About Jeff Wagner

If you don't like someone's story, write your own.
-Chinua Achebe
I live at the extreme ends of society, the fringes where adventure happens. 

I made a promise to myself when I was a child that I would never lose the sparkle in my eye. I wanted to always be able to experience magic wherever it happens in the world. I have arranged my life so that my everyday experiences do not coincide with the average American life. It's a cold mid-winter morning, and I need to break through three feet of fresh snow to get out of the tipi where I live. It's April, and I'm rappelling into a slot canyon in the rain. It's July and I am leading a yoga practice at 12,000 feet.

Jeff WagnerWhen I was in high school, a woman came to one of my classes to talk about career choices. "Give up our dreams and settle into a practical career path." That wasn't just the message, it's a direct quote. It wasn't a turning point, just an illumination of what become a recurring theme in life. As the masses parade forward down the street towards "progress", I sneak out the back alley, convinced that there is another way. In the words of Benjamin Hoff in The Tao of Pooh, "it's just that there is Something More, and that Something More is what life is really all about."

I base my life around simplicity, connection with the natural world, and spending time with genuine human beings. I'm a sensitive person; social injustice and the destruction of the Earth trouble me. I have spent my adult life seeking out places that embody something wholesome and healthy: an alternative that focuses on community, sustainability, and humility.

A more traditional bio

Jeff Wagner is an environmental educator who focuses on fostering deep relationships with the natural world. He fell in love with wildness at the age of 16 on a month-long NOLS course, and hasn't looked back. 
 
At 20, he finished his undergraduate degree in environmental studies, Jeff spent four years living and working at Mission: Wolf, an isolated intentional community and wildlife sanctuary in the southern Colorado mountains. There, Jeff balanced oversight of a broad-reaching environmental education program, facilitating a successful community, and improving off-grid sustainable systems. Since he was 18, Jeff has spent summers as an outdoor educator in the mountains of the American West, and transitioned into that work full-time in 2014. Currently, Jeff is a nomad and lives on the road between Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Washington, and Northern India. He spends at least six months a year in wilderness, leading gap year courses for Where There Be DragonsNOLS (the National Outdoor Leadership School), and Deer Hill Expeditions
 
 
He loves to share his past personal projects:
Cashmere Roadster: a folk band that played from 2008-2012
Jeff Wagner Photography: professional photography for tango dancers
 

Gratitude


I would like to thank my mentors and teachers who helped guide me to where I am today: Nii Armah Sowah (African music and dance, perspective on international development, and race relations), Jonathan Markowitz and Christopher Perkins (yoga and meditation), Kent Weber (community, sustainability, and dreaming big), Travis Keller (vision), Jason Lawrence (outdoor education and spirituality), Shruti Kher (self-awareness and perception), Deb Kulcsar (outdoor education), Jakob Roy (communication and joy), and my twin sister Jenny Wagner (life).
 
I would also like to thank all the students I have taught over the years in the classroom and outdoors. You are the source of my passion and you inspire me to keep doing what I'm doing.