure And Accessibility

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We’ve been walking this line since we started – an adventure that is too planned, to regimented is no longer an adventure. An adventure requires some flexibility, some go-with-the-flow, some surprises. It’s the thrill of setting off on your own, or with a group, into the unknown. There’s a little danger in adventure. And it’s hard to plan it, especially if you’re trying to make traveling the world accessible to people. It’s hard for tons of people to have an adventure because, you know, that requires careful planning and coordinating and, well, knowing! Indeed, we’re a company that strives to provide real adventure to people – experiences that push you, aren’t completely planned, and provide plenty of opportunity for any type of exploration that might spontaneously present itself.

Our Answer: The adventure platform! We provide a platform that handles all your needs – food, lodging, a safe, warm, dry place to rest and shower and gear up for the next trek into the city or wilderness. We’ve planned a route around a continent, and we’ve provided access to all kinds of cool events to meet local people in real and meaningful ways. Service. Education. Fitness. Celebrations. But the platform also means that very little needs to be planned. Explore the most beautiful areas we’re traveling through on your own. Just because we’ve carried your stuff this far doesn’t mean you can’t take it off on your own excursion and meet back up for the party next weekend!

Using Technology to Cut Costs

Previous generations have not had access to travel the world before. People have traveled, sure. But not on such a large scale. We’re using traditional technology to do things like not get lost, interact with people in places we’ve never been so we have a place to stay or work or study when we arrive, and to organize large groups of people into effective service volunteers capable of providing unprecedented amounts of service. But we’re also using social technology – stuff that’s been around for ages but isn’t often used – to help you interact with others in real life. As in, putting you in touch with real locals, not people we pay to interact with you. Because when people aren’t paid to be your friends, not only does that cut costs, but it cuts out consumer experiences all together and only leaves room for the authentic.

Community As Leverage For Good

Sheriff and K9 Unit posing with boys and girls

Our Generation Is Changing Travel. When we travel together in Community, not only do we get a better idea of where and why to create positive change, but we also learn how to do it! How is in the details! And a community that travels and engages can utilize serious amounts of effort that only come with a community. An individual traveler can’t provide thousands of hours of community service in a weekend. An individual can’t engage local leaders who carry international prestige. And an individual can’t bring serious attention to issues the same way a community can. Oh, and it’s way harder to get a job or take college courses if you’re traveling alone.

Economies Of Scale And Operating In Different “Economies”

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Economies of scale, for our purposes, just means that something is way cheaper if it’s mass produced. This is useful for large groups of travelers because they allow those people to get what they need for cheaper. Very few travel companies have even tried to use economies of scale in the travel industry simply because it can be hard or expensive to move large groups of people. Or, some say, travel in small groups is better because it allows for more intimate experiences or interactions with locals. Our big news is that we’ve sorted how to move large groups of people inexpensively without ruining individual experiences – indeed, we think our large group of travelers will enhance the individual opportunities one has on our trips. Because our large group of people are only a base – there is plenty of time and freedom and access to explore a continent on your own or with a small group. Go do your thing, then come back and join the group for a celebration!

This is great news for making traveling accessible to everyone.

But what’s even better news, is getting those economies of scale to operate in different economies. The most popular economy is the one you know – the one where you pay money to receive a service or product. We operate in this economy, and our economies of scale help people like you to travel like this. But what good is operating in only one economy? So we engage in other economies – for example, a service economy. If someone wants to do something, to work in some way, instead of paying money to come on a trip – we allow that!

There are many ways to create value! Too often in the travel industry we turn to money lubricate our transactions. Someone wants to see a Native American perform a tribal ritual so instead of going and spending time or effort getting to know the history and people of the tribe, they pay money to attend a viewing. Sometimes this is the best way to learn about or engage others. But sometimes it isn’t! Sometimes time and energy and non-monetary resources get you further, teach you more, and brighten your future in ways that simply paying for something can’t.

So sure. We take advantage of “economies of scale” to make traveling the world accessible to everyone. But we also engage in other “economies” – economies of service or time or talent. If you want to experience the whole world, you’ll have to function in more than one economy!

Engagement Is The New Vacation

you already have friends like Leon McCarron in front of his

It’s no longer that cool to go and sit on a beach in Mexico. Now don’t misunderstand – that’s still a blast. But it’s much more interesting to go off the beach resort and actually engage the Mexicans. If we don’t want the world to be so divided, so unloving and against the “other”, then why would we want our travel to be divisive? Indeed, we’re pretty sure that engaging a culture and its people will spill over into normal life, too. So come on, do something interesting with your vacation!

Personal Service And Community Over Comfort-Gimmicks

Abe Lincoln and The YP Manifesto

Sometimes it’s a little absurd how much we pay to be comfortable on leather instead of on normal cloth. Things will never beat out people. And if we’re honest, a lot of the comfort we’ve been sold is just status. And more often than not, that comfort tends to cut us off from actually engaging with people. So instead of spending money on super expensive tour buses, for example, we spend money on speakers and counselors and making sure that people feel comfortable engaging with others and themselves. It’s much better to live in community that is rich with knowledge and a willingness to serve than it is to sleep on high-thread-count sheets with nothing but the satisfaction that comes with the trite reinforcement of one’s previously-held, slightly prejudiced opinions.

Authentic Experience and Personal Investment Over Manufactured Consumerism

Woman Standing on rock

The risk with any travel company is a canned experience. Especially when it’s a trip the company has offered 100 times. That’s why our adventure trips are never done twice. They might go through some of the same places, but the routes are not the same. The people we encounter are not the same. And while we do aim to build up a philanthropic presence in the communities we go through, the things we do and the way our people engage the local people are never the same. Sure, you have the option to use the local tour company to see the foothills or the city, but we’re not going to subject you to some surface-level tour to be consumed. We’re going to encourage you to invest yourself in an area. That means taking time to research it, engaging the locals with questions and helping out with more than your wallet. If you want something real, something not meant for random consumption – then you’ll have to invest a little in it. And our platform helps you do exactly that!

Everywhere Is Better (And Cheaper) Than Not Everywhere

Bike route from London, England to Istanbul, Turkey.

It’s cool to fly around the world and stop in the coolest cities and see the most talked about sites. And we know there are a bunch of obscure things that research in magazines, blogs, and the internet have told you about. But we’re telling you there’s a whole lot more to see than just the cool sites. That’s why we’re not super keen on jetting from place to place. And while it is sometimes necessary, we prefer to see everywhere around a continent. The cool places and the places you – or anyone more than 100 miles away – have ever heard about. That’s where you get authentic interaction. That’s where you start to understand the cool places in their entirety – what forms them, makes them tick, and why they are what they are. It’s way more fun to see a place in context, by approaching it slowly across the land as a real explorer than ignorantly flying in, snapping some pictures and bragging about your privileged exploits to your friends back at home. So come on, let’s actually invest in our travels. Let’s see the things we want to see, but let’s see them and interact with them in their full context. And that means traveling through “everywhere” instead of just dropping down for a few pics and a lot of consumerism. Oh, and did we mention that in most cases it’s going to be way cheaper to see “Everywhere” along the way instead of paying to skip it in an airplane?

#SmugVegetarians, WHO, and Taking Your Health Seriously! These are all coming together in #Adventure2016!

Yesterday the World Health Organization release a report that linked red and processed meats to a higher risk of cancer. #SmugVegetarians took to twitter. And, admittedly, we joined them. Sort of. Because between #SmugVegetarians, WHO, and Taking Your Health Seriously! – we’re mostly in support of the latter.

But we’d like to do more than just mention in 140 characters that we’re going away from meat in our #Adventure2016 menu. Because it’s a lot bigger than meat! (And, let’s be honest, plenty of us will be eating meat next summer). We want to join the conversation – and we want to engage others who want to take their health seriously!

And taking your health seriously has to do with a lot more than meat!

#SmugVegetarians, WHO, and Taking Your Health Seriously!

Paleo folk are likely to point a few things out about the WHO report. First, that the study most clearly condemns processed meats – which aren’t types of meats found in the paleolithic era anyway. Otherwise, they might just point to the way red meat – the kind that is “probably” linked to cancer – is raised in today’s conditions. It might be because of the conditions today’s meat is raised in.

Or maybe you’re just wondering – What can we eat?

 Food. Body-Image. Lifestyle. Health.

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These things are all inextricably linked! That’s why #Adventure2016 is built to help you take your health seriously!

Open yourself up to living a healthy life, even if that means making changes in your diet. All we ask is that you investigate your eating, lifestyle and overall health seriously! Reflect. Explore. Learn. Then diet and exercise as much as you want (or don’t!) We’re just here to help you take your health seriously!

Here are 7 ways that #adventure2016 helps you to Take Your Health Seriously!

 

1. #Adventure2016 Encourages You To Move Physically Through The World. (If you want).

people crossing a bridge in Grand Canyon.

#Adventure2016 is designed by professional adventurers who are used to walking or using some human-powered device to power their way across continents! Our buses are designed to carry your bike or encourage you to walk/run along the route as far as you can (we’ll pick you up when you get tired). After all, the #Adventure2016 route is planned with the cyclist or runner in mind: about 50 miles a day along some of the most beautiful back roads in the United States.

2. Your Body Starts Feeling A Little Like A Machine – It Matters Which Fuel You Use. Funny Face and eating meat

The more you move through the world on your own, the more you understand the need to take care of your body – to eat things that make you feel better (instead of just taste good). Many times, in our day-to-day lives, we don’t have to eat healthy things because we don’t feel the immediate effects. Adventure, because it gives you the opportunity to live an active lifestyle, gives you the opportunity to investigate your eating decisions in a laboratory that expedites results!

The food we serve, for example, is nutritious enough to support a high-functioning individual who is cycling around a continent! (Don’t worry, you don’t actually have to be cycling to enjoy the food!)

3. Much Of The World’s Population Can’t Afford Meat!

Part of adventure is participating in other people’s lives. Actually participating, like living the way they do. In this case, it means eating an international diet of healthy food. And it means acknowledging that much of the rest of the world can’t afford food at all, let alone a nutritious, hearty cuisine traditionally eaten by their ancestors. It means going and seeing and living alongside of, it means sharing burdens and celebrating (and sharing) successes.Westart to have a real reaction to the fact that much of the world can’t afford meat – or may be actively harmed in the production of it – when you Go and See it. When you participate.

4. #Adventure2016 Gives You The Opportunity To Be Face-To-Face With Where Your Food Comes From!

Go investigate the way animals are treated. Go investigate farms we pass nearby. Go investigate rivers and other natural environments allegedly affected by agricultural chemicals. Go investigate the sources of your food, we’ll pass many of them. We travel to see – and that includes our food!

5. And The Impact It Has On The Environment!

Maybe you’ve heard about the “triple-whopper” environmental impact meat farming has on the planet. But you might also be aware of the impact the demand for Quinoa – a popular substitute for meat – in places like the United States is having on places like Chile or Peru. Quinoa was once a primary staple food, now most people can’t even afford it because demand in wealthier nations has jacked up the price! #Adventure2016 is the first step in making traveling the world accessible to everyone so that everyone has the opportunity to go and investigate.

6. #Adventure2016 Can Help Change Your Perspective On Health!

Silhouette of a woman doing yoga on the beach at sunset

#Adventure2016 will feature access to trained spiritual guides or mentors – people who are trained in a religious or secular emotional or spiritual guidance tradition (e.g. phsychologists, pastors, spiritual guides, counselors) – can help you think through your approach to health, or life in general. So let’s think about meat. About your physical health. But let’s also think about your mental, emotional, or spiritual health!

7. #Adventure2016 Can Change Your Lifestyle!

Oh, for certain! Traveling through some of the most beautiful places on earth, with some of the best people you’ve ever met, with the opportunity to participate in activities that can be as rigorous as you want them to be – #Adventure2016 is your opportunity! #Adventure2016 can change your health, your perspective on food, and your interaction with the world. So eat meat if you want, but consider observing the differences in your body when you don’t. We’re all learning to take our health seriously, and we’re willing to think about our health, fitness, and eating habits differently if that’s what health requires. So come on – let’s all do this together!

Register today and start preparing for #Adventure2016 with The YP community now!

 

We Need Your Help!

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We think that if traveling the world was accessible to everyone then our education would be “World Class” (pun intended) and we could develop valuable skills needed to solve serious cultural and global issues threatening our future. Besides making people more empathetic via physical connection, the comprehensive knowledge we need of the world to understand economic, social, cultural, and basic day-to-day ties we have with each other around the globe.

We’re Making Traveling The World Accessible To Everyone

Golden Gate Bridge white arial

And we actually mean everyone. Not just wealthy (global) Northerners with passports and expendable income. We aim to overcome passport issues and help governments allow traveling the world  to be accessible to everyone. But that also means people who couldn’t otherwise travel. People who don’t have the right expertise. People who aren’t able (or interested) to go by human power. People who can’t financially afford to travel. But also for people who are ambitious, curious, passionate. People who want to learn. Who want to work in unique situations. Who want to work to solve our generations serious global issues. Who want to provide thousands of hours of volunteer service to so many cities and towns. Who want to bridge the gap between themselves and “others” they haven’t been exposed to physically but impact with their daily decisions. People who think we could make the world better.

Starting Next Summer With #Adventure2016

#Adventure2016 route map

You might know that we’ve been doing bicycle trips across continents since we started. We’ve done more than 20,000 miles on foot and bicycle around Europe and America since we started in 2012. We’ve made thousands of connections in hundreds of places. We can make our routes around continents available to everyone – and it starts next summer with #Adventure2016 (and cool buses!). Help others. Help yourself. Go around America. Go from there around the world with friends. Together we can make travelling the world accessible to everyone. And when everyone has access to travel, when everyone joins with their friends, they gain access to a voice. To a platform to engage leaders. To sight. To the ability to create positive, informed change in the world. And that’s pretty cool.

But Nothing Happens Without You!

6 people jumping in front of sunset on beach during #Adventure2016

Seriously. We need you. Volunteer to spend 1-2 hours a week working on one specific thing that you enjoy. Work with friends. Marketing to Operations to Blogging to Designing funny shirts or flyers. Use our platform to build your own brand. You name it, we need your talents! Get free vacation next summer. Or whatever you want. Help to provide thousands of hours of help to places around America. Help give life to an adventure model that inherently makes travelling the world accessible to everyone. That allows people to work instead of pay – or just allows them to work for pay, like a summer job.