Well, it has been a while since we last posted, and as we close out the summer and drift into the heart of fall, I figured now would be as good of time as any for an update. Time has really flown by and we now have been full-timing for almost 8 months. This summer was filled with so many fun adventures and experiences as we boondocked our way around the Intermountain West. We learned a lot of “Rookie” lessons along the way and now feel very confident in handling anything that might come our way.
Looking back at everything so far, we are so happy that we took the “plunge” into full timing as it has been a better experience than we could have ever imagined. We have seen more places, interacted with more wildlife, found more solitude in the wild then ever before. I know its not for everyone but if you’re the type of person that has been thinking about it…….Just do it!
A lot has happened since our last post and this lifestyle has carved the way for us. When you spend a lot of time away from the influences of everyday life, it gives you time to think freely about life. Almost like a child, where thoughts are bound only by the imagination, before TV and media has the chance to implant its suggestions and ways of thinking. The big thought for me was a slow realization over time that what I was doing for work had no correlation with what I enjoyed doing in life or the lifestyle that my wife and I are living. It became apparent that I had become another victim of the pitfall trap that is the corporate ladder. Climbing up each rung with no hope of enjoyment in sight, yet collecting a bigger and bigger pay check, which I realize now, I never really needed in the first place.
Eventually I came to the conclusion that when you break it all down, we are all in the business of selling time and how we sell it is a choice that really is up to us. So I made the decision that I was going to stop selling my time to a place and a job that I had no real interest in (besides that it was a way to make money.) Thinking back, that was why I got into it in the first place–not because I had any interest in it, but because I needed a job. Ultimately, it just became a chore to get done, so that once in a while, I could really do the things I enjoyed. I had always heard people say “do what you love” and I always disregarded it as a pipe dream and never really knew how to make it happen, but now I find myself staring it in the face–clear as day. It made sense and I made it my goal to make it happen.
As you all know we love the outdoors. The mountains have captivated me since I was a little boy–my face glued to the window looking for waterfalls along the roadside on our family trips up to Mt Baker, WA (still my favorite hill of all time). So naturally, that was the first thing that came to mind when thinking of ideas for new careers. “Im going to get a job in the mountains and spend my time in a setting that I love, doing something that I love and helping others to enjoy it as well.” Why not I thought, this lifestyle put me in place to be able to do it. Living full time in a travel trailer and boondocking half the year has a really low overhead, meaning you don’t have the bills and expenses associated with the stick built main stream existence. It all kinda clicked and made sense. I can make less money but still live happily, and truly enjoy every day on the job.
So what happened next? I decided I was going to take a shot at joining a Ski Patrol in Park City, UT which has kind of been our “home base” since we started this whole thing. I did a lot of research on what I needed to do to give myself a shot in making this happen. Since I’m already a strong skier I needed to beef up my medical credentials. Step one was get my WFR (Wilderness First Responder) or “WOOFER” as some pronounce it. So the very next day, I found a course through Wilderness Medicine Utah out of the University of Utah School of Medicine and signed up. It was a great course and I would also recommend anyone who does a lot of boondocking or spends time far from civilization to get your WFR. Next step was to get a job. This part was really all about persistence, I called, emailed, stopped in, pretty much anything I could to keep my name fresh in there heads. Well, long story short and a few interviews later I accomplished my goal. I got the job and will be patrolling for Park City in its inaugural year as America’s largest ski resort. For those of you that don’t know what patrolling is–it is a combination of EMS first responder, Search and Rescue, Avalanche professional and pro skier. Now that I got the job I said “bye bye” to my previous employer and I’m currently taking OEC (Outdoor Emergency Care) which is an EMS certification for mountain environments by the NSP.
Now, to make things even better, at right around the same time, Tara got hired as a 4th grade teacher here in Park City. She truly loves her job as well as the school she is teaching at, which is really awesome. I don’t think that we would have found these opportunities if it weren’t for the choice to live this lifestyle. Oh ya, I should also mention, since teachers get summers off, that means we can hit the road for roughly 3 months each year! Needless to say, we could not be happier right now. Currently we are dug in for the winter at the RV resort here in Park City so look forward to some updates on winter RVing. Until next time, FreeNomadderwhat…..or for the winter, SkiNommaderWhat.