Never in my life have I gone so long without a plan.
It’s been 5 months since I packed up my apartment at Mesa Verde. Two months ago I informed my supervisors I wouldn’t be coming back. I fully expected to know by this point what my summer would look like. But I still have no idea.
This winter has been a waiting game. Back in December I sent out several applications for Park Service jobs, non-Park Service Jobs, and grad school. I still haven’t heard anything. At the beginning of this off-season I was confident I had planted seeds in enough pots that something would sprout. But now, my bank account quickly dwindling, I’m getting a little nervous that I won’t see a single bud.
I’m coming to terms with the idea that that wouldn’t be the end of the world. I’ll keep looking for something, and eventually I’ll find a good fit. But at the moment I feel limited in what I can commit to because so much is still up in the air. The uncertainty of it all is driving me a little bit crazy. Writing about Japan has been a great outlet as far as distracting myself from these worries. This blog has been my primary project for the winter, and I’m pretty happy with how it’s turned out.
In addition to my Japan adventures, I’ve spent a good amount of time on the slopes these past few months. It was a phenomenal snow year up here in Colorado, and I’m so happy to have enjoyed it. Still, I think this will be my last year as a professional ski bum. I grow restless without something to work towards. If I come back to this area for a winter in the future I’ll need to set myself up with a volunteer project or paid work. I considered teaching skiing again this year, but that wouldn’t have allowed me the flexibility to go to Japan. That’s the problem with real jobs – they don’t like it when travel is your priority.
So what’s next on my plate? Austin and I will be headed back to Mesa Verde country next week to pick up some stuff, visit with family and friends, and relax for a week or so before we both move to Rocky Mountain National Park, where he will be working for the summer (Rocky hasn’t done their hiring for my department yet, keep your fingers crossed for me!). We were able to score a sweet little cabin in the woods as housing, and even though I don’t know how I’m going to pay the rent just yet, I’m thrilled to be able to spend what will be my fifth summer living inside of yet another beautiful National Park.
Some of our previously mentioned hopes of spring travel had to be scratched due to unanticipated expenses. Back in November we had planned on squatting with a friend for the winter rent-free. That plan ended up falling through, and we had to decide whether to go for additional travel and save money by living with our parents, or paying up for a place in the mountains. We chose the latter, and I definitely don’t regret that. But our Grand Canyon and Boston-NY-DC trip will have to wait for another time.
As far as this blog goes, I so enjoyed writing my Japan Wrap-Up post I’ve decided to do a bit of reminiscing and revisit some of the previous travels documented on here in the same format. I figure at the very least it’s a fun project for me, and best-case scenario I can introduce some of my new readers to my old travels (PS – HI NEW READERS! Thanks so much for subscribing!). So you can expect wrap-ups from Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and the Camino de Santiago to come your way shortly.
In the meantime I’ll be cuddled up for the last few days in my basement apartment, watching the snow melt and waiting for the mud to dry.
Until then 🙂