So I have decided that I want to become a nature guide. At first I was really excited about it, but the more I looked into the possibilities, the scarier it got. In the Netherlands these kind of jobs are almost all done by volunteers, and it’s not a full time thing. So the question of how to make this work arose.
My memory wandered to the times I visited a bunch of National Parks in the USA. I saw the rangers there, at that time I was already wowed by the idea of such a job. So I started looking into possibilities to become a ranger. Again my hopes dropped, you have to be an American citizen to be a ranger. An to get citizenship it takes at least three years of having a green card. So no short term solution there.
I met a girl who told me that she did a volunteering job with a bunch of people in a national park. I didn’t know this is a possibility, so I was happily surprised. I started browsing the internet again and found the IVIP program, International Volunteer In Parks.
A plan was born. Go to the USA for a year and work as a volunteer in those beautiful parks. Find out if this really is what I want and learn a lot about the guiding.
After this year I want to see if I can start my own company or at least start some freelance work. I’m not really sure how and if I get it done this way, but I’m sure gonna try.
With the idea of having less income than I’m used to, which wasn’t already that much, I noticed that I’ve changed the way I look at how thing work in this world. The way that I have to work my ass off just to pay for housing and a big load of luxuries that I do not need at all and don’t make me feel good at the same time. So what if I can bring down the cost of housing and living? It would mean that I don’t need such a big income. In the USA and quite a few other countries a group of people started a new way of living, know by me as the tiny house movement.
I’m becoming a wanderer, more interested in high quality living than high quality stuff.
I don’t want to dive into this new way of living just yet, even though this is my usual habit. First America, see how things go along there.
Getting to the USA is a whole different story. Quite a lot of work to be done for me to actually get there. First I had to fill out an IVIP application form. This was sent to the IVIP coordinator. She looked into my motivation for the volunteering work. I was so happy when she approved my application and told me to look for volunteering jobs on volunteer.gov. This page is filled with volunteering opportunities all over the USA. Right now I’m still busy applying for cool jobs, I am making it extra hard on myself because I want to find a few jobs connecting each other. In this way it might be possible to stay for a full year and I have a huge amount of experience once I go back home. The IVIP coordinator will help me when I struggle with my applications and when I have gotten the volunteering jobs she will make sure I get my J-1 Visa. The whole process will take at least two months, they said. I hope it will go smoothly and that I will be able to go there soon.