Crater Lake National Park



In this edition of the CoolWorks Journal, Adam – aka the Traveling Food Dude – shares the story of how he took a leap to break from the corporate grind and hit the road, exploring the country and using a seasonal summer job on a ranch in Colorado to fuel his adventure!

“Maybe I’ll live in a different city for a few months or a year and get to experience a lot of places I’ve never been to before.”

That was the answer my mom gave to me after I asked her what she had in mind when she was ready to retire a couple of years ago. I did not expect this answer from her, but it definitely got me thinking. What a cool idea! We live in such a beautiful and diverse country, and so many people only end up seeing just a fraction of what is out there. On my 40th birthday last year, I was still single, had no kids, and had been doing the corporate grind for the majority of my life. I started to think to myself…why wait until retirement to explore the USA? So last August I took the plunge and gathered up my savings to hit the road with my dog, Holland, to travel around North America and blog about my experience as Traveling Food Dude!

I had enough saved to get me through about 7-8 months of traveling and then would reevaluate where I stood and what I wanted to do. A few months ago, my budgeted travel came to an end, and the time came for me to figure out what I wanted to do next, and where I wanted to go. I love my hometown of Tampa, Florida, but knew I did not want to spend the summer in the heat and humidity. I had a friend living in Alaska and started asking around about jobs in Alaska when someone recommended I check out for some summer seasonal job opportunities.

My mind was blown! Why had I not heard of this website before? As I was browsing summer job opportunities in Alaska, I realized I could check out all the other states and maybe find something closer to some of my other family in Colorado. I was so fortunate to find a beautiful guest ranch in Parshall, Colorado (between Winter Park & Steamboat Springs) that was in need of a kitchen assistant. “This could be perfect!” I thought. I could work around food, learn about the dude ranch lifestyle, and have a home-base to launch my food & travel blog when I was not working. I could also go explore beautiful Colorado on my time off!

Since I am traveling with my dog, it was a little challenging finding a pet-friendly place to work, but the owners of Bar Lazy J Guest Ranch took a chance on me and my dog. When I pulled into the ranch a couple of months ago, I was greeted with huge smiles and a big hug from the owners! I knew I had found the perfect place to spend my summer! It has now been two months into my 6 month job at the ranch and I’m having an absolute blast. I get to meet new guests each week and have made some awesome friends with the other staff that are here working with me at the ranch this summer. One of the chief things that makes this all possible is being welcomed into the family atmosphere the owners make sure exists.

I’m starting to browse CoolWorks for my next job opportunity, and I’m so excited to see where my travels will take me to next!

  • Adam and his dog, Holland, sitting on a tractor at the ranch
  • Adam with some baby goats at the ranch
  • Adam on horseback at the ranch
Follow Adam and Holland’s adventures on his blog, Traveling Food Dude.


Very Well written entry Adam. Your story is truly aspiring and uplifting. I admire the Fact that you chosen to break away from the Corporate 9 to 5 grind to fulfill your soul with adventuring and doing what your passionate. I’m aspired to do the same in a couple years. We’re not meant to live life in one place and society pushes us into a lifestyle that brings no meaning or helps recognize our talents. I look forward to the day I too leave the corporate world and hit the road.


Adam August 07, 2019

Inspirational story & just what I needed to get me from a bored newly retired person to finding a fun gig.


Mary D December 11, 2021


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *