Thursday, May 23, 2013

Preparing to Work in a National Park

With less than one week left before I head to Bryce Canyon National Park for my seasonal job in the gift shop, I am busy making final preparations.

Living in a company dorm is always a challenge. You sure learn how to downsize when it's the only "home" you have! For me, this time this has meant getting rid of absolutely everything I cannot carry with me in two suitcases plus one carry on.

Trust me. Releasing material possessions is hard. Up until the past few weeks, I had always considered myself a pro at not owning "things".

This week, I had to throw away several years' worth of handwritten journals and fiction manuscripts. I had to toss printed photographs from my time in Florida. I've had to give away all my books, and my souvenirs from my travels abroad.

I keep telling myself, this is all for the best. One day I will be glad I did it. I have challenged myself to consider this a spiritual process.

I am also writing about about letting go of your worldly goods which I will publish on Amazon later this year!

Now, the uniforms are bought. Some parks provide uniforms or have a very casual dress code. Forever Resorts has a much more strict, formal (and expensive) uniform policy for employees. So far I have spent over $200 getting everything together, and am still not completely finished.

The plane ticket is paid for. I have booked my hotel in the city where my job's HR staff will come to pick me up.

I remind myself of all the positive aspects of this upcoming adventure. I am looking forward to being in nature, again. To long hikes in stunning landscapes on my off days. I am looking forward to meeting new coworkers from around the world.

Most of all, I am looking forward to at least of few months' worth of financial security!

I still have no idea where I will go at the end of this season. Sometimes I think I want to return to explore more of India. Maybe I will finally attempt to make a life in Europe, finances permitting.

Part of me wants nothing more than to find whatever it means to have a "home". To have a place to call my own, where I can sit in the garden with one (or three) good cats and drink tea.

I have bounced back and forth between 7 US states and various other countries over the past two decades. I will always love travel and exploring new places. But I also want a place to rest.

On a positive note, let me leave you with a few national park images I've taken over my previous seasonal jobs!

From Rocky Mountain National Park, where I worked in the Gift Shop.
Wildflowers Along Mount Ida Trail in RMNP

A Golden Marmot on Mount Ida in Colorado's RMNP
From Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming...

Jenny Lake, with Mount Moran in the Background
And last but not least, America's "favorite" park, a scene from Mt. Rushmore National Monument!

George Washington and Abe Lincoln on Mt Rushmore

Leave me a comment if you can relate to my adventures. Leave me a comment if you have ever worked in a national park! Or just leave me a comment if you have a particular topic you'd like me to cover related to this experience.

Thanks for coming along with me on this journey! Please share the post with all your friends!

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