ESSAYS

Seasonal Survey

Turning a moment in space and time into a feeling or a learning experience for thousands of people who weren’t there is an art form.

 

My question has always been, “what exactly did the artist want me to get out of it?” Although an Instagram or Facebook post can be beautiful and make me feel a certain kind of feeling, I had never seen a direct dialogue about intent between the artists and the audience vicariously living through them. So I tracked down some of The Seasonal’s favorite social media travel sharers and I asked them. How? And most importantly, why?

Seasonal Finance
by David Dentinger

When it comes to our seasonal finances, we occupy the Goldilocks Zone of bank accounts. We have enough to pursue this unusual lifestyle, but not so much that we are kept from it.  We work hard, we play hard, the point is to live life and live it well.

If you manage your finances, they'll go to work on your behalf. What follows is some basic advice for the casually employed heroes of our generation. The first part on saving money while you're here, the second on what to do once you have a little.

Seasonal Friends Theory
by Joey Rovinsky

There is one single greatest fear among people who want to move away from home. This fear geographically paralyzes young and old into abandoning their passions and giving up on their dreams. Its the biggest hurdle to all would-be Seasonals

This fear is friends and family. 

Buying Happiness by David Dentinger
by DAVID DENTINGER

"A fistful of dollars can conjure all kinds of crap to your doorstep these days, shipped free in 48 hours by Amazonian box-warriors... So much of it is trash even before it ends up in a landfill, feeding our consuming hunger but not our souls."

In this essay, David explains the true secret to finding happiness....

Buy it. 

The Gift of Gab by Ryan Deininger
by RYAN DEININGER

There is a rare, freakish quality found only in the best tour guides. It's easy to spot and impossible to ignore.

These guides have an uncanny, inexplicable, ridiculous ability to cater each tour to their guests on-the-fly.

 

Tourists come from all over the world. They are different ages. Different races. They belong to different tax brackets. Their IQs range from Forest Gump to Rain Man. The ability to seamlessly cater to every personality can only be described as a gift.

Whitewater Raft Guiding
by Alexi Washington

River guiding is a true test of character: its dangers humble – its responsibilities wisen - and its challenges make you feel like a rock star.

In this essay, Alexi remembers these lessons all too well. It's all about broken fingers and bruised egos while guiding Class V rapids on the Chatooga River in South Carolina.

Teach English in Thailand
by Austin Bentz

Have you, dear reader, ever taught before?

 

Nope, I hadn’t either. Teaching, like any job, is full of challenges, successes, and moments that make you question your very existence.

I’ve been living and teaching English in Thailand for the past two and a half years and it’s been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

Sabai sabai is a local phrase that really embodies the Thai perspective. There’s no direct translation, but the gist is that the main goal of life is to just be happy in the now. 

The isle of Spruce Tip Eaters
by Joey Rovinsky

Joey makes the case for continued Seasonal work. 

"...if this was the lifestyle we wanted, we would have to fight every day for it. When you fight every day for something, some nights you go to bed a loser. Some nights it’s on a cockroach-infested sailboat in the Virgin Islands. Some nights it’s in an uncomfortable cot in Southeast Asia surrounded by 15 loud and smelly Europeans... But the wins do start to pile up."

Mugged in the Vigin Islands
by Joey Rovinsky and Ryan Deininger

We just lost at pub trivia. An ominous sign. Ryan and Joey don’t lose. Perhaps we should have known it wasn’t our night. 

Up to this point during our stay in St. Thomas, neither Joey nor I have had any problems with the locals. Sure, we get asked for handouts all the time because we look like tourists. There’s also the cabbies that try to extort a couple extra bucks from us because they assume we don’t know any better. But REAL problems… We were starting to think they didn’t exist.

Stacking Dimes by Tim Kistner
by Tim Kistner

At this point, I've done enough random jobs that I feel I can tackle anything. 

 

Variety is the key to maintaining sanity and keeping hope that one day all these experiences will fit into the most oddly specific job on earth. I'm always compelled to lean toward jobs that sound interesting in their title, description, or setting.

 

So what was my temporary job in Hatboro going to be? Working in a welding and metal fabrication shop! My only qualification: my brother worked there once.

Chasing the buffalo by David Dentinger
by David Dentinger

I don't claim to be an expert in chasing buffalo nor dreams, but as I look back at the last ten years of my life, I realize I've done quite a bit of both.

 

Please don’t ever follow the animal-related advice herein unless you absolutely have to, but in that extreme case where for one reason or another, you need to chase a buffalo, here's what I've learned:

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