JOURNAL

Crater Lake National Park

Oregon

The six of us that make up team CoolWorks have all had our lives changed by taking a chance on the road less traveled. Since 1995, legions of adventurers have used our site to find their new path. And as a part of that journey, they often discover new courage, new passion, new love, new family, a new home – a fork in the road to a future that they never expected as the result of a seasonal job.

We’ve created these journals with the belief that storytelling cheers, emboldens and encourages us to tell and create our own stories. We built this venue in the hopes that learning about other people’s experiences might help some dreamers work up the courage to take the plunge themselves. Has a seasonal job changed your life? We would love to hear about it!

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RACHEL

I waited in my little cubicle for a sign until one day I was either brave enough or crazy enough, but I will never be grateful enough for having taken that leap. To any reader feeling a hint of wanderlust, a pinch of adventure, and a healthy dose of fear, I hope you take the chance to build the future you envision.

DONNA

I always felt there was something big waiting for me just around the corner, and three seasons ago, that something big finally materialized. I quit my job as a dental office manager, sold my house and took my show on the road.

LIZ

Today, I live a just north of the Tetons in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, working each day to protect the doorstep of Yellowstone National Park from industrial gold mining. My summers in Grand Teton instilled in me a great reverence for all it takes to create and maintain these public lands we cherish.

KRISTIN

Like a lot of people, I spent all of high school trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. I come from a small town in Louisiana where everyone is supposed to be nurses or work offshore. I knew there was more to life than that and I wanted to find it. […]

NIKKI

It’s absolutely possible to have roots and wings. I’m 35 now and have my “nest” near my family, but I also want to see the world! Not as a tourist – I want to live other places, see what it’s really like to be among people of a new place. But I also want to be able to come “home.” CoolWorks makes this possible.

PAIGE

Mackinac Island. Wow. Where do I start? Mackinac was a random decision that was based almost completely on an impulse. I bought a bus ticket, a bike, packed a suitcase, and the rest is history.

ETHAN

A mosquito bite almost ended my life at sixteen years old. It transferred a virus that infected the fluid surrounding my brain, causing it to swell and squeeze it, leaving me in a coma for four days and with the complications of a brain-damaging stroke. It mainly affected my speech, which took about two years to fully recover from. And when I felt that I’d made it back to “the old me,” one major difference persisted: I no longer believed that I was guaranteed a full life. I understood that life could end at any time.

REGINA

Seasonal work has been one of the best choices I’ve made with my career path. After I graduated college, I realized the typical 9-5 office job was not going to work for me, literally.

KAY

I went from someone who didn’t relish travel, being out of my comfort zone, or trying new things to someone always looking for the next adventure and just waiting in anticipation to hit the road or get on a plane. I officially caught the travel bug in Alaska and it fueled my wanderlust forever.