As a participant, trips with RLT were my salvation after a year of schoolwork. I remember lying in my tent at thirteen, listening to a pack of wolves howl in the middle of the night. The sound gave me goose bumps and awoke in me a raw love for the wild that has never faded.
Connecting with my leaders had a huge impact on me. I felt like they saw me more clearly and with less judgment than anyone ever had before, and that gave me permission to be who I wanted to be. The profound impression my leaders had on me as a participant definitely led me to become a leader as well.
RLT remains my summer salvation. As I pursue a degree in Public Health, I hope to be able to apply my experience with RLT to improving the health conditions of disparate communities.
As an urban planner and public health professional, I have devoted my career to understanding how we can design our cities, towns, suburbs and rural areas in a way that makes it easy for people to live healthy, fulfilling lives. My experiences with The Road Less Traveled laid the foundation for this work: I saw firsthand the rejuvenate power of real food, exercise, hydration, clean air and water, beautiful vistas, and silence. I also learned how to be successful in what I do: to be a caring leader and team-player, to communicate clearly and consistently, to celebrate successes and learn from failures, and to always be prepared for unforeseen crises. In the grand tradition of mountaineers, world travelers, river rats, and climbing bums, I have willingly given up the small comforts of the familiar, for the deep fulfillment that comes from connecting with unique places, with unique people, with my greatest self.