so it has been YEARS since my last seasonal job, and yet i still find myself checking this page, looking at new jobs, rethinking scenarios over and over in my head about certain situations... it is like a disease. but now, after "settling down" and "domesticating" myself for the whole notion of the american dream, i have come to see that it is not me, not what i ever wanted for myself or my girl, and in the future, not for my family.
we have had moderate success in our lives as sedentary human beings, but the whole economic meltdown has left me wondering what is real in american culture and what really matters. the more i think about how much happier i was backpacking around the world with one change of clothes, and then driving around the country with a camera and a sleeping bag on my down times from seasonal work, the more i want to immerse myself in the nomadic and quiet life of a traveler again.
things have changed though. i am older, my body hurts more (from sleeping in odd places and falling off of mountains), and my mind isn't as quick, and i do enjoy certain creature comforts which i would have criticized when i was younger. but my girl and i are giving it all up again. we are selling our business, selling our investments, buying a farm, and making sure to go on vacation for 2 months out of every year. to me, it is worth it. make less money, be happier, enrich your mind and spirit, meet quality people on their own paths through life... that's always what it has always been about anyway to me. the american way of life, as we all are becoming aware, is an illusion. i will go out on a limb and say it is a distraction from the real world that is always out there. i have never bonded with people at work like i have in a seasonal setting. most of my friends around the world, i met working seasonally.
maybe it is cabin fever speaking, or too much television, but i feel like i have played this charade long enough. every seasonal job has its "lifers" and we all wondered about them, and how they did it for a decade or two, and now i understand. a life spent working to keep up with the joneses just is not a fulfilling one. the LESS i have, the happier i am. the LESS i work, the more time i have to spend with people i care about. and i have also come to realize that money itself is not even real. can it buy you dinner? sure, but who will you get that dinner from when our money is worth as much as toilet paper, as it is in many countries across the world? every one of our lives is unsustainable. we have become so compartmentalized and specialized, we can no longer function independently.
traveling and seasonal work, for me, have always gone hand in hand. it has been a humbling experience to work and live in so many places. and even though summer in montana is always like vacation, we have an almost uncontrollable urge to pack it up and live in the jungles of the world for a while. is this irrational? is it irrational to want less, and see more? i thought settling down and owning something would be satisfying. definitely not. i would trade my business and everything i own to go back and relive my life from the ages between 18-25. in one second, except this time i would bring my girl who i met in my last year in yellowstone. so no matter how badly your employers treat you, no matter how much the dorms suck, or how much diarrhea the food in the cafeteria gives you, count your blessings that every day can be an adventure. this is what we are missing nowadays. a genuine experience from day to day. new faces with new stories from other places, which you might work at next summer or winter.