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Where in the World Was Liz?

backpacking wyoming

Climbing a scree field and rock slide in Wyoming.

I disappeared off the face of the earth towards the end of last summer. Where did I go? Why did I leave you all? What happened? The answer: a lot happened! So much that I don't even know where to start, exactly. There's too much to cover. I'll be brief and attempt to nutshell it all.

In July of 2017, as I was in the midst of pondering (and blogging about) deep and significant life changes in order to get the career I wanted (something in the outdoors), an unexpected job offer came my way.

I used to own a dog training franchise, but I closed it in 2016. I adore dogs and loved my dog training facility. I miss it (still) every day. In July, the CEO of the corporate office called to tell me they had secured a significant round of funding, formed a board of directors and planned to grow like crazy. They wanted me to be their director of operations and handle sales of new franchises.

The perks? I would work from home, which has always been a dream of mine. I would travel a lot, which is also a dream of mine. I would get to work in the dog industry again, which I missed. And I would be a major decision maker and leader within a growing organization. I didn't hesitate. I left my rather mundane government position and jumped into the new job head first.

I spent the rest of 2017 traveling nearly every week as I toured our locations around the country. I did squeeze in a fantastically challenging backpacking trip in Wyoming for the eclipse, which I will surely write more about later (I seriously don't think I like wildflowers anymore and I know what it's like to have high-altitude bronchitis). And I did spend some quality time at home with the fam (but not much in those first few months).

I also make more money than I have before which means my husband (or husband and stepson) and I can take more weekend trips away which scratches more of my outdoorsy itches.

Although taking this job turned me in the opposite direction from where I thought I was going, I love opportunities and I don't like to turn them down when they come my way. I knew this position and its perks could possibly give me a better work/life balance and afford me the ability to travel more and spend more time outside. It did. It does.

I can't lie and say my dream of working in the outdoor industry isn't still lingering and causing me strife now and again. Every spring I seem to fantasize heavily about becoming a wilderness guide. I have to avoid books about people my age who have managed to make massive life and career changes and hike the PCT or become a wilderness guide or blog their way to riches. Reading them tends to cause my brain to spin out of control and it's not fun (for anyone).

Instead, I joined a challenge to walk, hike or run 365 miles in 365 days and I'm already way more than halfway there. I also joined a fundraising challenge to hike or run at least 100 miles in February (28 days). I killed that goal! I joined an online book club where we read only wilderness books (although I haven't read much of the first book yet!). I've been planning short backpacking trips for my Backpacking Bettys group. And I've been planning longer trips of various kinds (family reunions to Maine, backpacking with girlfriends in Glacier National Park, and my 40th birthday bash in New Mexico).

Basically, I'm trying to incorporate MORE of what I so desire in life into a framework that keeps my family happy and my paycheck fat enough to do the things I love without going completely broke. Have I found the perfect formula? No. But I'm close. A lot closer than I've ever been before. And that's really saying a lot. Now, I just need to find time to write more blog posts....

#hiking #trailrunning #Passions #careers