I'm just shy of 37, and as of this past Sunday, I'm "between careers".
I spent the last 18 years in the ski industry. Started as a humble snowmaker, did a few years as a snowcat operator, and spent the last ten or so in ski patrol, mostly as an avalanche technician. The pay sucked, the job was mostly seasonal, but I learned lots, it was heaps of fun, and it took me to ski hills in New Zealand and Australia for a few seasons. Over this summer, I got paid to ride a DH mountain bike.
A couple years ago I realized that I'd gone about as far as I could in the ski industry. I suppose I could've gone on to earn my ACMG ski guide certification, but that is a lot of work, time, and self-induced poverty that I wasn't sure I was ready or willing to do.
So, I started making moves to something different. Built tube guitar amplifiers for a summer or two, and much as I love a good tube amp, selling them for a living as a one-person garage operation took too much time and work for the paltry profits I made. I have some kickass amps, though
Last summer, I took a few university distance-learning courses with the goal of earning a degree in geology or something - I had no clear picture of where I would go with it; I just wanted to do... something.
The clincher was that my wife has a good full-time job at the same resort I worked at, we had a house, dog, friends, and a mostly comfortable little groove (rut?) going. Then last fall, we separated. Very amicably, fortunately (we're still friends, and until next week, still living in the same house).
So, I no longer was attached to any one place, job or, uh, person. We split our assets evenly, and my ex agreed to buy out the house and car. So now I have no mortgage (and no house), but I did have a nice little nest egg from selling out, so to speak.
-ALWAYS wanted to fly. I've often pined that if I ever had the money, time and freedom, I'd get my commercial helicopter license.
Well, *presto*. Training starts on Sept 15.
It'll be a lot of work, time, and self-induced poverty
, but it's something that I'm extremely motivated and excited about. The one advantage of coming from the ski industry is that I'm used to being po'.