View Full Version : What do you do?

02-27-2003, 15:49
I was just wondering what people do that allows them to take 6 months off to hike the trail. I plan on doing the trail in 2004 but short on quiting work and loseing insurance I dont see a way around that.

02-27-2003, 16:12
Well I'm 20 (21 on 3/11) and I moved back in with my Mom. Just finished paying UMass $14k in loans, and fortunate enough to have not taken out loans for vehicles, bikes, skimobiles, etc. I'm currently saving up, and leaving my current job August 31st, 2003. This gives me 3 months of full-time fall hikes, and 4 months of winter hiking/snowshoeing/greyhound bus sightseeing. I'll be living fairly humbly those 6-7 months, and may possibly be picking up an after christmas part-time job 15-20hrs/wk (at a fraction of my current pay lol) for weekly incidentals so I don't tap into my funds as much. Then it's off to springer the last week of march for an April 1st Start!

I can't wait, working 60hrs a week nights really kicks my ass. I've gained about 20lbs too! I also have black curtains and I'm so white that if I get any whiter I'll be semi-clear. Oh do I loathe for normalcy! Speaking of which, I have to be up in 3hrs for a 12hr shift (ugg).

02-27-2003, 16:33
Don't know how the rest of you manage it. Me... 24 years of military service equates to a retirement check. Enough to pay my mortgage and utilities. Add a loving and understanding wife who works... bingo. I'm on the trail.

02-27-2003, 16:50
Flower Pot maker

02-27-2003, 16:52
I'm on welfare, of a sort. Federal research dollars are powering my summer hiking.

02-27-2003, 16:54
I'll be in between jobs.


yogi clyde
02-27-2003, 18:29
I'm planning a '04' thru hike too.
Saving up, then quitting the rat race.
I'm currently a CPA - no I didn't have anything to do with Enron.
I plan to keep my medical insurance by paying for it myself via COBRA.

I don't want to wait another 20 years to retire and then hike, life is to short.

02-27-2003, 18:50
Been dreaming of doing a thru-hike as far back as I can remember. The urge kept getting stronger and stronger and one day I realized that I wasn't getting any younger. Decided I would rather take a risk now than grow old and wish I had.
I asked for a leave of absence and they turned me down. Submitted my resignation and ...now I'm an unemployed thru-hiker. Fully realize that everyone can't go that route. I had my financial obligations under control and a totally supportive partner.
Life is short ...dream your dreams !! Energy flow in the direction of thought ! If you want it bad enough you will find a way to make it happen.

02-27-2003, 20:28
I'm a college prof. which means a natural break from mid-May to mid-August. Unfortunately that's not enough time for a thru, so I plan to break it into a few long section hikes of late-May to early Aug. Probably take a summer off between sections, but we'll see how the first one goes ('04) before I think too much about that.

I figure that will probably work better for me anyway as it'll be a little easier to be away from home/family for 9-10 weeks than for 6 months.

02-27-2003, 21:23
I am a consultant at a healthcare consulting firm and have been there for nearly five years. About two years ago, I decided I had postponed my thru-hike long enough (I've been dreaming about it since I was 8 or 9 years old). So I made a decision and have been planning (and saving cash) ever since. I just gave my notice on Tuesday morning. This thing is really starting to feel real. I will start my hike on April 5, 2003.

I'm really unsure what I'll do after my hike. I am at a crossroads of sorts and am hoping things will get clearer while I hike.

02-27-2003, 21:31
I sold my last motorcycle... exept for the one scattered in a billion peices across the garage. No insurance, I think benefits are a myth.

02-27-2003, 21:42
Oh, I totally forgot to answer your insurance question. I'm not going with COBRA. Opting for Fortis Health--temporary plan. $304 for 6-months. $1,000 deductible. Then coverage is 80% (I pay 20%). Out-of-pocket maximum of $5,000. After that is hit, the plan covers 100%. Indemnity plan, so no networks to worry about. Any doctor/hospital/pharmacy will accept it. Pretty good deal. I figure paying $304 is better than risking going in debt if something really bad happens. Which it won't. :) This plan is only for covering you if you get sick or injured. It won't cover routine care like check-ups, etc.

02-27-2003, 22:56
For last years hike, I worked 3 jobs for a total of 70 hours a week. I also had some savings that I used.

For this year, I decided at the last minute that I would attempt to hike again this year. That didn't give me much time to save. But I have been saving every pay check from one job and paying bills with the other. Oh, and I'm going to sell my car. Anybody looking for a car?:D

As for insurance, I won't have any. Any policy I would get would be because of my asthma. But if you read the small print, policies like Fortus do not cover exsisting conditions. So it would have been wasted money.

02-27-2003, 23:07
I was lucky enough to have worked for a company that had a 30 year retirement with health care. Also. I have a hard working supportive wife. Just lucked out.

02-28-2003, 05:12
I'm a pharmacist, work a week and off a week...never had a desire to thru- and still dont. content doing sections each month year 'round...next big one is in may, little wolfe creek to Pearisburg-only 50 miles but already something I am looking forward to.

02-28-2003, 05:42
I am a pediatric emergency room nurse who is lucky enough to have been granted a 6 mth leave of absence. Everyone thinks I'm crazy, but they have been extremely supportive. They are even going to hold my position while I'm gone. It is good to be loved!!! Kodiak is taking the year off from school and his work is very flexible. We have both been busting our behinds for the last 3months to save up enough to cover the trip and all of our household bills. We have the money, now it is just a waiting game for April 1st.:banana

02-28-2003, 11:17
One more comment about Fortis. PushingDaisies is right. Short-term plans like Fortis are not affected by HIPAA, so they don't have to cover pre-existing conditions. Most other types of plans (like ones you get through employers) are bound by this law. This just means that if you have not experienced a gap in coverage greater than 60 (I think 60--approximately, anyway) days, your new insurance company is required by law to cover any pre-existing conditions.

Now I don't have to worry about this, since I have no pre-existing conditions. So Fortis is a logical choice for me.

On the up-side, any insurance I purchase after the short-term plan will be bound by HIPAA. So if something happens during my hike, my next insurance legally has to cover anything related to the injury or sickness. If I were to go without insurance and something happened to me, I would basically be up a creek. Any insurance I purchase would legally be allowed not to cover pre-existing conditions. I hope this makes sense.

02-28-2003, 11:49
I may purchase some emergency insurance for my AT hike starting 4/1/04. $300 isnt so bad. I will be without my health insurance once I leave my job at the end of this upcoming summer though. Worse case scenario, I get some free aid. Well actually considering the fact that I paid out about $1200 for medicare taxes this year, I don't feel so bad...

Perhaps it will encourage a nationalized free-health care system!

My moms also an RN, so I can get some free care at home.

I also have no pre-existing problems, and haven't taken prescription drugs in about 5 years (needed amoxicillin for an ear infection). I did get a crap load of water-born disease immunizations through my job though (I'm a wastewater treatment operator).

Depending on how I do on my AT attempt (I plan to finish sometime in september), I may pick up a few part time jobs from September to March and try my hand at the PCT the following spring. Thats looking way too far ahead though!

02-28-2003, 12:01
Nationalized health care, hey it works for the commonwealth of Norway! Heil Konung Harold! ooops, I mean I pledge allegiance to the flag.... Just kidding, nationalized health care may become necassary at some point. I haven't had a job with benefits since I quit wrenching professionally and got a stamp put on my Union book. Even working for multi billion dollar companies.

02-28-2003, 12:03

If you are curious to see roughly what your premium would be for a short-term policy through Fortis, you can get a free quote at http://www.temp-insurance.com/ .

Some counties will allow for even higher deductibles which would bring the premium down even further. My county only allows as high as $1,000.

Also, keep in mind that you can only renew a short-term policy once (total of 12 months in a row). Hope this helps a little.

Former Member
02-28-2003, 12:46

02-28-2003, 13:07
Pennsylvania residents can sign up for a barebones(no pun intended)health plan for $30/month if they are making less than $18000/year. this program was signed into law last fall by our ex-gov. mark schweiker using tabacco settlement fund to subsidize it.

02-28-2003, 15:30
Well I just put my retirement papers in today and will retire from a US Government job near the end of March, 2003. I am 59 and will receive an monthly retirement check to help cover expenses. In retirement I get to keep my health insurance and only have to may the same employee share that I pay now (good deal). I also have a loving and understanding wife who still works.

I read sassy03 post on the this subject and may take her up on her shuttle offer if I can get to Georgia before her sharting date of April 1.

General comment on insurance question based in part of my son's experience of not having insurance when he was looking for a full time jobs: I believe that most hospitals, rural health clinics, and other providers have to accept people regardless of their ability to pay if they accept federal health care dollars; so a person in need should be able to get some sort of health care.

In Vermont near where I live doctors volunteer in a chinic that offers free care and only ask for a donation if you have the ability to pay. Of course, the drugs the require will have to be paid by the patient.

Health care story: two years ago I got sick in Newfoundland and had to go to a doctor for care; the cost for an offer visit at the time was $25.00 canadian, which is about $15.00 US. My doctor office deductable on my plan is $15.00 per visit. I am not crazy about the canadian health care system, however, on balance it serves the overall population better than the US system. In Canada you do have a long wait for elective surgery. My 2 cents worth.


02-28-2003, 17:39
Hey Pete, just let me know about the ride. We would be more than happy to help you out. As long as it is before April 1, since that is when we finally will get started. You can reach me at [email protected] Thanks!!

02-28-2003, 17:46
Originally posted by Alison
any insurance I purchase after the short-term plan will be bound by HIPAA. So if something happens during my hike, my next insurance legally has to cover anything related to the injury or sickness

If you are on short term insurance and you acquire a medical condition, won't it be difficult to find a company willing to sell you long term insurance once your current policy ends for exactly that reason?

02-28-2003, 18:16
My understanding is that HIPAA makes it so that many plans must cover pre-existing conditions if you have had continuous coverage (or no gaps greater than approximately 60 days). Now I'm not sure if a payer can outright deny selling you insurance due to pre-existing conditions. That may be big a consideration for someone who is self-employed. However, I don't think it's too big a deal for an employee of a company that offers group benefits. I'm not sure I'm making myself clear, so here are a couple of examples:

Hiker 1: Resigns job with benefits. Opts not to get COBRA. Decides on a short-term plan. Hikes the trail for 5 months, but has a minor injury along the way and is covered by short-term plan. Goes home. Gets a new job with new benefits. His new plan through his employer must cover pre-existing conditions.

Hiker 2: Resigns job with benefits. Opts not to get COBRA. Decides on a short-term plan. Hikes the trail for 5 months, but has a minor injury along the way and is covered by short-term plan. Goes home. Starts his own business and must buy his own insurance. I don't know if insurance companies can deny his application for insurance or not. Anyone else know the answer to this question?

02-28-2003, 18:22
Just want to throw one more thing in here:

Hiker 1: Some employer groups aren't obligated to HIPAA laws and can opt to not cover your pre-existing condition. This really gets into the nitty-gritty of the whole subject, and my guess is that most people don't want too many specifics on this. :) There are endless variations to this.

02-28-2003, 18:28

I think I found our answer to your question. Found this on the Internet:

"HIPAA extends coverage guarantees to those leaving group plans and seeking coverage in the individual market. If a person has had 18 months of previous, qualifying coverage, has exhausted any COBRA continuation benefits that were available, and has not had a break in coverage exceeding 62 days, he or she can purchase an individual plan on a guaranteed-issue basis. The states have created their own mechanisms to implement this right to guaranteed issue. Most states have chosen to implement a choice of two health plans, either through private insurance carriers, or through a public organization known as a risk pool. Some states have chosen to limit the amount of premium that must be paid, and some risk pools offer the most affordable premiums." [healthinsure.com]

Now the question becomes, is a short-term plan considered to be "qualifying coverage?" Yeesh. I'm bored to tears of all this jargon.

02-28-2003, 20:37
No house payment, no kids,saved the money and went to the boss and asked for time off. Paid hospitalization up for 6 months through COBRA and off I went. No worrys no regrets.

02-28-2003, 22:19
I went to my personnel office this week and had them calculate my retirement date from the US Navy. My date as it stands will be 25 March 2005 and I am hoping to leave shortly after that to be on springer. I have been setting aside a couple hundred a month for the past 4 months and will continue to do so until it is my time to hit the trail. This might sound like a lot to set aside but it is also not just to fund the hike but also support my family and keem them going while I am gone. Also it is to have a little cash to fall back on while I look for a job after my hike.

My medical is pretty much like Peter's and I too have a loving supportive wife who has a pretty good paying job. The only stipulation she has placed on the entire trip was that I take a week off the trail to come home for my daughter's High School graduation.

02-28-2003, 23:12
Unfortunately I don't think anyone has a job working for someone else where they can take 5 months off when they feel like it. Where there is a will there is a way, I think most people either don't hold down serious jobs, or simply quit. I have quit serious jobs 3 times to pursue my dreams...two AT long distance hikes and a move to New Zealand...I have no regrets. Cheers!

03-01-2003, 00:03
I work full-time for a small family owned woodworking company, and farm in the summer. Got a great boss..can take time off anytime for anything. This is the only way I was able to continue farming. Wanted to do my thru in 04 but the wife is having both knees replaced next month. Also have to get land squared away the way I want it. Wife has great job and medical....so no worry there. Her only comment ... backpacking is a waste of time and resources! Go figure....
Pre existing Medical....broken neck with 3 fused vertebra w/Ti plate and shoulder surgery in 01. Don't think that will affect a LD hike tho. I'll be there in 05 FOR SURE!!! ..:banana I'll see a lot of you in SMNP in 03/04.

03-01-2003, 00:31
I am a "semi-retired" CPA doing some independent consulting work at this point. After paying off my mortgage, it doesn't take much in monthly income to keep me happy. I think the trail would be interesting, but my consulting work won't permit it for 2003. However, 2004 is wide open if I should decide to try a thru-hike.

For insurance, I'm going with Blue Cross. For a single middle aged male in good condition, the monthly premiums aren't too bad.

03-01-2003, 09:53
I have a bunch of quotes I read that re-inspire me when I think about settling down with a house and new pickup. Heres one...

"A man builds a fine house; and now he has a master, and a task for life; he is to furnish, watch, show it, and keep it in repair, the rest of his days...".
...Ralph Waldo Emerson

I'm never buying a house. Maybe in 20 years or so I'll buy a boat and live on that. My funds will be whats left of the social security system and personal savings. I suppose a 1/2 acre located near a stream with a lean-to & fire-pit wouldn't be bad :)...

03-01-2003, 10:06
just remember to keep the blazes painted better then the jones...

03-01-2003, 10:28
Of course. My mailbox will serve dual purpose as a trail-register box as well.

Perhaps a couple solar panels to power lights, and oh jeese, I need to read that quote again...

03-01-2003, 11:07
At age 38 I took a 9 month leave-of-absence from my job of 17 years. Thankfully my employer continued my insurance coverage after I came up with some minimal out-of-pocket expenses. With 4 kids I could not have done the hike without that coverage.

My hike was truly amazing, and I wouldn't trade the experience for anything. It was not a wise financial decision however. Just another in a long string of poor financial decisions that I've made over the years.

I noticed that in 2000 there were very few people my age thru-hiking. Yeah, there were a few retired military & cop types (20 years & out) but most folks were either in their late teens or early 20's or in their 50's or 60's.

Now I'm back at work under the fluorescent lighting and hating most (not all) of my time here. After 19 years I'm looking for a layoff in NY so that I can relocate permanently to TN with my wife & daughter who are already there.

While my hike was really not transformational in any way, it did solidify my desire to leave the corporate world and align my career with my values. Unfortunately that means about a 50% pay cut. See..... Another piss poor financial decision. At least I'm consistant!

03-02-2003, 06:51
Kinda know where your coming from TNJED. Spent all that time in school getting that little paper that let me work all those hours in electronics....but HEY....I had my own little cubical. Good for me. Left that life in 89 (layoff) and bought a bit of the family farm and the house I was born and raised in. Had a new wife and HER two kids (very young). Another one of those life bad decisions. But I digress!!
What I mean is, I guess, (1) that 50% cut in NY won't be felt as bad here in TN (2) your here in TN with your family where you'll obviously be happier. Good money isn't EVERYTHING. Work the work and live the life that lets you do the things you enjoy....in moderation!
For every day I used to spend on the trail it would take 2 or 3 to get used to the office again. I will NEVER go back to that life. I will never buy that mega $$ motor home or travel the world on a whim and SURELY won't have that big pension.....but I AM happier here..in the boonies..in my own house on my own land.

RagingHampster..my man. I envy you. You sound like me 30 years ago. However, I wish....30 years ago I had bought a bit of land in the woods and built a nice cabin there. All that money spent on rent is money down the crapper. It just lets somebody ELSE buy that motorhome....yada..yada..yada. You get the point. God forbid an old fart like me giving advice. I sure never learned how to take it! :rolleyes: All I can say is....years change your view and that lean-to ain't gonna cut it. Now the BOAT! THAT'S a different story. This old fart would love that NOW!!!! A bunch of bikinies laying around on the deck....filled with nice bodies of course. Yeah buddy!!!!!!!! :banana

03-02-2003, 08:37
When I was in highschool, the only option your guidance councelor encouraged was college. I was always told to go to college by friends and family. So racking up $14k in debt, I hit UMass Amherst. I was never more miserable in my life. Being given a barcode, shoveled overcooked wilted food, and living like an ant in an anthill. I did great my first year, and for the first half of my second year. Then I saw one of my mechanical engineering teachers trying to replace an airfilter on his $90k BMW in the parking lot. He couldnt. He wouldnt let me help him either saying he was an engineer. I laughed and walked off. That night, sick and tired of it all, I put the books on my shelf, never to return again. A piece of paper and $100k+/yr job isnt worth 5 years of my life doing that. So I got a good paying job at about half that salary selling my skills & workhistory on my resume, paid my debt, and decided to live life, rather than stumble though it the same way american society encourages. Perhaps its because I'm relatively young, but I like the feeling of no debt, no chains tying me down, and not having to worry whether or not I can make my mortgage/car payment. Minimize the luxaries in your life, and you can do pretty much anything you want. Of course I caught on early, and am fortunate & grateful that I did.

On buying land for a house, I don't think I'll do that. So long as you don't have children, rent is also simply a variable in life. Work nights, and take naps at lean-tos for a couple months. Split a $500 studio with someone. Besides, if you work only 6 months of the year traveling the other 6, thats 6 months of rent/mortgage/utility free life. So long as you have skills, and aim high, you can always make more money than you need. Put the excess away for that boat when you grow tired of walking. Then the worlds oceans, bays, harbors & rivers are your property.

I have a friend with no children who lives 5 feet from the metacomet-monadnock trail that has a 60mile view from his front yard of the Berkshires. He puts alot of sweat and money into that home. It's beautiful. Obviously you have to do some work to pay for your food/shelter (sometimes) and incidentals, but when you begin planning decades of pay going into a material good, think about the time your investing. You wont get it back once its gone.

03-02-2003, 09:04
In my younger days I didnt have a need for a house myself. But then came a wife and three kids and they did need the house. I didnt need that much money but they needed me to work two full time jobs.

Glad Im single again!


03-02-2003, 09:46
Originally posted by SkyKing

What I mean is, I guess, (1) that 50% cut in NY won't be felt as bad here in TN (2) your here in TN with your family where you'll obviously be happier. Good money isn't EVERYTHING. Work the work and live the life that lets you do the things you enjoy....in moderation!

Thanks for the words of encouragement Skyking. I'm hopeful that something good will happen soon. I am waiting to hear about a job I interviewed for last week. It's a choice position involving Trails & Conservation. I am hopeful....

Interesting thought... My personality on the internet I am sure comes across as quite prickly at times. Funny thing is... my trail experience was totally devoid of the rancor and personal attacks that you encounter here on the internet, some of which I have been personally responsible for. I think, for me, its (a) a reflection of a deep dissatisfaction with my current lifestyle, and (b) a reflection of my distaste for technology, which I see as diametrically opposed to what a trail experience is all about.

Moving forward, I'll try and be more pleasant in these forums.

03-02-2003, 11:20
I sympathize on many levels. I quit the 9-5 a couple years ago after making a go of it. I too dropped college after 2 years because I really didn't see the need for the degree and was a little tired of some of the tripe they force-feed you. I've always been happiest *doing* things rather than thinking about them. Most of my days at work (big systems developer and analyst) were spent staring at pictures of the AT. What a waste of time that was...

Now I write - no, not published yet but will be someday - I hope :) . Having fewer dollars to spend on trifles only reinforced what I learned my first time on the trail - life is full of luxuries while only a few necesseties exist.

Also Jed, I don't think it's ALL you. i.e. the rancor you often see and participate in on the internet is not solely your own doing. The internet experience is diametrically opposed to the trail experience. On the trail, everything becomes more real, more now. We become connected to the trail and to those sharing our time out there in a way that we can reproduce nowhere else.

The internet, on the other hand, is about as dis-connected as you can get and still be able to communicate. There is no sense of consequence here and certainly no personal attachment. In some ways it is a "safe" outlet for feelings that would otherwise remain bottled up. This is true for everyone. As a result, accepted norms of social behavior simply aren't enforced/adhered to on the internet.

An analogy: a child gets into a candy store that will allow no adult. The adults can look in to see what the child is doing but, aside from speaking, cannot otherwise interact with the child. The child soon learns that he can pretty much do as he pleases without the usual consequence of "getting in trouble." All the adults' pleading, orders, cajoling, etc. amount to so much hot air. The child simply ignores them when it is convenient and, if that doesn't work, he can actually mouth off at them - and get away with it.

I actually strive to be MORE polite on the internet than in person for these reasons. It doesn't always work but what else can you do (short of getting off completely?) Don't be too terribly hard on yourself, Jed, you're not alone.

03-02-2003, 11:31
Originally posted by Aubrey

The internet experience is diametrically opposed to the trail experience. On the trail, everything becomes more real, more now. We become connected to the trail and to those sharing our time out there in a way that we can reproduce nowhere else.

Agreed 110%!!! Thanks for the feedback Aubrey!

03-02-2003, 20:13
My husband was a software enginenr, and I was a sales rep for a computer company. We saved up a ton of money, and both gave our notice about 8 weeks before we left in March of '02. Quit cold turkey :) Just recently got back in the working force and am finding it harder to adjust :)

03-02-2003, 22:33
my (unsolicited) two cents worth....
I did my two hikes prior to "settling down," so it was easy to go and I had no insurance at the time and luckily nothing happened. I had a wonderful time and learned a lot and gained much peace. Life for me is different right now. Some one said a long time ago that there was a season for everything. I love my work and my life and I love what I am doing. I sometimes miss the woods, but my day to day life I have made a point of filling with as much love as possible and that is where we find our happiness. I think we often go to the trail disenchanted with the "world" when often it is a feeling of a lack of connection with our fellow people and true unconditional love that is the root of the longings that bring us to the wilderness. We can find as much peace in our homes and on the streets as we do in the wilderness when we live through love b/c that is the spring that never dries up. Granted, we are not surrounded by as many trees, but you can't hug a mountain and the trees are relatively silent when it comes to personally showing you/me love when the years go by. I guess what I am saying is that going to the wilderness does not guarentee happiness. Love is the source for true happiness.

On a completely different note, I think having a house can be a great thing, depending on how you do it. I just bought a lot and built my own house with my own two hands and with the help of about 30 wonderful friends/family that helped me build it. It was like an Amish barn raising, except we weren't amish, we were building a house and not a barn, and I was the only one with a beard. :D
But now I have a custom home that I own w/ payments the same as what my rent for the small shack I lived in was, and everytime I look around I see the tangable gifts of love that my friends showed me...the roof framing, the trim....all of it.
And from an investment standpoint...hiker A could get a job and make their salary/wage and that is good and they just rent a house for X dollars a month.
Hiker B invests a portion of their money into real estate, enjoys the power of leveraging their money through the use of borrowing money, and enjoys the appreciation of that real estate. How else can you make thousands of thousands of dollars without actually toiling away at a 9 to 5 job for it? I know people that do real estate for a living and make some good money. One friend bought a building lot for $8,500 and literally sold it again 10 minutes later for $28,500...making 20K in all of (no kidding!) 10 minutes. You could never do that with the stock market or at a paying job. Just something to think about. If you are renting, odds are you can buy and own a house for less than what you are paying rent. The only reason people rent houses out is b/c they make positive cashflow every month from their tenant. Tenant pays their mortgage and upkeep of the property/maintanence.

The point being if you want true happiness live with your heart devoted to friendship and love and find the source of what love is. If you want financial freedom you should look at creative ways to accomplish that as in today's market place you will not find that financial freedom through just holding a job.

Wow...I never, ever thought I would be talking about money! How weird. But, by building my own house I could sell it tomorrow for 60k more than I have in it, plus I had an absolute blast building the house from the ground up myself. That event is surely one of the best memories of my life and probably always will be. Making 60k on a house is easier than working 30 years at a job and plus the earnings are tax free if you time the sale correctly, unlike our heavily taxed work income.

03-03-2003, 21:58
Alison, thanks for your information on insurance plans. I purchased a standard long term insurance policy during my hike, but choose a high deductible to minimize the monthly payment. The short term insurance plan looks like it might be an option.

Back to the original topic of this thread, when I hiked I was a college student. Back then, I had some time but limited money. Now I'm working, I have some money but limited time. It never seems to balance out. Someday I expect to return to school for my masters degree, and I'll likely take time off then to do another long distance hike. In the mean time, I'm working on putting together some savings, a Freedom Fund, to be ready when the opportunity strikes.

Also, right on Israel, love is what its all about.

03-04-2003, 11:24
I am a civil engineer. My wife just had graduated. We saved a little and borrowed a little. Stored all of our junk at friends and relatives, quit our jobs, moved out of our apartment and ran away. It's the best tough decision that I ever made. Hope that some day I can justify doing more long trips like this but money is definately a consideration and I feel fortunate to have been able to do one trip of this magnatude.

03-05-2003, 23:03
I've got three words for ya':

Seasonal Resort Work!

Work where you want, when you want. Take a summer off if you like. And the best part is: you get paid to be on vacation. I'm spending the winter in Key Largo, FL and the summer in either the Grand Tetons (WY) or Crater Lake (OR), then 2 months off for hiking before hopefully ending up back in Key Largo for the winter. Life is good...

03-06-2003, 09:07
Where do you stay? Apartment? Or does the resort put you up in servants quarters?

03-07-2003, 01:42
Most resorts have dormitory housing for seasonal workers. It's usually not too expensive, sometimes free. Some resorts in or near national parks have RV parks you can live in if you own an RV. Where I am now, I live in a dorm (coed). There is a cafeteria, a small bar, a gym, pool and recreation areas - all just for the employees.