Philmont Here I Come!

Welp! I did it. Today I gave notice at my work. March 14th. That’s my last day! It’s taken a large dose of patients but I’ve finally got the next few months figured out.

Some back story: Things really got started back in October. Back then I was loosely planning on quitting my job and moving to Paris on a travel visa, and just do web design work as if I was living in the US. Then reality started to set in. I heard that some places required proof of employment or at least a work visa to rent a place (though I’m sure I could have found a slum to rent), and everywhere I read it seemed like people had trouble getting these papers, and even when they did, it was hard to get a job…

So this was still my plan but I since one of my good friends, Ditch, was going to be getting married this summer, I wasn’t going to make my move till after that to save on expensive transatlantic flights.

Then one of my co-workers from Belgium let me know that there were openings there and that I should try to apply for that. And so, I did. This actually seemed like it was going fairly smoothly. I talked to my boss about it, and Frank (the boss over there) and HR… it looked like it was going reasonably well…

This was all happening in mid to late November and I had a 3 week vacation to Peru coming up. At this point I thought things were probably about 70-80% sure that they would go through, and was actually more worried about them filling the positions before I got back from my trip than anything else. I called up Frank to let him know that I was 100% committed to this move and that if any decisions had to be made while I was gone that they could count me in for the move.

Now its three weeks later and I’m anxious to see if there’s any update when I return to work, and all I hear is rumor after rumor of lay offs and downsizing! That Thursday EMC laid off what supposedly amounts to roughly 15% of its employee’s! Uhg.

With that option out of the way, and after thinking about things a lot while in Peru, I decided that there were some more things that I wanted to do in life that I wouldn’t be able to do while working, and that when I did work that I wanted to try and give back or make a difference a bit more. And so I applied to Philmont.

Philmont is basically most Boy Scouts pinnacle achievement/memory of scouting. Its the largest high adventure scout camp in the US, located at the foot of the rockies in Cimarron, NM. I applied to be a Ranger, who’s job description is: ‘Responsible for welcoming crews to Philmont, assisting them with administrative processing, and preparing them for the trail in base camp and by accompanying them on the trail for the first three days. Provides instruction in camping and hiking techniques, wilderness ethics and procedures, and teamwork.’. I’m pretty stoked.

I got email confirmation that I got the job last night, and put in my notice to leave my current job today. I still don’t have any clue how much money I’ll be making, but it honestly doesn’t matter. I don’t think there could be an offer too low that I wouldn’t take it.

That start May 1st, and usually runs till August 17th or so, but I’ll be leaving in the first week of August so that I can hike the John Muir Trail with my friend Geoff. The JMT is basically a 230 mile section of the Pacific Crest Trail that runs from Yosemite National Park down to Mount Whitney (the tallest point in the continental 48 states). It also has one of the longest stretches of wilderness: 11 days with out places to pick up food. So it should be quite the hike!

After that I’ll be heading over to LA to spend some time with friend there before heading out on another bike trip with my friend, Noah, who I went to Peru with. We’re going to take a quick trip from LA up to San Fransisco.

That should take me up till about mid-September. After that I don’t have any firm plans yet, but there’s still plenty of time for that. I’m currently looking into different aid organizations. Ideally I’d like to find one where I don’t have to pay, and can get food, shelter, and (if possible) health insurance. But more importantly I’d like to work for an organization that I can morally support and can really justify its purpose. The idea of going to an impoverished country to do manual labor sounds fine, but those countries already have plenty of cheap labor, so I’ll have to find something else. (Suggestions welcome!) I’ve also started looking into things like the AmeriCorps, which could be a possibility.

And as if that may not be enough… I figured I really should give this year a kick off that it deserves! And so in late March I’m going to go with my friend Jason from school and tour South East Asia. We’ll meet up with my friend Sharon in Singapore, visit another friend, Judy, in Thialand, and then the three of us will probably go to India as well! There’s also talks of visiting my friend Thanh in Vietnam for his brother’s wedding, and seeing a few other countries as well, but those details are still to come!

I think that’s about it, at least for now. But I’ll be sure post back more as more detials emerge!

Stoked in ’08!

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