Seasonal work has allowed us to let our dreams run wild! When Gabby decided that she wanted to catch-and-gut a salmon, we moved to Alaska. When we decided that we wanted to take up skiing, we moved to Colorado. When we saw the sun rise over the Grand Canyon we decided to apply for jobs at the South Rim. Life is full of incredible possibilities, you just have to be open to seize opportunity!
When strangers ask me how I came to work in Death Valley, I lie.
I’m not ashamed of the truth; I just know that it’s not what a family of bright-eyed tourists wants to hear over breakfast. Like a lot of parkies, my pilgrimage to the middle of nowhere wasn’t inspired by memories of a particularly pleasant family camping trip or a dog-eared copy of an Edward Abbey book. Here’s what really happened…
Mother Nature smacked me in the face as I drove over the Galena summit and into the Sawtooth Valley. Snow-capped mountains replaced skyscrapers. Wide open spaces replaced sprawling suburbia. Meadows bursting with wildflowers replaced parking lots. Wildlife replaced people. That summer at the ranch changed me and the crew became my family.
Nightly bonfires, the absence of cellphone service, adventurous fellow millennials, and the hundreds of acres of trail and natural beauty had me showering less and living more. That rustic country experience further fueled the spirit of adventure that has me exploring the world and travel writing today.
Looking back, I never thought seasonal jobs would play such a huge role in my life. When I set off for Colorado after college graduation, I imagined I would spend a year working as a ski bum before returning to the “real world.” What happened couldn’t be more different. One season quickly turned into three, and seasonal jobs became the lifeblood of my 20s.