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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.

Thanks!
Mark

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Actually, you haven't missed the boat yet... the concessionaires will be looking ofr replacement employees begining this month due to the college students returning to school.. Start looking and call the places you want to go.. you may be surprized at what you can find. Good Luck!
Thanks for the encouragement Ann. I would really like to get at least a couple of months experience under my belt this season.

I'm new to this - though I did work in the Grand Tetons during the summer of 1981. It sounds like you've been doing this a while, any tips for landing jobs?
i took the plunge after 20 years in construction. i was sitting around last spring scrounging for work in portland and seattle and i decided to apply to stehekin landing resort. it was originally supposed to be one summer, but once i got into i realized that i love the lifestyle. last winter i took care of all my real world business and came back up to stehekin for another summer. last summer i didn't want my stehekin job to end, but this year i am going to work at a ski area and then another summer job next year. i am considering becoming a raft guide so i don't have to work as much (currently i do maintenance and have to work 5 days a week). for me, i have given up a huge chunk of income, but i also changed my lifestyle. i don't eat out, i quit smoking, i am in great shape (i can hike 20+ miles in one day with a 50+ pound pack). instead of going out to a club on saturday night, i can usually be found at one of the many backcountry campsites tending a fire and reading a book. this summer i had 6 backpacking and climbing trips of 4 nights, and a few quick overnighters, and i was still able to sneak to seattle for 4th of july.

another benefit of seasonal employment is being someplace special and watching the environment change with the seasons. typically you show up as the snow is melting, you get to enjoy the best days of summer, then you get to see the changes of fall (now my favorite season).

anyway good luck on you upcoming adventures and be sure to have fun while you can. last summer i got caught up in all the social aspects of the location, and i forgot what i was there for. before i knew it, it was autumn and i hadn't done any of the hikes i wanted to do. not this summer, and i am totally satisfied with all the activities i did on my down time
The only regret I could have had for going seasonal is simply NOT GOING SEASONAL. There are many ways to do well in the seasonal business especially if one has the discipline to save their money. I have been (and will do so again) a fisherman here in Alaska as well as bartender/server in many other places. Saving this summer earned me a sailboat on which I will live throughout the winter until fishing comes back next summer. But by spending that $$$ I have also taken my rent down to 140.00 a month. With low expenses, one can do well even on a small income. On a large income?.,... one can do great.
This summer a friend showed me his fishing paycheck for 18 days of work; It was over 21,000. Add several different types of fishing (seining, gillnetting, setnetting, longlining, trolling, etc... ) and you can see a lot of available work. Take into account the tourist industry and several others.... Alaska is the way to go. Take a chance.... :0) It served me well. Akscootr

Hello Mark: 

 

We did what your contemplating. We started last March. We made the decision after taking several trips and discovered we travel well together.  Since we love the outdoors: hiking, biking, and kayaking leaving careers sitting behind a desk was not difficult. For research, we read blogs and forums about full time RV travel: workamper.com is geared toward retirees with pensions. "Live Your Road Trip Dream" was a good read about a mid-life career changer.  And I recommend reading Bryson's "Walk in the Woods"

 

Like you, I was still working. So we started a budget, saved an emergency reserve, eliminated charge card debt, rented our townhome and sold all our belongings, expect for family heirlooms. Renting gives us a small monthly income stream, not much, but better than zero. Also, renting allowed us to keep a home equity line of credit as  another "emergency reserve".  (What can I say, I was a stockbroker, I am hung up on keeping emergency reserves). Our goal was to survive on wages. And so far we have made it. We are committed to a minimalist lifestyle. And for us, the lifestyle is quite 'freeing'. No more buying "stuff".  We bought a used  2000 Forest River 25-foot travel trailer and Dodge Durango.  

We plan our travel and jobs around what we like: Rails-to-Trails, Whitewater Rapids, family, botanic gardens and genealogy, (been to some awesome old homesteads and a brewery)

Pros:

You'll meet wonderful compassionate people. We take care of each other. Stories they shared: priceless. I am more sociable. My razor's edge is gone. The places you'll visit: priceless. You'll discover real life, people and places. Small towns are the best.

 

Cons

I missed computer access. We both like to write and make videos. We now have WI-FI. Sometimes, I miss the space in a big house. Going on a bike trip or hike helps. Looking for a new job can be tiring, especially if you like the security of a routine.  On the flipside, seasonal jobs are easy to find. 

 

These resources were extremely helpful:

 

Coolworks: great place for seasonal jobs.

Workamper.com a great resource for anyone traveling by RV for a long period of time and jobs. 

Discount Camping: Woodalls and Passport America

Free campgrounds: for overnight stays: http://www.freecampgrounds.com/  

GPS and Trucker's Atlas. If you plan on boondocking, the Trucker's Atlas will keep you away from impassable bridges.

Geico Insurance: Insures both auto and travel trailer

Coachnet: roadside hazard insurance for towing both auto and trailer

 

I hope this helps you and wish you well on your new adventure. For us, it has been a great opportunity and we have never looked back. I wish you the same.

 

Karin

Oh, our blog:http://craignkarin.blogspot.com

Hi Karin!

 

Thanks for the valuable information. Couple of questions.

At what age did you make the decision to take the chance and live your dream?

Did you ever think what if this doesn't work out what then?

Living on $20 a day would get old quick especially over the long haul.

What happens when your emergency fund has dwindled.

As a former stock broker I would think it would be easy for you to return to your former career if things don't work out. That is not the case for me. I'm a graphic designer.

 

I'm trying to see the pros and cons of living this lifestyle over the long haul. I have many years of living left to be done.

 

Mark

 

 

we started at age 48  2 years ago

we sold everything and got completly debt free.

bought a travel trailer and van and started at yellowstone with dnc

as a server i have not had a problem with money , i do yellowstone for 5 months and have enough 10,000

saved at the end to last awhile. it is harder in a rv because the winter jobs r harder to get. we work death valley, but it is boring there. use the resource available here and workamping.com also koa.com

my personal opinion is to go to florida for winter or store rv and get on ski resorts. u will meet people from all over the world and people that will b your friends for a lifetime.  working and playing in these places is a bond that is unbelivable .

you look like a younger man and u should think about the dorms. rving will take away alot of extra money and the lifestyle is so much different when u live in a building with all the other people  just my opinion only:))

once again my opinion only but i would start at yellowstone , lots to do and will give u a oppurtunity to talk to people about what they do

good luck

 

 

Hi Jackie and thanks for your reply!

Actually I am 52. I'm very athletic. Although the dorm life would save money I do enjoy my privacy plus I have two Boston Terriers, which brings up another problem. Are dogs welcomed at Yellowstone?

 

I think for me RVing would be the best option plus I could winter with my sister in Florida.

 

Mark

Wow u dont show your age:)) lol and yes dogs r allowed , thats why we rv. 2 shits zu, they just have to b on a leash and pick up after them.. no bear bait!!

Delaware north loves older and bolder.. they also have kennedy space center...and r in most airports , they own the bruins, and have lots of casinos...so there is possiblility of transfering..

general store in grand canyon south rim for winter but need to check on that early not alot of spots open.

we so never regretted it , were in branson mo this winter came home to visit family and friends and take time off:))

going back for 3rd year to canyon in yellowstone, but last year there going for olympia national park or maybe outer banks on east coast endless possiblilities..

recommend AAA  like 140 year for vehicle and trailer , we used them last year to get into yellowstone roads were bad :

we register vehicle and trailer in south dakota no taxes to pay..just got a pobox easy

and we use geico ins. cheap if u have good drivin record..

R U on facebook... there is a page on there called working in yellowstone 2011  lots of people comment on there if u have it.

Some of the people this year(americans) went to visit friends in new zealand, tawain, england,

mexico and all over ..i have serveral friends from egypt, not a good time for them right now

good luck and if u ever have questions this is a good place to ask them..love coolworks

 

Hi Jackie,

 

I noticed you were thinking Outer Banks : We are in near there taking a break visiting family in North Carolina - we missed the freeze in Alabama and Texas and love it here. Also landed a seasonal job at Lowe's garden center. Who says you can't garden from an RV. Love it.

You mentioned Delaware North loves Older Bolder? I haven't heard of them. Can you tell me were you found them?

 

 

here on coolworks :))but they r in all the airports out east , they own the boston bruins,

kennedy space center... lots of casinos out east also... yellowstone..sequioa...yosemite...grand canyon general stores..

web site should b delaware north company.. it is probally divided up between resorts..airport...casinos..

i loved the outer banks ,,prime location would be ocracoke island..loved it

Hello Mark,

Before I respond, I think Jackie had a great idea: working in the dorms seasonally for Yellowstone, Estes Park or a ski area is a great way to see if you would enjoy seasonal work before committing to an RV. It can be really rewarding if you hit the right place: and there is a lot to choose from. I had worked temporary in college so had a good feel for seasonal work. Could you use your graphic-design skill to take photos?

 

I was 52 when we left.

 

Sure we discussed "what if it doen't work".  We made backup plans. Since, both of us had experienced layoff's we learned not to rely on steady employment. We kept six months of living expenses saved.  Also, while in college I learned to work for temporary agencies and worked seasonal as a math tutor. If it doesn't work, we can go back to our town home with small mortgage 625 and work either temporary or for former employers.  We could also sell the place and buy a small home free and clear. 

 

Yes $20 a day can get really old. But it depends on what you really enjoy. Even while working I was accidently frugal. I loved hiking the rockies: cheap especially if you carpool with friends. I walked everyday and loved long bicycle trips 30 miles.  I volunteered for open-space, keeping up trails.  I was part of a library book club. My biggest expense was Starbucks, next to Barnes and Nobel. I also loved garage sales and second hand stores: I snagged a valuable antique table.  Oh yeah, I cooked from scratch, like my mom, hum homemade chicken soup or big pots of chile. So I made my own frozen dinners.

 

Emergency Funds: we stick to the budget, otherwise insurance kicks in auto and medical. So far, we haven't had to tap into savings.

 

I am glad you asked about Career.  I was done and no longer enjoyed what I was doing. I was at a point where working part-time or seasonal was doable financially. 

 

Hope this helps

 

 

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