It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

For the better part of the last decade, I have made my home in Seattle, WA at the heart of the beautiful Pacific Northwest. In my time here, I have made many friends and gone on many adventures. I have had a ton of fun, but it hasn’t always been easy. I moved here to go to art school and played the role of “starving artist” for many years. When school was over, I found myself stuck in the role. The rent here truly is “too damn high”. The cost of living, the insignificance of my college education, and the complete and utter wasteland known as the job market led to many lean years. I was forced into sketchy living situations with total strangers found on Craigslist, cramped living quarters, and a slew of dead end jobs. I have sacrificed my entire paycheck to my rent for too long. I decided it was time to try something new.

So I did the only thing I could think to do, I broke my lease, left my house, and got rid of most of my material possessions. I started looking for jobs that were outside of Seattle and a little out of the ordinary: youth instructor on a cruise ship, trail builder in the Appalachian Mountains, lift assistant at a ski resort. The more I thought about this kind of work, the more I liked the idea of it. I’ve always been too poor to travel, never having been able to save any money. I’ve seen so little of this country and never been outside of it. I realized that I could do this for years. I could work my way across the country gaining seasonal employment somewhere I’ve never been, travel for a bit, then move on to the next place.

For the first time in my adult life, I am not tied down to anyone or anything and it’s exhilarating.

So, I’m doing it. I’m going away. Away from the only home I’ve ever known, all my friends, all my creature comforts, and everything familiar. I’m going to see more of this beautiful country, gain actual life experience, and find a way to save money for the fist time in my life.

“But if you want something to change
You gotta change your life
And take your time
It just takes time
Hard work and your time”

-Future Islands

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