Living & Working in Great Places
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So one of the things I really like about taking temp jobs in the parks and other assorted places is how many cool people (from all over the world) you get to meet. I worked in Jackson Hole this winter and one of my co-workers was from Brazil and through her I learned some interesting things about Brazillian culture. The summer I spent at the Grand Canyon I had two room mates from Finland and worked with people from the Navajo reservation - and of course saw folks from more countries and cultures than one can even imagine.
Not only do you get to see amazing places but the chance to learn about the world - and not just the actual location you happen to be in at that moment - is really an education all unto itself. Yes, I learned things in college but I experienced them through these travel jobs. There is a difference.
Not that I'm knocking the traditional classroom setting at all. I've learned many things and enjoy taking various classes. But the classes I remember the most are the ones that took me outside of the traditional classroom setting. One of my favourite college classes was a biology class where we camped in Yellowstone for two weeks. Another was an archaeology class where we got to spend afternoons at the original San Diego mission going through soil samples and digging in the dirt. ;)
I'm not sure where I'm going with this - other than I know these are things I cling to when my family asks me 'when are you going to get a real job anyway?' As if to say seasonal work isn't a real job? Perhaps not in the traditional sense but it IS working - it requires getting up in the morning, putting on the job face and doing the work.
And I think of the education I've received from working in the parks and compare it to college and think both are valid in different ways. Plus, I imagine I'm thinking about this as I am going back to school soon and wondering if that means the 'real job' will finally come about because of it. Part of me really wants that - I am ready to settle down - and part of me doesn't want to give up the chance to travel more and more ...
Perhaps I will find a great 'real' job in a park ... One can aspire ;)