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!

next-section ?>

KRISTIAN

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.

ALYSSA

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.

NICK

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.

LYNN

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.

MIKE

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.

TIM

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.

CRAIG

“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.

EMILY

And that was it. That was the very last sentence in a book about my old life that I don’t read anymore. I applied for just one job, thinking foolish things that dreamers do, “If I get this job, this is meant to happen.”
A few days later, I got a call. A few weeks after that, I booked a flight. I took these changes in stride, step-by-step, and they were scary, and I was scared.

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.