I’ve been working for the past three years as an engineer at a fly-in-fly-out mine in northern Alaska. I usually worked two or four weeks straight, followed by one or two weeks off. I was lucky to have generous “paid time off” or vacation days to use in addition to my regular days of so I could take longer trips a few times a year. I always had a touch of wanderlust and this job gave me the means and some time to start exploring. Why not keep on doing what I’m doing, keep my job and travel on my off time? Two and three week trips are no longer enough for me. Plus, camp life and working for someone else’s dream has honestly started to get me down. And no, this is not a story where I go to the Caribbean to scoop ice cream. Although I do enjoy ice cream.
In my first year of camp life, I drove the ALCAN from Fernie, BC to Anchorage, AK, I travelled home a few times to Canada, attended my fourth Sasquatch in Washington state, visited family in Florida, and I took a trip to Costa Rica to attend a 200 hour yoga teacher training. In my second year, again I travelled home to Canada a few times, visited Montreal and New York City, went to LA for the first time (hello, Venice Beach!), had a fantastic trip to Iceland and the UK with my sister, and I made my first trip to Hawaii and found Kalani. In my most recent year, I visited Hawaii twice more (attended my first Wanderlust), LA again, Portland, Las Vegas, and of course more trips back to Canada. Over the three years, I also had lots of fun exploring this last great frontier and trying things I never would have otherwise had the chance to experience.
Most people I worked with were quite shocked at my news of leaving. The most common question I’ve been asked lately is, “Where are you going?”. My answer: “Nowhere”. I’m not taking a job with another mine or going into consulting or taking a masters in engineering or business. I am going to travel. I am going to practice more yoga. I am going to volunteer. I am going to study things that interest me. I hope to help people.
I worked hard to complete my engineering degree and learn what I needed to for my 8 year career in the mining industry. My job allowed me to pay off my student loans and new car well before the terms were up, but most significantly for me, my job allowed me to feed my wanderlust, to grow out of my shell, and to find the courage to leave.
I am so ready for this.