Evergreen Escapes' "escape artist" leads group tours around the Pacific Northwest, interpreting natural and cultural history along the way.
What do you do? I spend roughly half my time in the field leading half-, full- or multi-day adventures as the lead “escape artist,” or naturalist guide, for EverGreen Escapes. The other half of my time is spent in the office working behind the scenes as part of the operations team, or designing high-end bespoke international itineraries and corresponding with our partners overseas as our international program director.
How did you get that job? After living and working as a field biologist at a research center in central Kenya for six months several years ago, I realized I wasn’t ready to continue down the path towards a permanent career in academia. I may return to academia someday in the not-too-distant future, but in the meantime, I’m enjoying my time outside as an educator who doesn’t have to grade papers.
What’s a typical day like? If it’s a field day, I’m up early, sometimes before 5 a.m., to prep for days as long as 18 hours, but usually closer to 12-14. After picking up anywhere between one and 10 clients at any of the downtown hotels, we spend the day exploring some corner of the Pacific Northwest by various modes of recreation, interpreting natural and cultural history along the way.
What’s the best part of the job? I love the diversity of every aspect of my job, from the places I see and things I do, to the people I meet and have the pleasure of getting to know. One day I’ll be snowshoeing above Paradise on Mount Rainier with folks from Nebraska; the next I’m kayaking in the San Juans with a bunch of Aussies. No two days are the same.
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What surprises people about your job? Two things: 1) that such a job actually exists; [and] 2) that it’s much more demanding than it superficially seems. Jobs of this nature require some personal sacrifices, since the hours are unpredictable and often long. But the fact of the matter is that I make a living doing something I truly enjoy — exploring the wonders of the world with endless curiosity, and sharing it with others. By the way, we’re hiring.