Now that the scariest decision is over with, it’s time to decide what I’m going to do with myself once my time here at Canyonlands is up. Technically, my last day here is September 11th, but I’ve recently convinced my supervisors to keep me longer. Ideally, I’ll stay here until November or so, and from there on out things get much fuzzier.
Right now, it’s looking like I have 4 options for the winter:
Option #1 – Maui. One of my best friends from Boston is moving there in November, with a second best friend potentially following soon after. Spending a winter in Hawaii with two of my closest friends sounds amazing, but I’m still trying to figure out the economic logistics of it. Maui is one of the most expensive places in the world to live. We wouldn’t need anywhere nice, but I’d feel a lot better going out there if I had a job lined up. I’ve already applied to a few whale watching companies – I figure doing interpretation on a boat won’t be much different than doing it in the desert – and that would be relevant experience if I wanted to apply for a park service job in the spring. The problem is getting that job. I wouldn’t mind just waitressing or working at a shop either. We’ll see.
Option #2 – Peru. My boyfriend was originally planning on spending his winter here. He says you can rent a house on the beach for $200 a month. Although way more affordable than Maui, I probably wouldn’t be able to get a job here, which means I’d have to figure out a way to get some money together before leaving, probably sometime in December. Once again, a winter on the beach sounds like heaven, especially after spending the last four in Boston, and Peru has the added benefit of the potential to learn all about a new culture and maybe even polish my Spanish skills. Even though the job opportunities are lower, there are a lot of other kinds of opportunities here that could be just as rewarding.
Option #3 – Colorado. My family has a place here that I could potentially stay in rent-free (though I haven’t actually run this idea by them to be sure). I’ve already put in an open application at Copper, but none of the winter jobs have been posted yet. It would be amazing to work as a ski instructor for a season, but that’s a hard job to swing, especially since I’m not certified (and to be certified, you need a certain number of teaching hours, one of those impossible deals!). It could be decent just to get a job at a shop or restaurant and bum around for the season too. We’ll see.
Option #4 – Stay home, make money, maybe complete some sort of training that would make me more competitive for a park service job in the spring. This wouldn’t be a horrible choice. I wouldn’t mind at all being at home for a little while and just taking it easy. And it might be the only option that definitely allows me the time to be home for the holidays, which is obviously how I would prefer to spend that time of year.
And then something else could come up! Who knows? My future is a blank slate right now, and I’m finding that refreshingly exciting. It’s crazy how things happen. So many times in the past few years I’ve found myself in a place I’d never imagined I would be. Now that I’ve finally realized that’s the way life works, this entire process is way less stressful, even fun!
Whatever happens, I’ll keep you updated.