“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” – Annie Dillard

I neglected to mention in my last post that Tahoe has been going through a pretty annoying drought… It seems that every other part of the country is getting pelted with frosty conditions and freezing temperatures, while Tahoe is coasting through the winter on highs of 50°F.

Top of ExhibitionMild weather is the opposite of ideal when you work at a ski resort.

Luckily, we got a (brief) blast of a wintry mix yesterday! It was short-lived, but it was something, that’s for sure. Hopefully we’ll be getting dumped on sooner or later….

Finally snow!

Anyway, on to the bulk of this post.

It occurred to me recently that in my travels, I meet a ton of really interesting people with a lot of fascinating stories.

Okay, not a recent occurrence. But, I love to ask people about where they come from, what they’re doing, how they arrived at their current place in life, where they might go next, etc…. So I decided that I’ll write down some of what they say and share it here — thus creating a sort of mini-series of interviews. I can’t promise that these interviews will come in any sort of organized or consistent manner. Basically I’ll just put up interviews as often as people let me batter them with questions. We’ll call these interviews “Faces from the Road.” That sounds legitimate enough.

In this post, the featured interview is with my good friend Julie Postma.

I met Julie last summer at the start of the fall 2013 season of the Utah Conservation Corps. Incidentally, she and I share a lot of common philosophies and interests (and jobs)… and she has a bunch of things figured out sooner in her life than I had figured out at her age (we’re only a few years apart, but she’s on point right out of college, while I did a bit of dawdling in the year following graduation) — which makes her ahead of the game in my book!

Photo credit Julie Postma

Name: Julie Catherine Postma
Age: 22
Hometown: Atlanta, GA
Current location: Tahoma (Lake Tahoe), CA
Current job: Kids Ski Instructor at Alpine Meadows/ Art & Crafting person at Everything Hunky Dory Studios
URL: keepcalmadventureon.blogspot.com
Favorite quote: “The place to improve the world is first in ones own heart and head and hands, and then work outward from there.” – Robert M. Pirsig

What are the coolest places you’ve ever visited?
A town called Tresviso in the Picos de Europa (Peaks of Europe) mountains in Northern Spain is one of my favorite places. Two friends and I backpacked up to this tiny town in the mountains on one of our weeks off from school while studying in Southern Spain. We were the only non-locals in the tiny town and we got to know the people that lived there pretty well during our time there. Another one of my favorite places is Suzhou, China the hometown of my best friend growing up. She invited me and another friend to come stay with her family in China for a week and travel around. It was a beautiful place and we got to see so much and do so much having a local family show us around.

What is your favorite place that you’ve lived?
Haines, AK is one of the most amazing places I’ve lived. It’s in southeastern Alaska, on the Inside Passage (near Juneau) and amazed me constantly with wildlife, glaciers, mountains, an amazing community, kayaking, biking, fairs, and more.

What led you to live there?
I found an internship/job at the Hammer Museum, a quirky small museum all about hammers located in a small house in which I also lived. This internship provided me a free place to live and a stipend to afford food and other expenses.

What’s the most interesting job you’ve ever worked?
The Hammer Museum is the most interesting job I think I’ve worked. But I have also worked in two conservation corps in Utah and Wyoming that were interesting because they allowed me to camp and live outside for three months and have ample time off to explore the areas and national parks. Working 8 or 10 days on can be tough but its worth it having 4-6 days off at a time to take trips all over.

How did you get that job, and do you have any tips for anyone who would want to the same?
I found the Hammer Museum online while I was searching for cool jobs in awesome places (like Alaska) which is something I am constantly doing (even if I am currently employed) because I like to move around a lot and live in new and exciting places. My advice would be to have a killer resume and cover letter and make your interest known EARLY. Whoever is hiring likes to see that the potential employee is motivated and driven to get the job and that its not just a last minute idea.

What is an important lesson that you’ve learned from your travels or jobs?
Let where you are and what you are doing in the moment dictate how you feel and how you act. Don’t let things from your past or future try to butt in and ruin a current experience. Also, make connections. You never know who you will run into again in life and where you will go back to.

How do you like to keep yourself entertained when you’re not working?
I like to read, draw, paint, take photos, go on walks, dream about future places I want to travel to and spend time with close friends. I also like dancing around the house by myself with the music up loud!

If you had an entire day to just yourself, free of any obligations to anyone or anything, how would you spend the day?
I would spend my day with a close friend outside adventuring and exploring! I also love taking road trips and spending a day on the road exploring new places sounds like a great day to me.

If money or other complications were no object, what job would you choose to take on and why?
Wildlife photographer. I like working independently and I love photography. I would love being outside all the time and having the challenge of getting the perfect shot.

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Many thanks to Julie for being awesome and sharing some of her story!

One last thing, since it fits into this post pretty perfectly: here is a fantastic video that my and Julie’s former fellow UCC crew member Aaron Deininger made of our eight person crew from Fall 2013.

Until next time, friends!

“The point is to keep trying new things, meeting new people, visiting new places. Once you settle into a rut, no matter how fun that rut may seem, you stagnate. You might as well be dead.” – Lenore Appelhans