But you quickly learn to adapt to your new surroundings. You learn to stop what you’re doing and look up at the mountains at least once every half hour. You learn to breathe, and it doesn’t stop there. When you work forty miles from the nearest town, every day is a learning experience.
My friends and I jokingly call our home here Neverland, an imaginary time warp that confuses the days and all inklings of time passing. It’s strange to me that this lifestyle which in so many ways contradicts most people’s perceptions of “real life” is the life that fills me up and overloads me with a burning desire to live and love and, most importantly, to never stop yearning.
I was 20 yrs old and hittin’ the road. Excited would be an understatement, though I won’t discount the nerves. The American journeyman, adventurer, and wanderer has usually followed some kind of internal compass which more often than not has pointed west. Growing up in Western Oregon, I had little option but to head east.
The road of life is full of ups, downs, and all-arounds. Most people tend to stick to the highway, flying past the exits, focused on getting quickly to the destination. And then there are those living the seasonal life. We tend to take the scenic route: enjoying the sights, meeting the locals, and embarking on adventures along the way.
After work, on my weekends – sometimes during breaks – I get to splash around in glacial lakes, explore caves, roam some of the most gorgeous canyons ever carved into this hard earth and sound my barbaric yawp anywhere I please. I come back to my cabin on Jackson Lake, change out of my smelly backpacking gear and serve pizza to people from all over the world experiencing the home I’ve come to know for the first time ever.
In this season of my life I learned what it means to really discover a path you enjoy and follow it instead of doing what’s expected. To take adventures, make mistakes, and discover who you are apart from school life and before jumping into career life. Instead of jumping into doing something I didn’t really want to do, I gained the courage needed to reflect on my desires and dreams and then follow them.