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Hi folks!
I have several questions on how to start my new journey.
I'm fortunate to still be employed while many are not.
Unfortunatly I'm a graphic designer in newspaper industry. You might say it's a dead end job.
I'm almost at the point of selling my home purchasing a used Airstream and becoming a seasonal worker and never looking back.

Have any of you made this kind of leap? If so, how did you get started.
Do you have regrets? Can one survive as a seasonal employee? I'm looking for any advice.


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Hi Kathy,

I turned down my offer from the Grand Canyon. Just really couldn't figure out how to live in $8.00hr and have to pay  $171 a month for medical insurance. My current position I only pay $90 a month. When I put down all the numbers in black and white and did the research on having a management company handle my condo for renting, I could see it wasn't feasible.

I will have to wait several years.  At least now I know that I need to build up my reserve bank accounts as well as really start living below my means. Then when the time is right I can apply again.

Your idea of bar-tending it smart. It's kind of like cutting hair or massage therapy. Great skills that are needed universally.  Good luck to you too.

Wow Julie!

Your situation sounds very much like mine. Working in the great outdoors sounds so great.

Working and scraping every nickle and dime to survive doesn't. Almost sounds like how things were for me when I was in college. Sure I can live on $8.00 but do I want to. I think what I need most of all is to escape the urban life. I need the blue skies and snow capped mountains. For now I will continue searching in my career field for a jobs in Alaska, Colorado and Utah. I wish you the very best and hope you find and live your dreams.



Hi Julie, I live in Hawaii and did the long distance landlord thing for a CA property, that can be very stressful unless you set up a trustworthy management and or maintenance situation. At this point I think I would rather sell here and travel/work and be stress free. I'm 50 and I'm certainly not going to wait till 62 to adventure again. As far as living close to family and friends, I gave that up when I moved here 6 years ago, they're always just a plane ride or two away, if I'm so inclined. Say your goodbye's, rent your condo, and go Adventure while you still can!!, I'll be right behind you if I can find a buyer who wants to live in the Hawaiian rainforest, I won't do the long distance rental thing again.
"I won't do the long distance rental thing again". OK, to be honest what I should have said is I WILL do the long distance rental again, but only because I want to go to AK soo bad right now. At this moment, I am unfortunately not in a position to completely vacate my property (3 animals and too much %^&$ left to discard,sell,donate), so my ONLY option is to rent out a room and HOPE they stay for the entire 6 month lease. I DO have someone I feel I can trust to manage and maintain my property, but %^&* happens. "If you want to see him laugh, show him your plans"

I looked into some property management companies to handle rental. Unfortunately, most want a fee equal to a months rent as well as 10% of monthly rental fee. In this poor economy, that would make me have to rent my 600sq ft 1bed/1bath condo for over $1000.00 a month to be able to pay the management co.  Not feasible or practical. Also, not in a position to sell. I don't have animals but the monkeys on my back are all my belongings. I'm fine with selling all the furniture (need the proceeds to live on) and kitchen items but it's all the small stuff and photos and photo albums and other sentimental items that need a place for safe keeping. Don't want to be carrying it around or paying to store it.  It is a lot of %^&$. 

So regrettably I turned down my Grand Canyon offer. There was no way I could organize myself in 6 weeks and at this point in my life I cannot live on $8.00 hr. If I had a a large sum in the bank to fall back on it would certainly make all the difference in the world.

I really hope I don't have to wait till I can collect early social security to be able to return to the National Parks.  I don't think I can wait that long. 

Have you been to Alaska before? Where in Alaska do you want to work? Do you have a position lined up? It is an incredible place. So big. So much to see. I spent several summers working at Denali National Park. I started with the concessions (ARA) , then the Park Service, then Grayline of Alaska. It was an amazing time. Driving there and back was a great part of the journey too. 

And I have to admit, the more I read of other peoples adventures on Cool Works I am green with envy.   

So how did you end up moving to Hawaii? 


Those management companies are very expensive as you say, maybe try and do what I did and rent it out yourself and hire a maintenance man on a as-needed basis, your on-site maintenance man if you have one, may be a good choice for your interior problems as your HOA already covers your exterior. I used Westside Rentals a huge company in CA to advertise and run credit checks on potential renters, they might cover your area, is also a very good way to rent your place, I use them exclusively here in HI. As far as your photos, I took the time and scanned all mine I cared about and only kept "some" hard copies for family members if or when they ask, if you get your pile small enough maybe a friend or family member can store those for you. I can only suggest what my plan is and that is to sell or give away "everything" (a very freeing feeling) and go adventure if that is your desire, don't you dare think you'll have to wait, my 28year old friend was just diagnosed with terminal cancer... Do the work and Do your dream, I'm saying that to myself as well, my animals are VERY much an issue, I could care less about EVERYTHING else. $8.00 an hour is NOT very appealing right?, well to give you an idea how much I want to go to AK (never been, but work is non-existent for me here):

I had an offer at Denali (ARA) that I canceled. Estimated No OT Full season@ 680 hrs worked// hourly rate worked out to $5.50 per hour net after room/board/airfare

Seward Job Offer: Estimated with OT Full season@ 840 hrs worked// hourly rate worked out to $4.23 per hour net after room/board/airfare

$3555.divided by 840 hours worked==

$$$4.23 per hour :(((((((((

There is a possibility of an end of season bonus???

AND I STILL WANT TO GO???? Must be a serious case of "Island Fever"/Get me off this rock!!

I moved to Hawaii because the price of property here was incredibly affordable, I didn't know the job market was Terrible!! I cannot survive here *%%&!!!

hi did ya ever work on board one of the cruise ships there?  I did
Aloha Terry, actually I applied yesterday online (from a link here) to NCL Pride of America for a job as a server( they didn't list actual job titles available, only said they were looking for people on their site), any comments about the company or jobs to go for/stay away from?

Sometimes I feel like I cannot survive in Seattle.  

However, I'd rather be here than Southern Calif (where I was born and raised).

I actually had my place rented out for 8 years while I rented the bottom of a house in the same neighborhood for 15 years.  I evicted my renter, refinanced with some cash back and refurbished the condo. I love having my own place and privacy. 

I have mixed feelings about renting it out and having somebody trash it after I gutted it and fixed it up.  Although my renter never asked me for anything. I was very lucky. But I didn't like being a landlord. I always felt pressure. What if something happened and I couldn't afford to fix it? What would I do?   At least, if I'm living in the condo, and something big happens, my insurance should cover it.  

Julie, a parkie taught me this trick, in 2009 : each day you get rid of one thing, you get one big photo album, and start filing all of it, you stop using 5 hair care products, use it up, but don't replace it.

Downsizing in small steps. If you got rid of one thing a day, which also includes using up but not replacing one thing, each day that would be 365 things by next spring. If you got ambitious, make it two.


In our society, its easy to suddenly find yourself with 20 pairs of shoes, 6 winter jackets, 5 tents, etc.


best wishes, don't wait too long cause this world is changing so fast we don't know what it will be like in 3 years!


best wishes


Carol, That is excellent advice.  I do have one big problem though- I'm the best procrastinator on the planet.  Seems I work best under pressure and am most productive when I have little time to sit and veg and day dream. 

I do want to downsize, stay debt free and be ready with some cash in the back so If I do take a low hourly wage job, I can still play and afford to eat. 

I will start getting rid of one thing a day..tomorrow :)


See, thats the beauty of the One thing A Day Downsizing plan....if you follow this plan, it becomes a habit, and how hard is it to choose one thing per day (or use up one thing a day) and get rid of it? After 21 days, it becomes second nature, and you're well on your way to mimimalist lifestyle. 


For instance, get one large box for donations and start on the closet. Is there anything you haven't worn in a year, or that makes you look fat, or is stained, or old, or makes you feel old...? either cut it up for rags, throw it away, or place in the donation box.

There, done for the day.

Of course, this also means implementing a NO BUY Zone. If you buy something, you must eliminate something. When the box is full , donate it. Worthy cause benifit from your generosity.

In the course of a day, you may see a knicknack you bought on a trip to you really love it? Do you love dusting it, taking up space? Donate it, there done for the day, nothing else required.


Psycologists tell us sometimes we really don't want to implement our dreams. Its way easier to just stay in a routine.

Routines are like ruts: a grave with no end.


Just my minimalism showing through.

Best wishes.


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