Dwight chronicles the discoveries of today's new pioneers. Exploration is being re-imagined, and Dwight shows how the new Explorers are using a system even if they don't know it.

September 13, 2018

True exploration is painful and difficult. What’s more, when it’s truly exploration you rarely know what’s going on because what you’re experiencing is new and uncharted. 

We like the drawings of Lewis and Clark in their canoes, confidently forging toward the Rockies. We hear stories of celebration when explorers reach the destination they longed to find. 

What we don’t often see in the famous drawings is their fear of the journey. We don’t often hear about the times they wondered if they were craz...

June 21, 2018

I never thought I would use the words Gap Year when it comes to a blog post. Gap Years are times for seeking and discovering what might be next. Typically students take them either before or after college. I’ve discovered that a “Gap Year” can be taken any time in life when a change in direction is needed. This year I have done a lot of writing, speaking and thinking, but none of it in this blog. It’s been over a year since I’ve posted a blog and there are good reasons for that. This has been a year for Th...

May 15, 2017

Last week I was privileged to join Aaron Renn on his popular podcast. We discussed  exploration, pragmatism, mass industrialization and one of my favorite cities, Detroit. Listen to the podcast and read Aaron's column about the historic Rosa Parks home at

Image: Ryan Mendoza and family in front of Rosa Parks House in Berlin. Image via Gordon Welters/NYT.

May 11, 2017

An insightful column this month at by my friend Aaron Renn. Mr. Renn is a Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, author of The Urban State of Mind and the brilliance behind the Thanks for the shout-out, Aaron!

Read The Downside of Pragmatism. 

April 24, 2017

Awhile back I decided to rank the expeditions that The Exploration Group had been commissioned to guide since our beginning in 2008. I ranked them in three categories: most successful, average success and those that for whatever reason had not reached their full potential.

In the category of most successful I evaluated which ones had the highest success in my estimation. I considered which one had the most benefit to the general public, which one I enjoyed the most and which one was exceeding the expectatio...

January 10, 2017

Trust isn’t something I spend time thinking about. It seems to happen over time, it can be lost quickly, or sometimes, maybe never gained at all.

I have gone to an eye doctor for most of my life. It started when I was a freshman in high school. I played football my freshman year, and toward the end of the season I realized I couldn’t fully read the scoreboard.

My parents took me to Dr. Robert Thompson, a second-generation optometrist in Saginaw, Michigan where I grew up. Dr. Thompson said I was near sighted...

November 24, 2016

On expedition with a new generation of re-pioneers at Palouse Colony in Washington state.

October 13, 2016

I first came to Asia in 1992.  My visit included a stop in Tokyo and then on to the Philippines in Metro Manila.  On the way home I passed through the old Kai Tak Airport in Hong Kong.  It was a memorable airport because the runway approach flew us between apartment buildings.  I could see people doing their laundry and preparing meals.  

I don't remember if it was then or a year later when I passed through Hong Kong again. But that time, Hong Kong became my city.  To me, "my city" means...

July 1, 2016

With the United Kingdom’s unexpected vote to pull out of the European Union there is a sense that everyone seems surprised. Even the people who themselves voted for the exit seem surprised.

A long time ago in a reality recently forgotten, there used to be surprise. There was surprise because there used to be risk. There was risk because there used to be danger. There was danger because there used to be the unknown.

And herein lies the problem. We’ve become uncomfortable with the unknown. Today the unknown ha...

June 20, 2016

Every time I go to California I am inspired. I’m not sure what it is. I’ve talked to others who travel there and everyone says they come home with wonderful crazy ideas that they did not have before. While in California I become inspired and I end up taking on new adventures previously unconsidered.

I’m just back from a week in California and again I am inspired. I wonder why do I return from this Pacific coast state with so many new ideas and so much fresh insight? Why have the people inspired me toward ne...

May 19, 2016

Today I wish I were a Settler, not an Explorer.

Exploring is wonderfully exciting. Especially on the mountain tops. But today as I explore what feels like the valley of the shadow death, it makes me wish I were a Settler.

Setters are often blessed with the comfort of predictable continuity, familiarity and stability. Settlers tend to have a defined role. They often contribute a needed skill or expertise that fits nicely into a social and economic system.

Right now as I explore there is no comfort. There’s no...

April 20, 2016

While in Hong Kong I met with How Man Wong, the famed explorer, photojournalist and founder of the China Exploration and Research Society. Among his achievements is the 1985 National Geographic expedition in which he led a team to discover what is now recognized as the true source of the Yangtze River. He currently has active expeditions throughout South East Asia from Tibet to Myanmar.

As we ate our lunch together, How Man told me a story about the previous day. Some people from an unmanned aerial vehicle...

April 9, 2016

I was recently in Hong Kong, on January 24, to be specific. It was the coldest day in Hong Kong since 1957. Although I felt unfortunate to be here on this day, as an Explorer, I’ve learned that the line between fortune and misfortune can be deceptive. Walking outside, chilled to the bone with no foul-weather gear and sporting an uncovered head, I had no option but to keep an open mind.

It’s usually in the 60s or 70s this time of year. I come to Hong Kong often and I was not prepared for temperatures in the...

March 19, 2016

The books on my reading list have changed lately. I now have titles like “The New Practical Navigator being an Epitome of Navigation containing the different methods of working the Lunar Observations and all The Requisite Tables.” Yes, that is the title.

Other titles on my recently changing book list include “Travels of Jeremy Church,”  “Letters from the South,” and  “What to Observe.”

What these books have in common is that the oldest one was published in 1796 and the newest one is 1845! Also, each boo...

March 4, 2016

I’m in a hurricane. Or a tornado. Or a typhoon. I’m so far off the map I don’t even know what kind of storm it is. Dangerous stuff has been whirling about me. I’m not quite sure if my expedition is going to make it. There is turmoil. Then there is quiet. If it was a tornado, it’s over. But I think it’s a hurricane. If this is the calm eye of the storm, then I’m bracing myself for the next onslaught of destruction.

Either way, the storm will pass. If I survive, I’ll be able to survey the damage.

A few years a...

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