Jenny O'Connell

Expedition Leader, No Barriers Youth

A keen sense of curiosity, adventure, intuition, and spontaneity informs the way Jenny travels and embraces the world. She believes deeply in the power of nature and travel to inspire creativity and growth, and is passionate about sharing her love of both with people from all backgrounds. Born and raised in Albany, NY and a graduate of Ithaca College, Jenny spent six years in San Francisco working with young people in the outdoors to help them realize their potential as caring, empowered global citizens. In 2014 she left her life in California to embark on a solo walking and writing journey across Finland, retracing the steps of Lappish legend Petronella van der Moer ( She is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Nonfiction at the University of Southern Maine, where she will write her adventures into words.

Jenny’s favorite pastimes include singing the blues, playing ultimate frisbee, organizing flashmobs, river rafting, and salsa dancing. Somewhere in the Peruvian Andes there is a llama who hates pancakes, which is mainly her fault. “Wow” is her favorite word and “yes” is her second-favorite word because it often leads to “wow.”


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