backcountry magazine

Travelling to the 5th dimension.

This week was the beginning of  a solo mission to an alien planet.  There are words on the coins instead of numbers, there are “chips” instead of “crisps” and the indoor/outdoor temperatures have been reversed.

On my connecting flight from Newark to Burlington, Vermont, I was seated beside a friendly, but extremely large chap.  His forehead beaded with sweat as he squeezed himself into the seat next to me.  We talked a little about Vermont and somehow got onto the subject of McDonalds, (as in french fries, not farm).

We are both victims of consumerism, you know.  Me, in my obesity- it’s not about willpower, it’s about the standard of food that’s on offer here in the US.

I frowned.   Warehouses full of people in lab coats injecting corn syrup into vegetables sprang to mind.  Was I going to turn out like this guy in a couple of months… living in a country where my willpower has no control over what goes into my mouth? I made a stern note to myself; be vigilant of people craftily depositing unnoticed sugary foods into my shopping trolley and be wary of possible sugary BRAINWASHING.

My first few days as an intern for Backcountry Magazine (a mag about skiers in the backcountry, if you hadn’t guessed), passed in a blur of proof reading, internet surfing, SWEATING, loneliness and panicking. And then ended with pizza and beers- a tasty reminder to live in the moment (ENJOY PIZZA when it is put in front of you) and not to watch myself existing from an anxious pedestal.  This is supposed to be an adventure and for me to explore new avenues for my life to wander down.

Those who are not happy with the angle of the sun should climb up and change it. Ancient Proverb

I read this somewhere this week, I hope this inspires you as much as it does me.

Working at the Backcountry office is definitely cool.  Reggae beats echo down the hallway and snippets of conversation get chucked from office to office. On Friday my boss paced the corridor;

Has anybody seen my MUFFIN!? I definitely came here with a muffin!  Did I take it to the bathroom?  Mike, he sees food and eats it…  Mike is a sick animal! Where is that muffin!

This went on for a while, before I heard him lamenting;

I just found evidence to the sad fact that I already ate my muffin.

Note to self: Possible brainwashing victim in initial stages, avoid close contact.

So my solo mission is this; to pursue a career in which I have no formal training but for which I do have a ton of enthusiasm, practical knowledge and determination.  This week I feel like I’ve travelled through several dimensions, to a different planet, with very different people, and mindsets and lingo and foods and temperatures.  I hope to make it to some kind of fifth dimension by the end of the summer- which I have labelled; peace with yourself and with what you are striving to become.  But for now I am happy to devote some time to tasting as many maple syrup products as I possibly can.

Oh no, its happening.