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.
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.
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.