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I am interested in hearing your opinion on seasonal employment and what you plan on doing with it in your future. Are you someone who just needs to get away once and awhile to feed the need for a little adventure? or are you someone that plans on bouncing from place to place until you have no bounce left and making a career of this?

Personally, I feel like I'll never be able to stay in one place too long and hope that it may be possible to bounce around forever without fearing I'll end up sleeping under a bridge when I become useless in the workforce lol. Naive? Thoughts?


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Great question, Dougie. It reminds me of a thread I started almost two years ago now called "Time of Life or Type of Person."
an interesting follow-up would be to hear from those who responded to Kari's earlier thread and hear where they are today, and what they have done over the last two years. I don't recognize any of them as people I have seen post messages this Spring on Coolworks.
Hey there Dougie...I just spent 34 years in an office environment. Once your salary increases to a certain point and you get firmly established "on the grid" (i.e. married, kids, mortgage, cars, etc.) it really becomes very difficult to head for the woods 'cause you like to hike and move around. I really became trapped in my career - I just could not afford to do something else. This is probably NOT the best reason to stay in one's career. The real trick is to find something you really enjoy doing, something you're good at, and something that fulfills other priorities (like travel, raise a family, or whatever makes ya happy). If you live to only make money you will never have enough. Keep following your dreams...because dreams can come true.
Thanks for the replies!

I've tried just about everything to satisfy myself in many different environments. I've owned and operated a business in South Florida, managed large-scale event projects for General Motors in Detroit, and even planned on raising a family with a major cutie lol. But, no matter what I have going on, I feel like I'm missing something, mostly spiritually. I've been trying for years to dissect this "emptyness" and no matter how much I try to discount it, I always seem to blame it on a lack of a consistant dose of a natural environment and what that beauty does for me internally.

So this has led me here, the fact that I can trade work to hopefully fulfill this emptyness is extremely enticing to me. But, and the reason I posted this originally, is that no matter if I become fulfilled it scares me to death that I may be making a selfish decision.

I've successfully taken myself almost completely off of the grid. The only committment I have is a cell phone bill (even that is pay-as-you-go lol), so I can live within my means and survive day-to-day even if it is on a minimum wage salary. But, am I being ireresponsible? Can one really afford at my age (32) to risk not building up a nest egg and a planned retirement? Maybe I'm just a wuss, who knows? But I would love to be able to find a way to stabalize this alternative lifestyle.
Hey Douglas - life's persistent questions. Here's an interview of Greg Seats, who has made a Life of this. My apology for the poor video. You can hear most of the audio:

For more insight into the paths he's chosen check out:

* Around the World with Greg

* Adjusting to China

* His Blog

* His Profile on My CoolWorks.

Luck all the Way to Ya'
Thanks a bunch for the lead Bill. Almost like that interview was perfectly intended for me. I've also done heavy research on TEFL certification and teaching abroad, but just have yet to pull the trigger. HOMERUN!

Thanks again man.
I too have owned and operated a business and found that all I lived for was to get the next contract, for I had employees who depended on that. Since 1999 I have been doing seasonal work and I have not looked back. There are various ways to build a nest egg even while working seasonally.
Kari's thread says it all to me; Type of person or time of life? In my opinion, in order to be happy, one must be who they are. I follow who I am and that is why after 11 years I am still doing this; As I told a curious customer the other day we seasonal pros are essentially American Gypsies. Follow your heart and it will be full. Peace :0)
A couple thoughts - Richard says: "If you live to only make money, you will never have enough." I second that and will take it one step further and say, If you live only for yourself, you will never have enough.

I know that when I do something for someone else - help a friend in need, teach someone something they want to learn, spend quality time with my kid friends, that's when I feel 'full'. When it's not all about me. But being outside, being in nature, is also really important to me. So it's all about balance.

You can tell by watching Greg's video that he is a very kind soul. And I imagine that he has helped many people along the way, as well as lived the lifestyle that fulfills him. Balance.

As far as financial security - well that's something we all struggle with. I think it's important to not make fear-based decisions. Easier said than done. I know. I guess what i'm really saying is, don't NOT do something you want to do because of money, or financial security. The world is an abundant place.

So that's what i think. And just to clarify - I mean that's what Kathi thinks. First time I posted it, I was accidentally logged in to our admin account. So this is my take - not CoolWorks official take. just fyi.
Douglas--I was just thinking about this very topic! I wondered how my life might look if I had continued on after my first seasonal job in Austria. I truly believe this life is easiest to live and most enjoyed by those at the beginning or at the end of their working lives. As for the middle years, if children enter your life, their needs take a bigger chunk of your attention. I know that one of my greatest joys was raising my son, and children require, need, thrive in a structured life. I could not have offered that structure if I continued with the life. Don't miss out on those babies, Doug. They bring the longest lasting joy you can imagine! I also admit that my first choice in life would never have been the office work I had to endure during those years in order to put the beans and weenies on the table and keep life "stable." Can you imagine the joy I feel now that I am in a position to once again head for the mountains? I believe that transitions might be the hardest. Moving from seasonal to structured. Or from structured to seasonal. I want to enjoy the seasonal life as it will unfold for me now--not as that 21 year old--but as an Older and Bolder filled with a different, yet still very intense, appreciation at the other end of my life. And yes, I, too, want to avoid that "bridge condo"! There's always my son's place! He'll always have some beans and weenies to share with me!
What do I plan on doing with seasonal employment in my future? First off, let me agree with Nancy B. about it's easier at the beginning stages of employment or later stages, which is where I am. I took an early retirement from a faltering corporation three years ago. Last year I applied for Mt Rushmore and start in a couple weeks. I am hoping my future holds many days of exploring our parks, working with happy people in beautiful settings and only coming "home" to visit my son and grandchildren. My house is rented out and I fly solo. If I can get 5 to 10 years in of working outside of factory walls, I'll be content. I don't know if its selfish but I do know it's the first time I'm doing something only for me. I'm looking to gladden my heart.
Thanks for adding you're thoughts Barb. I do understand what you and Nancy say about it being easier at the beginning or the later stages; the knowledge is appreciated.

There are a few things that I weigh on and this is how I figure to be affected:

Financial planning- More and more people these days have to depend on their own personal investments rather then depending on benefit or retirement plans from their employers. My personal situation is that I do not have any bills what-so-ever. No rent, no car note, no insurance, nothing. So even on the smallest of wages I'll still be able to save enough throughout the year to donate to the cap of a Roth IRA for example.

Happiness with my surroundings- This is what is most important to me. I think this is pretty much self explanitory and overall this is what makes me feel best about life.

The family thing- I figure working in beautiful places will likely land me in situations with more like-minded people. If it so happens that I run into a woman that I have much in common with and settling down becomes a possibility, then so be it.

Thats cool that you're starting out at Mt. Rushmore! I'm also working there this summer. I actually leave tomorrow morning. Probably will see you around! Safe travels.
It seems you are a real drifter, so why not find a company that hires seasonal workers but offers year round employment? This would give you some stability and allow you to have a home base and possibly climb a couple of steps up the corporate ladder. DNC in Yosemite is what comes to mind. I worked there 3 summers and met many people of all ages who'd done what I'm talking about. They arrived, worked a season and loved it, then stayed on. The pay, even for people in management, is very low, but they have decent benefits and get to live in a gorgeous spot.

If you do pursue your bouncing around, you will probably have a great life for the most part, except when you get to the age when the aches and pains set in, the health issues arise, and you end up who knows where.

Is college out of the question for you?


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