Sometimes we find ourselves having to face this difficult question. It usually comes at times of big changes in our life, graduations, marriages, finding out that one is having a baby, the loss of a job, the loss of a loved one, the list goes on. Gabby and I moved to Alaska with 2 weeks notice and 5 months to figure out what was next. In 5 months we’d be off to the next amazing place…but where?
We’d already decided that we weren’t going to move back to Oregon. Hawaii seemed like a logical move from Alaska, “You’ve got one of the hard ones out of the way, might as well go for the other.” But Hawaii wasn’t where I wanted to be this winter.
Alaska turned out to be the perfect peaceful place to carefully contemplate my next moves. I began to think about how I’d like to spend my winter. Growing up in the NE, most often, winter was something we feared. Something we just needed to “get through.” I’m tired of trying to “get through” life, I needed a place where I could have some real fun this winter.
I learned to ski when I was in middle school. I skied casually for several years, but mostly gave it up due to expense when I went to college. Gabby had never learned to ski, so when we started dating in 2011 I had basically forgotten all about my old winter hobby.
I knew that ski resorts hire a great deal of seasonal employees for the winter. I also happened to know that they often give free lift passes to their employees. All I had to do was convince Gabby. I knew that moving to Colorado to ski all winter would be a hard sell, since she’d never skied before, but I was hopeful.
We had both fallen deeply in love with the Alaskan mountains, and we hiked and camped a great deal in 2014, so the Rockies were definitely a logical progression. I explained to Gabby how much I LOVED skiing when I was younger, and expressed to her that skiing could be a fun activity that the two of us could do together.
The problem with skiing as a hobby is that it’s very expensive, and our tight budget rarely allows for expensive hobbies. Luckily, working for a ski resort negates the cost entirely. After looking further into the benefits, we learned that we could get free skiing or snowboarding lessons as resort employees as well.
The deal was sealed; we applied, got hired, and began the moving process all over again. This time we were headed to Colorado, The Rocky Mountain State and the land of legal weed. Also, with an end date in April we had several months to figure out what comes next.
Working seasonally has offered us the opportunity to live in beautiful places, do the activities we enjoy most, and see the world at the same time. Anyone can work and travel, feel free to ask us questions, or leave us a comment. Tell us about your travel experiences, and how you answered the question “what’s next?”