I sit on the arm of a dirty couch in guide housing and glance up at the glacier that is in clear view of the front yard. Low-lying clouds curl themselves around the mountains and a damp, salty breeze drags itself inland from the fjord. Feels good to be back.
My last couple weeks in Breckenridge were spent in frantic days of packing and trying to ski, while searching high and low for someone to sublease for the summer. The “rain” in the forecast turned to a heavy, wet snow, the Texan tourists had all but left town, and the locals were happy again: Springtime was making its debut. And for me, that meant another season gone too fast and that it was time to pack all my belongings in either the back of a truck or a storage unit and hit the road again.
This same thing happens every 6 months. I know it’s coming, but still, it’s always so surprising once it finally arrives. Living seasonally is a funny thing—a inconvenience and a joy all at the same time. I griped about what a hassle housing in Summit County is and how frustrating it had been to find a sub-leaser, and I longed for the big peaks of Alaska while simultaneously mourning another good winter in Colorado that was now over.
I drove out of Breckenridge a day late. It had just snowed three feet and was still dumping and a lot of me wasn’t ready to leave yet. Drive away from skiing in a snowstorm and miss all the powder? Yeah, I know. Crazy. But you can never stretch that time in between jobs out too far or you’d never have the money to ski in the first place. So we slept in the bed of a truck in Moab and Tahoe and Portland and Olympic NP and then drove through Canada in about 48 hours and before I knew it I was back in Skagway again with a beer in my hand and the cold rain falling.
Everyone always says that change is the only constant. Well, that is especially true when you find yourself on the move at least twice a year. There are days when I wish I didn’t have to tear myself from friends, family, and what I’ve been calling home so often. There are moments when I wish I could stick around for a Colorado summer, hanging out on top of fourteen-thousand-foot peaks in shorts and drinking craft beers from Denver. But there are others when I ponder what a winter in Alaska, or somewhere else might be like.
Despite the never-ending search for a 6-month lease in winter, figuring out where to store my mattress and other non-essentials (like clothes you wear in an office) in the summer, I love living seasonally. It forces a pause, to look back for a minute at the last 6 months or so of your life with reflection and gratitude. Not everyone gets to spend their year in two different but equally awesome places and travel in the cracks of time between. It’s an interesting way to live, and it’s worth every Facebook post and Craigslist ad asking if anyone is looking for a room for the summer.
Who knows how long I will continue to sustain this nomadic sort of life; probably not forever. Eventually I’ll pick some soil to plant myself in. But I don’t think I’ll ever stop traveling. And I hope I never stop pausing every so often to take a look at life and be thankful, wherever I am, whatever I’m doing. The change is good, though challenging at times. It brings fresh perspectives and new energy to the everyday. And with that fresh energy, a new season begins—more mountains, more fresh air, more good beer (and bad beer), and more experiences that make the seasonal life a little slice of paradise.