LBarryPicOne of my favorite quotes is by Jack Kerouac and it often finds its way onto my motivational quotes board on Pinterest: “Live, travel, adventure, bless and don’t be sorry.” This past summer I decided to take on this quote and find its meaning via a summer job. I wanted to find a job that would allow me to see some place new, somewhere that was completely different from my suburban neighborhood. I researched about summer jobs at camps across the country and looked into working at national historic sites.

10361305_10154204067900261_2244065518613405060_nAs I was doing my research, I remembered a family vacation from when I was in the 5th grade. My family is the kind of family that goes on educational or outdoorsy vacations. My dad and mom decided that we were going to go to a dude ranch in Montana for a week. This vacation has stuck with me throughout my entire life because of the breathtaking views and amazing experiences I had there. I decided that I was going to apply for a housekeeping position for the lodge where guests stay and was excited when I was offered the position.

10356348_10204259690591163_1656442924643367897_nThree days after my 20th birthday, I left for Montana, where there would be no cell phone service and limited wi-fi due to the location of the ranch. The people I worked with were so different from anyone I had ever met at home or in college. Everyone had interesting stories about how they ended up at the ranch, whether they were college students or had just retired. The way the ranch was set up had our guests eat with our staff every night during their weeklong visit. We had couples, international families, and groups of men or women. They all came out to the ranch for a simpler week or to get the experience of the American West.

10537098_10204606352577496_7270009708932883841_nLiving on the ranch this summer, I learned a lot about myself and other people. I learned that while technology can be great, getting swept away by the nature around you is wonderful. Being able to sit and reflect without distractions from the outside world can help you to find the person you are called to be. I met so many interesting people who all came from different backgrounds because of our dynamic at the ranch. When you are put outside of your comfort zone, with people who are different than you, I think you realize that sometimes it’s the people who make the place and help you to learn about the world around you. In our 20’s we are able to move freely and travel the world, so why not? Take the unexpected job and see where life will take you!

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