I wish this existed when I was in high school.
Professional Nomads is a sanctuary for adventurous folks who view traditional office work as a death sentence. Through these pages you’ll meet fisherman, pilots, dog mushers, sailboat captains, and more—all by both profession and hobby. The people featured here are making a living and a lifestyle out of their passion, and still retain the freedom to continually redefine themselves as they go.
Don’t be thwarted by societal norms. If you feel like a square peg being sucked into a black hole of awkward career options, don’t concede. A professional world exists beyond the noose of 9-5 in careers that won’t appear on an aptitude test.
Due to skyrocketing college costs undermining the cost-benefit of obtaining a college degree, it’s worthwhile to note that for many their degree is, at most, indirectly related to their field. However, these people didn’t deflect into their alternative lifestyles passively. On the contrary, many are highly educated and have purposefully selected their unique lifestyle because at their core it continues to be the only way to stay true to the themselves. Education is humanity’s greatest opportunity, but sometimes internships, trade schools, and the obsessive nature of passion can better paint a three-dimensional picture for success than can a traditional college degree—and pay double in lifestyle dividends. These lifestyles are not for everyone, but everyone should be aware that these possibilities exist.
This site is for the bored kid stuck in suburbia contemplating which office career they might not mind too much, and wondering if the world still needs explorers. I was that kid, and spent my twenties trying to answer that question. If anyone had told kid-me I’d stumble into the seasonal lifestyle chasing my passions of snowboarding, aviation, and travel I wouldn’t have believed them—I didn’t even snowboard then. After seven winters teaching snowboarding (at four different resorts in three different states), and just as many summers working an office job in a national park in Alaska (complete with three-day weekends), I’ve realized the job title I was destined for was “professional nomad.” It’s a loose definition comprising endless unconventional possibilities. Now, in my early thirties, I owe it to that wanderlust kid to share this array of lifestyle-embedded professions with anyone else who’s curious about how they, too, can become an explorer.
The world does still need explorers, and the career possibilities are limitless.