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Before starting ALA, Mike had been learning and working in academia for over 10 years, and for him this trip is something between a graduation and a great escape. In that time, he became a technical writer, photographer, sound recordist, lighting technician, and film producer. He managed the media equipment Rental House and production studios at Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont with many incredible work study students. There he found a passion for organizational development and systems design. He has produced several indie films, most notably Hidden Blueprints with Director Jeremy Lee MacKenzie. As a photographer, he has been focusing on food since working with Chef Sandi Earle to make the images for her cookbook My Thirty Year Love Affair with Food in Vermont. While on his way to a photograph a pilgrimage through Egypt and Ethiopia, Michael met Matt in Istanbul where they shared a common vision and new goals. A little over a year later, they left behind their old lives to find a deeper growth - to own their time, and to seek those things which are unspeakably beautiful.

Matt is a photographer, producer, and adventure-seeker. In 2014 he left his career as a geologist in the oil industry in search of a more meaningful purpose and lifestyle. During this multi-year sabbatical across SE Asia and Eastern Europe, he found a passion for photography and storytelling. Through self-education and several great mentors, he advanced into the professional realm of media production and started his own architectural photography company. Still, the ultimate goal for him was to create a sustainable balance of work and exploration. In 2018 he fully realized that dream by teaming up with Michael Jacobs to establish A Life Authentik.


Carlito was a rescue purchased from a woman who purchased him from who knows who. He / She / It is a 2003 Ford Escape. Carlito is our home, our office, and our travel companion. We have often reflected that the whole of this trip is really just a Love Song to Carlito. If Carlito makes it the bottom of the world, we will give it away to someone who could use it. Viva Carlito!

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