BETTE

Have you ever dreamed about running away? Or, maybe you have fantasized about moving to a majestic, unspoiled part of the world that you have longingly gazed at in magazines – a place where you don’t know a soul and long to live an uncomplicated, sparse lifestyle; all the while earning your room and board employed at a job for which you have had no prior experience.

For many years, those dreams brewed restlessly within me. Eventually, I listened to my nagging inner voice and took the plunge to what would become one of the most significant experiences of my adult life.

My journey led me from a small, quintessential New England town to Big Sky Country specifically; Glacier National Park.

During my stint as a retail associate, I spoke with many tourists who enthusiastically explained how they were now crossing Montana off their bucket lists of places to visit. I delightedly listened to their entertaining stories while secretly basking in the fact that the West was offering me an ENTIRE summer of planned and unplanned adventures.

As my employment commitment drew to an end, I thought of all the other seasonal employees (throughout the world) who might also soon be returning to their “normally scheduled lives.” A fortune cookie’s message reminded me of the bigger picture of all of our adventures. It read: “Keep in mind that it is the journey and not the destination that counts.”

I will always remember the feeling of unencumbered freedom (no car, no house and few adult responsibilities) that my incredible Montana adventure provided.

Most of all, I will remember the energy of my friends – the Rocky Mountains as they welcomed me with awe in late spring and bade me a poignant farewell in early autumn. Their peace, spaciousness, and offer of unlimited possibilities have remained with me long after the season ended.

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I am the brown baseball capped Older and Bolder rafter on the left. Open mouthed and laughing in exhilaration on a white water rafting trip in Glacier.

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