How determined was he to follow his dream? He quit his job and sold his house for it.

“In 2009, I was living on the sides of volcanoes.”

With an intro like that, you know there’s a good story to follow.

Prepare to be inspired as Dean Jacobs – globetrotter, photographer, author and “ordinary guy from Nebraska who happened to have a dream he wouldn’t let go of” – takes us on an incredible journey from “fantasy to reality,” pushing us to live big and dream tall.

“Without action, a dream is just a distraction. But the moment we put a stake in the ground, make a declaration that this is who I’m going to be, this is what I stand for, this is the difference I’m going to make in the world, then we shift what’s possible and our creative juices get to run wild and run free…”

About the speaker

From Fantasy to Reality

Fantasy gets a bad rap. It is often the stardust that ignites our imagination to what’s possible.

Since 2001, Dean Jacobs has spent seven years traversing across the globe exploring over 57 countries on a low budget adventure, propelled by a desire to understand the world we share.

Jacobs was born in Wahoo, Neb. After living on a farm, his family moved to Fremont, Neb., when he was 5 years old. Growing up in the Midwest gave him an appreciation for the simple things in life. He graduated from Wayne State College, earning a degree in biology, with minors in earth science and art. After graduating, he worked in the administration of Wayne State College as the assistant to the president, before moving on to Purina Mills. Eventually, this path led him to Pfizer Pharmaceuticals where he was employed in sales/marketing for 10 years. After a great deal of soul searching, Jacobs left the security of corporate America, and decided to pursue other dreams. This was the beginning of a process that would lead to a travelling adventure that would span 22 ½ months and cover 28 countries. Taking photos became a natural expression of the journey for Jacobs as he documented and verified the common ground of our humanity. To Jacobs, photography is a discovery process where something extraordinary can be found within the confines of ordinary life. These days, when Jacobs is not travelling, he keeps busy as a contributing newspaper columnist, photojournalist, children’s book author and keynote presenter across the country.

Jacobs recently led students from Wayne State College and the University of Nebraska on a journey to explore the Amazon rain forest and Andean Mountains of South America.

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