Inner Peace And The Power Of Place

How important is finding inner peace, and is it possible that a “place” may lead you to it?

An article in New York Magazine earlier this year really caught my eye with the front page feature, Give Inner Peace a Chance. The author asked 100 people the question about how they find inner peace in New York, and received many responses that included pills, yoga, and TV.

This was my favorite response though, and I quote,

“I wonder how many people in NYC are actually seeking “Inner Peace.” It’s not on my list of things to do. People might be a lot more serene if they settled for a nice slice of pizza.”

Spoken like a true New Yorker. No sugar-coating there.

Peace of Mind
For me …there is no doubt about it. I am calmer here in Wyoming than I was there in New York. Although I do believe that inner peace has a lot more to do with the state of your inner self and not so much to do with where you live, there is still no discounting that feeling that I get when driving home staring straight into those Tetons. There I am … looking directly into this indescribable spectacular beauty that has managed to reach out and brighten my soul each and every day that I have been here.

The Power of Place
Truthfully, the two go hand in hand for me living here in Jackson Hole, and both have remained equally important throughout my own life journey. Finding your peace and finding your place … both absolutely worth exploring.

Fort Lewis College In Durango, Colorado Adds Adventure Education Degree Program

Just read about this new program at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado …

This fall, the Durango college began offering a four-year bachelor’s degree in adventure education for students who wish to become professional instructors in outdoor activities.

Bob Stremba, director of the adventure education program, said the program’s purpose isn’t to “turn kids into ski bums.” The goal is to provide in-depth academic and field experience aligned with a liberal arts education, he said.

To read the complete article, see Fort Lewis offers ‘adventure education’

Guides=ski bums. Definitely not. The professional guides and outdoor educators here in Jackson Hole, climbers, skiers … whatever their specialty, are extremely focused, dedicated and some of the hardest working people that I know.

Excellent news for those of you interested in getting a degree in adventure education, and what a great place to go to school… Durango, Colorado!

To Be A Millionaire In A Mountain Town Or Not

The truth is, not everyone in a ski resort town is a millionaire, and for those of us who are not, I would not say that we are truly suffering either. Personally speaking, I can think of quite a few scenarios that would be worse than living in an expensive ski town, but then again … I really do love the mountains.

There are going to be trade-offs made … wherever you decide to live. In choosing a beautiful resort town, you are going to be dealing with a high cost of living. Housing is no doubt the toughest issue we face, and if you have been researching western ski towns, you have probably been reading all about it. I am the last person to say that this is not a major issue, but also believe that you should not immediately cast off the idea as an impossible dream.

These thoughts come to mind as job seekers inquire whether or not it is actually feasible to live in a ski town these days. Recent college grads with fewer responsibilities may have an easier time making the transition, but that does not mean that families can not and do not make the move. They can and they do. I recently met a young professional couple with two children that moved to this area from Las Vegas because they were seeking a slower pace, a smaller town, and wanted to raise their kids here. They bought a house in Alpine, Wyoming, work in Jackson, and they are happy.

If you take a look at the forum discussions I have linked to in the past, and visit sites like City-Data.com, you can clearly see how everyone’s priorities and level of comfort varies. To determine whether or not a mountain move is for you, evaluate your current financial situation, continue to research the towns, the jobs, and spend a little extra time doing some soul searching to discover what is truly important to you. Maybe you are ready for a change, or perhaps it is just time for a visit. Either way, at least you have explored your options.

Sometimes it is even just a simple thought or comment that will immediately put things in perspective. As I contemplated a few changes myself recently, a friend put it to me this way, “My only regrets are the things I didn’t do” and quite frankly, that was all I needed to hear.

Outdoor Towns – Searching Out The Best Places To Live And Play

Just another festive day in the town of Jackson, Wyoming with “Chefs on the Square” and the “Takin it to the Streets” art fair featuring the many talented local artists in this valley. Definitely a success … everyone looked like they were having a great time. I attempted to capture this with a photo, but will obviously have to work on my photography skills. Anyway, as you can probably tell by now, ski towns love to host many outdoor events. And why not? Isn’t that why people come to the mountains … to spend as much time as possible enjoying the great outdoors?

I came across a couple of resources this afternoon that focus on outdoor towns, and where to find the best ones. Good to know there are still people out there promoting a lifestyle that includes getting out in nature ….

Read the latest feature article in National Geographic Adventure, Best Places to Live and Play
and check out 101 Best Outdoor Towns: Unspoiled Places to Visit, Live & Play (101 Best…Series), a fairly new book published earlier this year.

40,000+ Job Boards And MountainJobs.com

It is hard to believe that there are so many employment websites out there these days. Where to even start? If you have found your way here to MountainJobs.com, you are most likely looking for a “mountain job”. I like to keep things simple.

The history
MountainJobs.com was originally created in 1998 after a rather trying search for an Interior Designer, and a Computer Programmer while working as a recruiter for clients based here in Jackson Hole. I came to realize that a more effective way to attract candidates who were seeking out this lifestyle was needed. What often happens when someone reads an ad saying “live in beautiful Jackson Hole” in a metropolitan based newspaper, or general job board is that they get really excited about the prospect of living in this spectacular place … but then quickly realize that they would prefer just to visit.

The lifestyle
A point I have brought up before is that if you don’t like this lifestyle… a lot, than you are probably not going to like your job. The cost of living would not make much sense to someone who did not enjoy the benefits beyond the beauty such as an incredible outdoor lifestyle, and small town living. On the other hand, if you absolutely do love this way of life, and land a good job within a solid company, you will most likely find a way to make it work … just as many of us do.

Building the network
The re-launch of MountainJobs.com is focused on creating a mountain community employment network. I have continually heard the struggle of job seekers looking for better career opportunities, and mountain employers seeking more quality employees. Why is there often such a disconnection between the two? As the database builds, the goal is to bridge that gap, and create a central place for mountain employers to easily connect with those of you who have chosen the mountains as your home.

The here and now
As for right now, I am off to one of my favorite Jackson Hole community events, the Fall Arts Festival, Palates & Palettes This is a an exceptional gallery walk for 3 hours located in the center of Jackson providing great art, food and wine as well as the perfect place to catch up with just about everyone that you have ever known here in this town. Nothing like good small town living. Like I said, I like to keep things simple …

Enjoy the weekend!

Looking For A Lifestyle Change But Not So Sure Where To Go – Find Your Spot

Every now and then you start to think about how great it would be to just be … somewhere else. Nothing wrong with exploring your options, but sometimes even the thought of moving can be overwhelming.

Have you ever been to Find your Spot? If you are thinking about moving, but not so sure where to go, check it out. It is a simple quiz that will make you think a little bit more about what your priorities really are in choosing a place to live. They ask you a series of questions about what your preferences are in regards to climate, arts/culture, education, housing, recreation, lifestyle, geography and religion to come up with about twenty detailed profiles of towns that may be worth looking into. My list had quite a few places located in Oregon and Vermont. Actually, my favorite town back east was on the list, Middlebury, Vermont. I spent many summers as a kid in Middlebury, and loved it. Take the quiz. It’s informative and it’s free!

Labor Day Weekend Begins – Rocky Mountain Ski Towns Get Ready To Celebrate

A strange thing happened to me today at about 3:00 pm. I starting wondering why things in my web world started getting so quiet, and then after receiving an e-mail from a friend about Sunday’s Matisyahu concert at Teton Village … it all started to make sense. Ahhh, it is Friday, and it is Labor Day Weekend. This had not even crossed my mind.

You may be thinking that I better get out some more, but the truth is, living in Jackson Hole, every moment that I am not working and I am outside in this beautiful place…may as well just be a holiday. Locals in Telluride, Durango, Taos, Aspen, or any mountain town for that matter, probably feel somewhat the same way.

Anyway, looking around the web, there is definitely some extra celebrating going on. Here are a few more events I see that are happening out here in the Rocky Mountain West.

  • Octoberfest in Beaver Creek
  • Jazz Aspen Snowmass
  • Big Sky Mountain Fest
  • Four Corners Biker Rally
  • Snowbird Oktoberfest
  • Wild West Air Fest – Steamboat Springs

Wherever you are this Labor Day weekend …Enjoy!

New Proposal For Deed-Restricted Housing In Jackson Hole

James Reinert, a developer based in Jackson Hole, has proposed a deed-restricted affordable housing plan for 500 homes south of town made up of 125 traditional affordable homes and 375 units of “Homestead Ownership.”

He is proposing to limit the price of property deemed Homestead Ownership by limiting the pool of buyers. To qualify for one of these deed-restricted lots, a person will have to work 1,500 hours a year in Teton County and agree to own only one residential property.

“My goal from the beginning was to create affordable housing for people living and working here and to try to bring people back,” Reinert said. “It’s something that might really make a difference here in the valley.”

As more and more locals buy property in Alpine and Teton Valley, Idaho, many in the town of Jackson fear an even greater labor shortage and a loss of a sense of community.

To learn more about Reinert’s proposal, read , Group seeks 500 homes, Developer proposes a new kind of affordable housing in Jackson Hole from the Jackson Hole New and Guide.

Ski Town Summer Winds Down – College Grad Job Search Picks Up

As the summer season winds down, thoughts in a ski town inevitably drift towards snow. It must have been about 70 degrees at the top of Snow King the other day, but as soon as a small breeze came through, I watched and listened to a man near by clapping his hands together with a big smile cheering, “winter’s coming”. That’s what generally happens around here at this time of year… locals have enjoyed a good 2 to 3 month fun filled mountain summer, and are back to preying for snow.

This is also the time of year when the question of a “real job” surfaces for many recent college grads either finishing up another season in a ski town, or just starting to research the move.

With that in mind, a few thoughts as you get started in your job search …

Housing
If you are moving in from out of town, make a point to research the housing situation before you begin to interview. A prospective employer will want to know that you are fully educated on the local housing market prior to making the move.

Powder Days
Employers are well aware of why many choose to live in a ski town. Please try and refrain from bringing up powder days during your first interview. At the time, it may sound like a cool thing to talk about, but after the interview is over, the employer will immediately start to question if you would be one of those employees that fail to show up at the first sign of snow.

Job Markets – Small town vs. City
Acknowledge the fact that you are looking for a job in a small town, not a large metropolitan city. There are jobs available, but going into a smaller market, you may have to compromise, and get a little creative. If you are struggling to get a position in your chosen field, start to think about the kind of work environments that you enjoy, and the skills you have that may be transferable. For example, the few years that I did not work in my preferred field of recruiting/staffing, I used my real estate leasing background, and worked in vacation rental reservations for a company based at the ski mountain that offered full health benefits, ski pass, gym pass, and yoga classes. Excellent benefits for a ski town job.

Tails of the typo
For everyone, anywhere looking for a job, check for typos on your cover letter and resume before sending them out … at least 3 times. None of us are perfect. I actually pushed the “send” button the other day without a thorough check myself only to find the terrible typo just 5 seconds later. Brutal. I must have stared at that screen for a good 10 minutes irrationally trying to figure out a way to get that e-mail back. The reality is that if you send out a resume with a typo, you are not getting an interview.

Questioning the “real job”
I know and understand all about wanting a “real” job, but make sure you are not torturing yourself over getting one. Are you living in the mountains, working, paying your bills … and are you happy? If so, you are way ahead of the game. The truth is, some of the jolliest people I know here are locals in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s who have always worked seasonally, and have never even considered the so called “real job”.

Resort jobs, seasonal jobs, full-time careers … living in a ski town for a season or a lifetime … there really is no right or wrong path to choose; it’s more about discovering your own path … and following one that feels true to you.

Skiers Discuss Lifestyle Versus Standard Of Living

After staring into a blank computer screen for way too long, I finally realized that any original thoughts about the mountain lifestyle today … were probably not coming from me. Thankfully, one of my goals here is to share with you the many different perspectives from people who have chosen the mountains as a place to live.

I found Life Style v Standard of Living back in April on AlpineZone.com, “The Northeast Guide to Mountain Adventure” which is a great website to check out for information about the New England mountain areas.

This is how the discussion began …

“Every skier/rider always says they would love to live in a ski town, but they don’t know how they’d make a living. Except you locals of course.”

All our households take home X amount of dollars. What percent less, if any, would you be willing to make if you could have a job you like, in a ski town of your choice and the job let you ski 3 or 4 times

Moving to small mountain town is a lifestyle choice, and I would have to agree with some of the Vermont locals in this discussion … there is more to consider when contemplating ski town living … beyond skiing.

When it comes to choosing a place to live, I’m with this guy …

I’ll take my pay cut and I’ll take almost no street lights, lots of trees, no traffic, more pleasant people, open space, fresh air, proximity to the mountains, and sense of community. Worth every lost penny…