I love National Parks. When the Ken Burns PBS special on ‘The National Parks: America’s Best Idea’ was aired, I DVR’ed all the epidsodes and have watched them repeatedly. I’m a park geek.
I am trying to figure out what it is that I enjoy in life, that is solely my joy, not the joy that Kevin & I had mutually. I have finally found SOMETHING that is me. National Parks and Camping. I love the exploration and the history of National Parks. They’re all unique gems of the best things about the United States.
So far, I have visited Yosemite, Yellowstone, Glacier, Badlands, Grand Canyon, Theodore Roosevelt, and I think I’ve been through Shenendoah & Sequoia as well. There’s a total of 58 National Parks (technically over 300 National Park UNITS), and frankly, I want to see them all.
Bucket list. This is now on my bucket list. In the next 10-15 years I want to visit every National Park in the U.S. Some I can do in 1 trip. Others will be 1 park for the entire trip (Alaska and Hawaii). I don’t think it’s a completely ridiculous dream. I love road trips, I love to camp and hike, and I’m hoping to take a few weeks off next summer to explore the West again and visit Montana.
But then I get to thinking. I have nothing to tie me down. I have family whom I love dearly, but I will love them, and visit them, and be part of their lives no matter where I am. By December of this year, school will be done, and well, being that none of my regular jobs are a career path, what do I have to tie me down? Pretty much nothing. I’ll be FREE. It is exhilerating.
Back to National Parks. Why don’t I work in one? Moving to Montana, I had gotten accepted into the University of Montana for Recreational Management solely because I wanted to do events for National Parks or Park Systems. Where did that dream go? It didn’t go anywhere. It’s still there, but now I have a second chance at it at this second life. While my degree may not be that, I can use it towards something within the Park System, whether it takes me to California, Arizona, Montana, Alaska, or Maryland. So many wonderful options. Plus, I can freelance ANYWHERE.
I’m really really digging this idea. This dream. This bucket list. Could it be that I finally found a future I could get excited about?