“The choice to pursue a dream, at the destruction of my comfort, with the loss of safety and certainty, all for the purpose of doing something that inspires others to a fuller life of wonder and creativity and quality, to me that is a burden of responsibility worth carrying. To me, that is growing up.”
Author, global adventurer, social entrepreneur, human rights activist & lawyer, filmmaker and overall beautiful human.
All of these labels certainly befit today’s guest, yet all somehow manage to fall short.
I can’t quite recall how Jedidiah Jenkins first came across my radar. What I do remember is happening upon his rather stunning Instagram feed as he neared the end of a spectacular bicycle powered journey in Patagonia.
Each photograph more arresting than the one prior, every image conveyed it’s own story that perfectly informed an engaging larger narrative. But it’s Jedidiah’s accompanying entries — beautifully composed, contemplative and quite poetic — that set his feed apart. Writings themed less by place than interior geography, it’s Instagram as dynamic journal — an experiment in blogging that camps out hundreds of miles beyond any travelogue, blog or vlog you’ve ever before seen.
I was hypnotized. Who is this guy?
A graduate of the USC School of Cinematic Arts and Pepperdine University School of Law, Jedidiah began his professional career as one of the founding leaders of Invisible Children, the small non-profit that overnight became world renown courtesy of a little social justice campaign you might have heard of called #Kony2012– a campaign that redefined internet virality.
The progeny of adventurer journalist parents who quite famously graced the cover of National Geographic walking across America in the 1970’s, I think it’s fair to say that despite his deskbound legal career, Jedidiah and the outdoors had a little destiny to sort out. And so, to celebrate his 30th birthday, Jedidiah quit the job he loved to unconsciously follow in his parents’ footsteps, scare himself, embrace the unknown and, like a character out of a Mark Twain novel, light out on the territory.
In August, 2013, on two wheels powered only by two legs, Oregon to Patagonia began in Florence, Oregon and culminated in Patagonia is January 2015. A sixteen-month, 10,000 mile journey elegantly and thoughtfully captured and shared on his incredibly popular Instagram feed and soon to be the subject of his first book
In so many ways, Jedidiah is exactly who I expected him to be. And yet his wit and warmth somehow managed to surprise me — a guy deeply connected to his personal truth and just so refreshingly present.
This is a phenomenal conversation about:
- the pursuit of wonder & adventure
- the transformative power of story
- the risk & reward of following your passion
- global wealth disparity
- dependence upon the kindness of strangers
- combatting our culture of skepticism
- behind the scenes of Kony 2012; and
- the beauty and peril of pursuing the creative life
Jedidiah is a very special guy. I am very excited to share this one with you. In all sincerity, I hope you enjoy the exchange.
Peace + Plants,
Thanks to this week’s sponsors:
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Want to lend support to permanently end the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) violence or to learn more visit invisiblechildren.com
Background, Context & Reference:
- Paris Review: Sheltered by Jedidiah Jenkins
- Vimeo: The Thousand Year Journey: Oregon To Patagonia by Kenny Laubbacher (video)
- Kickstarter: Oregon to Patagonia – Novel of a Journey by Jedidiah Jenkins
- RoseAndFitzgerald: Inspiring Person: Jedidiah Jenkins
- WildernessCollective: The Seven Thousand Mile Ride
- Film Documentary: Invisible Children: Discover the Unseen*
- Film Documentary: Amy*
- Theblacktux: Jedidiah Jenkins
- IAmThatGirl: That Guy:Jedidiah Jenkins by Lauren Rhew
- Good: Why Biking 7,000 Miles to Patagonia is Essential for Creative Living by Jedidiah Jenkins
- Passionpassport: From Oregon to Patagonia, by Bike by Jedidiah Jenkins
- HuffPost: Please Look At These Adorable Dudes Who Are Biking From Oregon To Patagonia by Suzy Strutner
- Budgetsaresexy: The Guy Who Quit His Job to Bike The World by J. Money
- Wimp: A 7,000-Mile Bike Ride Across 2 Continents Is The Unforgettable Adventure Of His Life by Mary Madsen
Notable People Discussed in today’s podcast:
- Peter Jenkins: American travel author of A Walk Across America
- John Muir: Scottish-American naturalist, author
- Jedidiah Smith: fur trader
- Jack Kerouac: American novelist & poet
- John Steinbeck: American author
- Ernest Hemingway: American novelist
- Wendell Berry: American novelist, poet
- Ralph Waldo Emerson: American essayist, poet
- Henry Miller: American writer
- Dan Buettner: American explorer, educator & author
- Luis Moreno Ocampo: Argentine lawyer & 1st Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court
- Bobby Bailey, Jason Russell & Laren Poole: Kony 2012 filmmakers
- Joseph Kony: leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA)
Related Podcasts You Might Enjoy:
- RRP 139: Dan Buettner On How To Live To Be 100+ (And Why You Should Invest In Adventure)
- RRP 99: Robin Arzón, From Corporate Lawyer To Ambassador Of Sweat & Swagger
- RRP 137: Robin Arzón On The Power Of Sacred Moments & Embracing Failure
- RRP 118: IN-Q, Have You Ever Been Excited For Now?
- RRP 170: Conrad Anker On Suffering, Rick, Reward & The Allure of Meru
- RRP 166: James Lawrence On Completing 50 Ironmans in 50 States in 50 Days
- RRP 81: IN-Q On Reimagining Your Truth
Production, music & sound design by Tyler Piatt. Additional production by Chris Swan. Graphic art by Shawn Patterson.
*Disclosure:Books and products denoted with an asterisk are hyperlinked to an affiliate program. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
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