My Next Step

(Photo via Google "Rock Climbing")

Making decisions that affect the rest of your life is the worst kind of decision-making. Personally, I hate it. I mean, what happens if you change your mind within the next year? Where do you go from there? How is somebody supposed to know what they want to do for the rest of their life when they are only eighteen years old and ready to go to college? I know what you’re thinking: making those important decisions is part of being an adult, get used to it, kiddo!

But the truth is, I’ve found what I want to do with myself, at least for a while…

In about a month, I’ll be graduating college with an English degree. A what? Yes, I did say an English degree. Now go ahead and ask the question that’s already on the tip of your tongue, the one everybody asks. What are you going to do with that? Well, I’m not sure yet. I started my college career as a Music Education major and decided halfway through the semester that I despised it. I had been planning on this major for years, so when it all went downhill I felt rather lost. I changed to English because I was always good at it in high-school. From there, I joined the U.S. Army ROTC program because I had an interest in the military ever since the Marines came to talk to my school when I was in 8th grade. I loved this program for about a year and a half– it gave me the opportunity to learn how to shoot (I qualified sharpshooter my first time ever firing an M-16), and offered the opportunity for me to spend a month at Fort Knox, Kentucky for Leadership School where I learned how to be a  leader, navigate in the backcountry, and how to solve problems quickly an efficiently

So what went wrong? Again, I’m not 100% sure. At one point I decided to go on a two-week wilderness backpacking trip in Patagonia Argentina which changed my life forever and can be read about here and here. Upon my return, I found myself sitting in the Colonel’s office explaining that, while I do have an immense amount of respect for the ROTC program, I don’t think the Army is for me anymore.

So where exactly am I heading? I want to be a guide for the company that took me to Argentina. I want to get paid, however small that pay may be, to teach people about the outdoors, and offer that experience with another culture that changes that person for the better like it did for me just one year ago. I want to be able to travel and be outside, and to photograph landscapes and different cultures. When it’s all said and done, I’ll still keep the ability to write about the experiences and share them with you on here, or maybe even one day via a magazine.

I’ve been building my outdoors resume since I returned from Argentina. I lead a backpacking trip through the wilderness of Yosemite National Park, and climbed to the summit of Mt. Washington in the Winter in order to learn basic mountaineering skills (which I’ll be adding to next season!). I got Advanced Wilderness First Aid certified (I’ve made arm slings out of a baseball cap, a notebook, a fleece jacket, and shoelaces) and took a Summer job as a certified whitewater raft guide in Maine (which I’ll be returning to in a couple of months).

This season I’m going to be learning more about rock climbing and taking courses in sea kayaking to learn the skills necessary for both of these activities. I’m going to stick at my current job with AT&T, as well as my rafting job, in order to save some money to take an outdoor educators course which will greatly help me to better myself for my future career. This course includes 50 days of living in the mountains (Awesome!) while rock climbing, backpacking, and whitewater canoeing, as well as Wilderness First Responder Certification. I’m extremely excited for this course, but unfortunately can’t go until next Spring. Until then, AT&T it is, but that’s what it takes to get to where I want to be…

And that’s life.

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Author: Nathan Bush

Nathan Bush is an avid traveler, adventurer, and professional wedding and landscape photographer. His absolute favorite pastime is hiking all the while lugging his camera equipment into the backcountry in order to capture beautiful images of the wild. He currently lives in Colorado with his soon to be wife, Florence.

24 thoughts on “My Next Step”

  1. Sounds awesome to me! In my opinion, it is IMPOSSIBLE to know what you want to with your life in college. For me, it has changed and grown over the years and I think I’ve finally figured it out at almost 40! So take chances, travel, enjoy life…NOW ! Especially when you are young! You have your whole life to work and once you start a family it is difficult to do those adventurous things and take a chance! GO FOR IT NOW!

    1. Hey Nicole,

      I hear you! Some people say that college is where you are supposed to learn about and then decide on different things that you can do with your life, although I don’t even think that is really possible (besides in extreme cases). I also have a problem with the idea that schools can deny you access to the program you want– what gives them the right to decide what you can and cannot do? But that’s beside the point, I guess. It’s unfortunate that everything costs so much money to do, I’d love to take that Outdoor Educator course this summer, but I won’t be able to afford it. Oh well, as you said, I’m still rather young, there isn’t a huge rush just yet!

      Thanks for the comment,

      Nate

  2. Thanks for this post because it reminded me that even though I’m currently stuck at a corporate job, it’s just a small piece of a bigger journey that will get me to where I want to be (even if I don’t what that is yet!)

    I envy you that you have these mini-goals figured out to help you get to your dream. And yet it also makes me happy to see that there are others out there in a position similar to mine who haven’t given up yet either. 🙂

    1. Hi Janie!

      Something tells me that most everybody finds themselves at this point eventually. The only thing that matters is that you continue to work towards that one goal in the end. Do whatever it takes.

      Thanks for the comment,
      Nate

  3. keep going, nate! dont stop! and keep posting here with all those amazing pics, thats how I can see the other side of the world through your eyes! U rock!

    My suggestion for your next destination is, after some place cold such the amazing Iceland, u may take your feet to some place warmer :))

    – octa-

    1. Hi Octa!

      Thank you, you’re very kind!

      I tend to agree with this suggestion. I’m currently researching a trip to Morocco and a venture into the Sahara. I think that would be hot enough… 😛

      Thanks for commenting and continuing to keep up with my blog,
      Nate

  4. Sounds like you’ve got everything figured out! The end goal for next Spring will make the time you spend at AT&T go that much more quickly, and it’s great that you have another (slightly more exciting) job coming up as well so things don’t get too stagnant for you. Like thirdeyemom said, it’s so hard to figure out what you want to do in college. I stayed on a certain path because I figured it was too late to go back and start over, then got sucked into a certain career because, as a military spouse, my options are limited on where I can work based on where we live. It took me until my late 20’s to realize that if I continue to choose certain paths because I feel like I “should,” I’m never actually going to get where I want to go. (Pretend I didn’t end that sentence with a preposition, Mr. English Major.)

    I hope you will continue to track some of your progress (small trips you take and things you do to prepare for your next big adventure) on your blog!

    Katie

    1. Hey Katie,

      Haha! I guess I can let that one slide.

      Yeah, I tend to be really impulsive and impatient sometimes though, so the year wait is probably going to be pretty tough. That being said, its true what you say about my other job starting again. Last year, rafting was the greatest job I ever had– not to make money, but for experience and a good time. I hear you about figuring out what you want to do in college, but at the same time, although I changed my plan a lot, I’m going to be able to take experience from all of those changes to apply them to what I want to do. Take my time with the military, for example– I’ll be able to use the leadership and navigation in the field for sure.

      Hopefully you’ll be able to get to where you want to be in the near future as well! I’m sure you’ll figure it all out.

      Oh, no need to worry. I know I’ve been slacking a little lately (unfortunately its getting to be that time of the school semester) but I have some things planned for the near future. I’m currently looking into rock climbing and sea kayaking (as this post stated) but also hiking the 100-mile Wilderness and Presidential Range Traverse. Not too mention the whitewater rafting which, of course, will require a few blog posts as well. 🙂

      Nate

  5. English degree. I have your life already planned out:

    1) write a book
    2) collect the royalties as you live in various countries throughout the world, which are much cheaper, which means the book only has to do “ok”.
    3) see the world and die happy.

    Like the new theme – mod lite gets old. Did you have to resize or refomat any pictures?

    Good post,
    John

    1. That is basically 100% how I want my life to go.

      About #2 – hahaha that’s a great point, this sounds like a pretty good plan.

      Thanks! I was sooo sick of my other theme, so so sick of it. I didn’t have to, but I did to make it look cleaner. I first had to make sure I didn’t have any posts with a featured image because that threw the whole thing off whack. I then went through and resized to 80% to make the photos more centered looking. This took time, but I’m quite happy with the way it came out. I also had to add the “Read More” buttons so that my entire post wasn’t shown in a Tumblr format (which I don’t like). I’m still working out the kinks to this one, but I really like the option of featuring posts on the home page, so I like it so far.
      Nate

      1. Just be aware that the more posts you have …the harder it gets to change. I was actually going to change to this one a few months back, but too much work. It looks though.
        John

      2. Yeah, I’ve been at work all day. Since I work in front of a computer (temporarily) I’ve been making the necessary changes in between customers. But it is slightly annoying, and I only have 35 or so posts. A year from now? Two? At that point I’m thinking no matter how sick I am of the them, its probably going to stay the same.

      3. …and in response to the flagcounter …sorry, had to do it, but I did it for you 🙂 …give it a year or two, it adds up, but catch me if you can 😮

  6. Hey, Nate! Every decision you have made and experience that you have tried have brought you new knowledge. Just remember that this has helped you become who you are today! A person that enjoys and values the world around him and a person that I am proud to say is my son.

  7. After reading this post, I so admire that you’re able to craft out what you what to do and really planned for it. Like you, I’m still sitting behind my corporate desk waiting for things to happen. You gave me real inspiration to move on to do whatever I want to do in the future so long so I’m happy doing it!

    Keep writing and I’ll be sure to pop by and see the wonderful landscape photos! I’m still lugging my Canon 60D with me but recently sold my wide angle lens, might get it back as I love it too much 🙂

    Good luck in your travel adventure!

    1. Hey Cathybok,

      Thanks for stopping by and checking out my blog. I wrote this post a while back now, but I finally woke up one morning not too long ago and decided it is time for me to make a move towards doing something that I know will make me happy, no matter what the cost. Once I get there, I know it will all be worth it.

      I was so close to purchasing a 60D but it was slightly out of my price range at the time. I got a EOS Rebel T2i instead with a couple nice lenses though and it works great! I’ll be putting the wide-angle to the test in Peru in about 15 days but I’m sure she’ll perform well.

      Thanks for the comment!
      Nate

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