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Allison Myers

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About Allison Myers

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  • Birthday 10/04/1995

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  1. Caught this guy right outside our window! Can't get much closer to nature than that!

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  2. Love your profile and blog, biggest fan. 😁

  3. Hello! My name is Allison Myers, and I like to consider myself an avid traveler. So far in my 24 years of life, I have traveled to Japan, England, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, and France. I have also traveled all over the US and am currently living at the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona! I was born in Eugene, Oregon but have lived all over. I have decided to start this blog with the love and support of my amazing fiance in order to share my experiences, tips and overall love for exploring. I would like to point out that I am NOT an expert, these are just my personal experiences, and experiences of people I have met. When I tell people where all I have traveled and lived, they always ask me how I do it! I thought I would kick this off with my most recent and current living situation. And before we get too far, I would like to emphasize that I am by NO MEANS a rich or wealthy person. I often have been in the right place at the right time to learn about all these great ways to travel! I am the youngest of 4 children and you could say I was a bit of a surprise seeing as how I am 11 years younger from the 2nd youngest. By the time I was a teenager, all my siblings were already adults and living their lives. My second oldest sister who is about 16 years older than me had begun traveling through her work as a barista and server. She started out working at Crater Lake National Park then from there has lived in Alaska, Utah and California just from having customer service experience, a great attitude and a craving for adventure! After graduating college and not having much of a direction, I began working in a call center near Portland, Oregon. I loved my co-workers! The job… not so much. I began feeling depressed and down with how routine my life had become and how stuck I felt working a job I truly began to hate. I kept having this feeling like I needed to run away from it all. This is when I looked into working for National Parks. There are plenty of companies and parks to choose from, however, there is not one company that works at every park. This can prove to be important once you start getting insurance or other benefits through one company but if you decide to jump to a different park (which happens all the time) and you need consistent insurance for medication, etc. then you may want to make sure the park you’re jumping to has the company you work for so that you can hold onto those benefits. Honestly, I didn’t think to do much research into what companies work at what parks but I wish I did. The Grand Canyon National Park is the first and only National Park I have worked/ lived at. It has been everything I have needed and more. Honestly, it’s a little too sweet of a set up and that’s why most people who start working here end up staying longer than intended or never leaving! I meant to only come here for 3 months and it’s already been a year! The downside is, other parks just don’t look as good to me when it comes to housing, pay rate, and food. Housing, pay and food are 3 major factors to consider when choosing a park. I chose the Grand Canyon because of its beauty, majesty, and grandeur but there are so many other parks that are beautiful in their own way. The thing about this park in particular that keeps residents here so long, especially park jumpers who have often been to multiple parks, is the housing. Personally, since I traveled here with my fiance, we have pretty great housing. We are in couples housing which is kind of an apartment style building. Our room is basically the size of a master bedroom. We have a room with a closet and our own private bathroom but that’s it. I have Macgyvered a makeshift kitchen in one side of our closet, which definitely works, but is not as nice as an actual kitchen. There is an employee cafeteria which sells food at cost and can occasionally serve food that won’t make you sick, but the menu is pretty repetitive. Still, you can buy a burger and fries for about $2.50 and you just won't find that anywhere else. Typically for single employees, they have roommates. There is a separate boys and girls dorm where they have communal restrooms and are very similar to college dorm living. Even in our “apartment” building there is a section for roommates as well where they only have to share the bathroom with their neighbor and it’s not as bad. Another thing to mention is that my fiance and I each only pay about $40 a week for housing which just comes directly out of our paychecks. That covers, rent and all utilities! The only bill we pay for here is wifi. The second reason people stick around so long is that the pay here is actually way more than other parks. Reason for that being, Arizona has a higher minimum wage which just went up to $12/hr. However, if you take Zion National Park which is in Utah for example, minimum wage there is only $7.25 and from what I hear from friends who have worked there before, though very fun, the housing and food don’t make you want to stay there too long either. I honestly lucked out in choosing the Grand Canyon because I did not even think about the different minimum wages and pay rates. My fiance and I are from Oregon and depending on where you work, minimum wage is usually around $15/hr. The other nice thing to consider is that this is a year round park. Not all parks are and it’s very important to keep that in mind! Crater Lake National Park for example is only open the Spring/ Summer months due to heavy snowfall throughout the rest of the year. Now, I know I already mentioned food a little bit but it’s pretty important so I’ll give more details here. Food options here are pretty limited and you can’t always find exactly what you’re craving unless you drive the hour and a half to the closest city which is Flagstaff (this distance to the closest city may seem like a shock but is actually closer than most parks) but if you don’t have a car or the time, sometimes you just gotta make due. One I’ve already mentioned is the Employee Cafeteria which pretty much always has the same menu with a “special” thrown in every now and again. Not everything is a winner but it is usually very cheap and hot and when you’re cooking in a dorm room, this can definitely be a plus. Especially since we only have one Market that is extremely overpriced and you can only get a 10% discount if you purchase one of their green bags and use it everytime you shop. All the lodges have restaurants in them but oftentimes those, even with our 50% discount, can still be overpriced and not very good. But at least it’s something different for a change! We do have a Pizza Pub in the Maswik Lodge that sells pretty decent pizza and wings. Just outside the park is a small town called Tusayan which has a Pizza Hut, Wendy’s and McDonalds for your fast food cravings, as well as a Plaza Bonita, Big E SteakHouse and We Cook restaurants. Keep in mind that this is a touristy town so all the food including fast food is extremely pricey. Just two meals at McDonalds can run you close to $40. That is just a quick introduction to park life and what it’s like living here at the Grand Canyon! If you are feeling lost, or drowning in debt and you like to travel, I do encourage you to give National Park living a try. Even if it’s just for a year to get away and spruce up that resume. Follow more of my posts to see how we are handling the COVID-19 pandemic and for more information on park living!

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