There’s nothing quite like traveling. The feeling of utter freedom to go wherever you want to is both empowering and scary at the same time.
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Having a seasonal job evokes similar feelings of independence and vulnerability, which is a large reason why seasonal employees tend to create friendships that last a lifetime. According to a recent study by The Institute for the International Education of Students, 63% of people surveyed who lived abroad in the 1950s and 1960s are still in contact with friends they made overseas.
Here are four reasons seasonal employees enjoy such strong and lasting relationships:
Traveling to a different part of the world means you have the opportunity to do things you wouldn’t normally do at home, like watching an eagle feast on salmon, or seeing America’s tallest peak in all her glory. For our seasonal employees in Alaska, opportunities abound to see rare wildlife, hike, fish, and take in gorgeous views wherever you go.
Memories you make here will last forever, and that helps enrich friendships with the people who are by your side. Sharing a meal with a buddy is great, but catching, cleaning, and roasting the biggest salmon of the day over the fire after learning how to fly-fish is a much more vivid memory. Intense emotions build stronger bonds and trust between friends, whether you’re together for three months or five years.
Whether you’re in a neighboring town or a foreign country, everyday tasks can come with a degree of difficulty. When traveling in Alaska, something as simple as finding a bite to eat may take a sense of adventure if you’re willing to try moose steak or salmon sashimi.
Exploring a place or activity with new friends lets you see each other in a vulnerable state and can lead to a lot of great laughs. The more adventurous you are, the greater memories you’ll make! Also, being vulnerable and depending on new friends creates strong bonds as well as a heightened sense of self-sufficiency. At the end of the season, many employees feel confident and self-assured, knowing they did more than save money over the summer; they made lasting friendships and lifelong memories as well.
Part of a Team
As a seasonal employee, you work in collaboration with others to create a unique experience for guests. Each member of your team is new to the area and many are looking for someone to connect with. Many employees, as travelers, are more willing to make friends than they would be at home.
As part of this unique team providing exciting experiences for guests, you and your coworkers will rely on each other. Because many employees both work with and live next to coworkers in our dorm rooms, they build strong bonds with those around them.
When traveling away from home, it’s fun to keep in mind that nobody knows you, so you can be whoever you always wanted to be. Your peers don’t know about your regrets, and you can reinvent yourself without all of the preconceived notions of yourself you might have previously had. Newfound independence offers the opportunity to be more outgoing, adventurous, and bold if you choose to be. It lets you redefine yourself.
As a member of our team, you and your coworkers will create a support system for each other, and get to know one another while also discovering new things about yourself. Even more exciting, seasonal jobs provide a unique opportunity to create bonds with people outside your social norm, such as people from different countries or age groups. It may surprise you to find out what you have in common with each person you encounter in Alaska.
During your stay in Alaska, you’ll meet many people of varying backgrounds, from retired professors to young students or travelers. The best way to build lifelong friendships is to remain open to new experiences, and spend time with people you may not have at home. Enjoy challenging yourself, and you’ll gain confidence as well as strong friendships.
Working abroad can be a life-changing event if you’re willing to make yourself a little vulnerable. The idea of leaving the unknown is scary, but the rewards you can reap make taking a risk worth it. For those of you who have already worked with us, please share your comments or additions to this post in the comments below. We’d love to hear from old friends!