My friend, don’t have any expectation for how life is “supposed to be.” It is messy. It Is savage. It is ugly. And at times it can be down-right brutal, but it is also glorious, magical, mystical, and if you’re lucky, it is one hell of a ride. So, let your hair down. Take the plunge. Dive all in.
I longed for wilderness, for mountains, for wide open spaces – just to feel the solace and the oneness with nature. I needed to get away from the obstacles that held me back at home. I needed to get back out on my own, and meet new people, people different than me, and yet alike in spirit.
I had already had my reckoning with the “real world.” I had invested tons of time and energy into graduating near the top of my class in one of the hardest majors at a top tier school. I was so burnt out, I couldn’t fathom jumping straight into the biotech field. I spent the next 2.5 years in a sort of limbo, working a dead end job, not quite sure what to do with myself.
Four years ago, CoolWorks changed my life with my very first seasonal job, so much that here I am still in love with working seasonal jobs in the National Parks, and I never want to go back to the life that I had before. These experiences have given me the opportunity to find a life filled with wonder, curiosity, different people, and experiences that I have yet to know.
I’m sure lots of people will point to the amazing travels they’ve experienced because of seasonal work. I can absolutely agree with that. But it goes a little deeper for me. I, too, have traveled to amazing places and seen a lot of beautiful things. But the thing that’s really changed my life are the amazing friendships I have made along the way.
I gained so much more from this job than I could have ever hoped to when I applied. I could never have anticipated the ways these experiences would change me. I so enjoyed meeting the people I worked with, exploring the Park and learning about how to function in this beautiful, spiritual and remote location.
I was living the so called “normal” life. The one that society has programmed us to believe; that you race to reach life milestones and accumulate material and monetary wealth faster than your counterparts. Before I went seasonal I was living in Seattle, with a career job and a spouse. I was barely able to afford rent and was drowning in student loan debt.
I am a firm believer that we as humans were not meant to live in the same place for our whole lives. I believe it is in our very makeup to be nomads. Think of the most enlightened people you know. I guarantee that they have done some traveling in the past or are traveling now. So I always wanted to travel, but I was always working and didn’t think I could ever balance the two.
“Great!”, I thought. This is just the change I need, I will do this for a few years or so, get fulfilled and then back to a so-called normal life. Well, going on eighteen years later I am still at it.