There are some people that have absolutely no desire to leave the city they grew up in, or the couch they sit on. And then there are those of us that haven’t slept in our own beds in a year and call a new place “home” once a month. For me, the adventure started when I was 20. I packed my bags, boarded my first plane and headed for Alaska. I had $300, and absolutely no idea what I was doing. I’d never traveled before – but I made it.
I spent that summer working in Denali and living in Healy. I climbed my first mountain, lived in the land of the midnight sun, and made more friends than I ever thought possible. One of my new found friends has made a huge impact on my life. We met in Alaska, but we are both originally hale from the mitten state. The summer after we met in Alaska, we left Escanaba, Michigan and made it to Moose, Wyoming three days later. We spent that summer working at Dornan’s, living the adventure of a lifetime and becoming best friends. I’m about to turn 25, and I’m still calling the Tetons home.
I have invested the past 5 years of my life into traveling and it isn’t always fun nor easy. My friends back home only hear about the amazing hikes I’ve been on, and photos I post. However, I haven’t spent a holiday with my family in over a year, I’ve missed funerals, weddings, and birthdays. And my parents are still wondering when I’ll get a “real job.” No matter how tough some days can be, I just remind myself why I am here. I encounter hundreds of tourists a day, and most of them have spent their entire lives working in order to afford a trip to a National Park. My seasonal jobs have allowed me to spend entire summers enjoying the trails, the views and the adventures.. I may not have a ton of money in my pockets, but I have a mind full of memories and hundreds of miles on my hiking shoes. I’ve met lots of people that tell me they wish they would have done what I’m doing when they were my age.
Since my journey began, I’ve watched the sun rise and set in some of the world’s most beautiful places. I sometimes think about what my life might be like had I never found CoolWorks.com, and I’m thankful that’s something that I only wonder about.
Every morning, I look out my window and see some of the most amazing mountains on the planet. They have become a part of my life and a part of who I am without me even realizing it. You see, nature has this sneaky way of fusing itself to your life. Once you embrace it, it has this way of becoming a part of the person that you are and you realize how truly essential it is to your spirit.
I’m not sure how many more years of seasonal work I have in me, but one thing that I do know is that my hunger to explore will never be quenched.