by Ken Viste
Of the many skills required of the young adventure guide, off-season couch surfing is among the most essential (and quickly perfected). And while doing so during a long Minnesota winter seemed a curious choice, the guy holding court in my friend’s place clearly had The Best Job In The World:
“Yeah, I spend all summer taking people from around the world to our National Parks. And partying in weird campgrounds”
Say no more! Sign me up!
And they did. And it was terrifying.
Blown grocery runs. Guests without their medication, and the nearest pharmacy hours away. Campsites suddenly covered in tarantulas (turns out not everyone thinks this is amazing).
But even as I panicked, incredible moments were happening. Faces, minds, and hearts delighted at a view, on an adventure, or talking with someone new. Memories being made, and lives perhaps even changing.
And it was amazing. And I was learning how to help make it possible.
I’ve since “aged out” of partying in weird campgrounds (at least officially). But helping others find their “lightbulb moments” has inspired me to learn and lead ever since. Whether on the road or off, I can imagine few things more intriguing and satisfying.