Holy moly what a rollercoaster my life has been these past few months. I haven’t done a great job (at all) keeping up with my blog and part of that is because life has been just. so. hard.
Here’s a recap:
Remember that job I was so excited about back in January when I wrote my 2017 Year in Review? Well being a Backroads trip leader wasn’t nearly all that I expected it to be. I was so excited to be back on land after working on the ships for nearly 10 years and I really thought that I was going to jive with the adventure-loving Backroads community. The trips I was to lead (California wine country and Yosemite NP mostly) sounded amazing and I was proud to finally be in a leadership position after years of feeling like my Wellness Specialist role with Lindblad was second best to the Naturalists and Photo Instructors. Well, my experience at Backroads didn’t turn out as planned and I ended up quitting halfway through the season. The main reason I was so unhappy was the constant moving around. I was literally sleeping in a different bed every other night, not to mention packing and repacking my duffle at least once a day. It was, to say the least, exhausting. And the communal living situation in between trips was less than ideal. It was loud, crowded, filthy at times, and just not what I want to deal with at this stage in my life.
Also, during my time off I was making the 5+ hour drive back and forth from San Francisco (where I was based at the Berkeley leader house) to Bishop where I was trying to make a new relationship work with a guy I had been into for over a year. Life just wasn’t working and I need to reorder my priorities. So… when I was on a mountain bike trip to Oakridge, Oregon in August with friends, I quit, kinda on whim. And it felt fantastic.
I did sorta have a backup plan. I accepted a two-week contract with Lindblad (back to being a Wellness Specialist again) and my plan was to move in with my boyfriend in Bishop and hopefully land the remote job I was coveting that paid well and provided excellent benefits.
But the universe had other ideas for me. The only part of that plan that actually worked out was doing the two-week contract from Alaska to Seattle. When I made my way back to Bishop after getting off the ship my relationship dissolved into a heap of tears, anger, and disappointment and I ended up not getting that remote job that I had so sorely wanted. Life was back to sucking.
So here I am, staying with my brother and sister-in-law at their place in Sunny Slopes, trying to figure out my next move. I’m working hard to start up a freelance writing business targeted to the outdoor industry and I’m seriously thinking about moving to Durango, Colorado (maybe within the next week!) so that I can start fresh.
That was a lot, but my goal with these monthly posts is to write regularly about what’s going on in my life - good and bad - so that I don’t have to dump everything out on these pages at once.
Ready for some optimism now? I am. Here we go.
Move to Durango, Colorado I’m still vacillating back and forth about taking the plunge and moving to Durango, Colorado. I know that I can’t stay at my brother and sister-in-laws forever, especially since they have an 8-month old. But it’s just so dang comfortable and familiar here. I take the dogs for a daily walk, I do chores around the house (which I actually enjoy doing), and fantastic mountain bike trails are just a few minutes away. But it’s not all great. I don’t have a job, so I’m not bringing any money it and the guest bedroom is currently being inhabited by my mom who’s been here for a couple of months to help out with baby Eve. That means I’m sleeping in my car, which actually is quite comfortable, but not what I want to do for the foreseeable future.
After a ton of research on best mountain bike towns in the US, I came to the conclusion that Durango is the place for me. It’s a small town with a college, so it has some culture to offer and great restaurants. Amazing outdoor recreation opportunities are in easy reach, especially for mountain biking. Plus, Durango is only a few hours away from other mountain bike destinations like Crested Butte, Moab, and Taos. And it seems like I can land a job pretty easily - I’ve already applied to a few. I also found a cute room to rent on Craigslist and the roommate sounds great. I just need to pull the trigger.
Earn some sort of income I have a pretty sizable amount of money saved up in my bank account, but I don’t want to dip into it too much. I need a job and I don’t want to go back to the ships on a regular basis. My thoughts are to wait on tables at night and focus on writing and pitching stories during the day.
Land first freelance writing gig I’m excited for this to happen! Crossing my fingers that I’ll land my first gig in October.
Get car hitch and bike rack I desperately need a hitch and bike rack on the back of my car. I’ve been putting it off because both are pretty pricey, but I just need to bite the bullet and do it.
Read a book I love reading, don’t get me wrong, but I always seem to have something *better* to do with my time. Culprits include: listening to podcasts while knitting, working on my website, chores around the house, cooking, going for a mountain bike ride or hike. All of these things are important, but I want to set time aside to slow down and read at least one book a month.
Send at least 20 pitches Pitching is so important as I start to build my freelance writing and copywriting business. The only way to land clients is to reach out to them. They are not going to reach out to me.
Write and publish one blog post I am so bad about keeping up with my blog despite it being something that I really want to do. So one blog post a week is my commitment.
Move my body for at least 30 minutes I’m pretty good at keeping up with exercise - I love mountain biking and hiking - but somedays I find myself glued to the couch from the moment I wake up to the moment I go to bed. I want to be more deliberate about taking movement breaks throughout the day.
I’ll be writing another Intentional Goal-Setting post in early November and checking back in on these October goals to see how I’ve done. Wish me luck!