This is a guest post by RLT alumna Emma Franklin, now an Innovation Consultant for Innosight.
I’ve always been perplexed by the outdoors.
How can a place simplify life and present the most complex of challenges?
How can a place bring forth your best self and break you down to your core insecurities?
How can a place provide so much comfort and leave you more exposed than you thought possible?
The outdoors is magnificent. It is unpredictable and beyond human scale. To co-exist with the outdoors we must learn to practice humility, we must learn to collaborate with a group, and we must learn to trust ourselves. What better lessons are there?
These are the lessons I have learned while working for The Road Less Traveled, and these are lessons I have tried to share with participants each summer. The outdoors has shaped my life and it has changed the life of each and every young adult I have been lucky enough to have on my programs.
My view of The Road Less Traveled and the Stein family is simple – they mean more to me than just about anything else. I graduated from college with a job in the corporate world. I postponed my start date by three months to lead summer trips, what I thought would be the last “real” summer of my adult life. Six months later I found myself asking for a leave of absence from my (brand new) job (which, by the way, I love) to spend another summer with The Road Less Traveled and certainly ON the road less traveled.
Summers have been a welcome departure from the non-stop bustle that keeps the business world moving forward. And while working on innovation projects all over the world is exhilarating, it doesn’t compare to the experiences I have had with The Road Less Traveled – witnessing a young woman, terrified of fish, transform into an eager scuba diver; delighting in delicious, post-kayaking, armature-made, burnt grilled cheese sandwiches; seeing the awe of two participants watch their first sunrise, after waking up at 4 am the previous morning to overcast skies.
For me, all roads lead back The Road Less Traveled.
Emma Franklin loves nothing more than exploring the underwater world with a scuba tank on her back. She graduated from Harvard University with a Bachelor of Arts in Neurobiology. Amidst her studies she found opportunities to travel worldwide – working on an organic farm in Belize, researching at a marine biology lab in New Zealand, and developing a method to harvest water from fog in South Africa. Emma’s hometown of San Francisco California has instilled in her a love of the outdoors and the ocean. When she is not leading summer trips, Emma works at Innosight, an Innovative consulting firm outside of Boston, where she works internationally across industries from higher education to healthcare. Most recently, Emma has been spending the majority of her time in Istanbul, Turkey helping design innovative new businesses.