If you would have told me five years ago I would voluntarily live outside for eight days in a row, existing in the elements under a tarp with troubled teens, I probably would have said you were tripping. Here I am, however, trading in fashion for sleeping bags, couture designs for fleece pants, and sparkly accessories with a passion to buy all of the gear. Even after graduation I thought I would continue the life of exploration and writing about my experiences from various hidden gems around the world. I never thought of working with teens- it isn’t something that remotely crossed my mind at any point. What do I have to offer to kids who have lives riddled with problems? I can barely take care of myself at times. Yet, here I am with a full heart and soul working outside with a population that truly needs help. After my week of training I went through a panic. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to handle this work. However, I went into my first few shifts with gusto: the first was eye opening. I was thrown into learning the ropes right from the start. I was getting used to life outside, working alongside the dudes, and getting over the general nerves of starting a new job. I also began an on going list of gear to ensure each shift is more comfortable and productive than last. My second shift was my first ten day stint of the holiday season. It was so different than my first week in many ways. I was more prepared and ready for the efforts to come. I had my gear which I acquired over break. I went in more confident for the coming shift (though my confidence in hard skills like busting a fire and tying knots is still truly a bit shaky) The week was long and each day brought along new challenges and triumphs, there were days that I was counting down the hours till it was time to go to sleep which more often than not was around 9pm. Other days I was so incredibly inspired by the progress the kids made that I never wanted the work to end. Of course I missed my family over Thanksgiving, but I was so incredibly stoked on the work I was doing. Each day brings something new and exciting. Who knows where this journey will bring me. I can’t wait to continue to explore the Utah wilderness. I can’t wait to continue to help kids who may be a bit lost in life. Here’s to new beginnings and unexpected career changes. I can’t wait to explore this realm and help as many individuals who are open. If we look there are endless opportunities for growth and wonder!