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The Best Job for an Adventurous Soul

Finding the balance of work that sustains us financially while fulfilling us internally.

By: Mikaela Gregory + Save to a List

If you identify with your adventurous soul always wanting to be out exploring and experiencing life, you may question what in the world you should do for work?

I see so many people trying to figure it out through pursuing some kind of side hustle OR trying to live a double life until they implode and wonder what would actually make them happy. 

I have done all of the above. And I'd like to share what has been my favorite, most fulfilling job of all time….ready for it?...RETAIL. Not any retail, but at an outdoor store called Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC). A US comparative is REI.

While it wasn’t glamorous or good for my savings account, the people working there taught me what living life meant to them and I identified with it. I was able to actually become MORE OF MYSELF and feel accepted and comfortable with who I was becoming.

  • I got exposed to backpacking and learned of the top places to go adventuring around the world. (They are the most well-travelled group I’ve ever met). 
  • I gained the guts to do several solo trips across South America and Europe (through the encouragement of my peers who were so self-assured - thank you!). 
  • I used EVERY SINGLE day off to do something new and adventurous (kayak camping, cross-country skiing, etc.) because they took every opportunity to do what they love - it was just expected.

Now, if you’re thinking about the income or the argument that “work is to make money and your non-work hours should be spent enjoying your passions and hobbies,” I have to say that my “career” and 9-5 job unfortunately took a toll on me. I found that I couldn’t just be myself during non-work hours and expect everything to be okay.

I had to decide how I could make a living AND live authentically. Here’s the list: 

  1. Have a world-travelling skill. I know of a hairdresser that sold her shop and was able to support herself by giving haircuts to other travellers. Another friend of mine knows first aid and does ski patrolling! And while travelling, I’ve met cooks, skiing and diving instructors, and individuals teaching english that are all able to support their nomadic lifestyle. 
  2. Work in hospitality. Be able to interact with travellers while being one of them! This is what I am currently doing in New Zealand. I am happy to learn the ropes of running a lodge and possibly open my own one day. 
  3. Launch that side hustle that allows you to work remotely on your own projects. Whether it is an online business, programming, design work, photography, or blogging, just make sure you are able to make a living first. Check out sites like Skill Share and Patreon that are making this possible for people!

And if you’re not ready to pick up from home just yet, look into working at places you frequent often since you will likely identify with their world view.

My favorite job might show you that it is possible to be fulfilled and happy doing something that doesn’t bring you fame and fortune. I have discovered that life is about authentic moments and discovering yourself. My take away: Make sure your career supports the growth you’re looking for. 

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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