I, like a very low percentage of my graduating class, chose to take the road less traveled and moved to Jackson Hole the winter after I survived my last set of finals.  While some people prefer to send it to their ski town of choice without much of a plan, I chose to take the cautious route, and lined these things up ahead of time.  After spending one season in Jackson, here’s a free tip on making a smooth transition: FIND A PLACE TO LIVE.  There’s a housing shortage in almost every ski town in the US, and there’s typically more job opportunities with the resort than there are housing options.  Whether it’s having bedroom of your own or sharing your buddy’s couch with his dog, get this set in stone and employment will tend to work itself out.

Then there’s the concern about financial comfort, don’t sweat it.  If you’re coming out of college, it’s important to consider the time you’re at in life.  You likely don’t have a family to support, and mortgage payments on a house are way down the road.  With few financial obligations, it’s times like these that make sense if you’re going to follow through on your passions and ski or snowboard as much as possible.  While student loans pose a threat, restaurant jobs in ski towns make extremely good money, making obstacles like these manageable.


I’m a big advocate of seeking out opportunity in areas where you are passionate.  In order to find a “job” where you’re actually enjoying what you do, you need you immerse yourself in those areas that you hold passion.  If this means going to Wall Street and sitting in the midst of big time money transactions, then have at it.  But if you’re an expert skier or snowboarder who is looking to take their riding and lifestyle to the next level, there’s no reason you shouldn’t dive head first into a ski town.  If you are truly invested, opportunity will present itself.

So as spring comes to a close and graduation dates approach, take a step back and think about what you’d like to do with your 20’s.   Summer and fall are great times to make some money in order to send a winter trip to Japan or Europe, or if you’ve already got some coin saved up, consider a backcountry ski trip down to Argentina or Chile for the summer.  Students: the time is now!

Ben Girardi