“I’ve always been an outdoor enthusiast. After college, I got involved in the conservation field. I would always find myself traveling to Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains on weekends and vacations to enjoy my favorite pastimes of paddling whitewater on the Lehigh River, hiking in the local state parks and the Delaware Water Gap, and downhill skiing at the resorts in the winter. My network of friends developed around this geography and these activities.
I was thrilled to finally move closer to my outdoor playground in 2009 when an opportunity came my way with the Appalachian Mountain Club in Bethlehem. Despite a near 20 percent reduction in my salary from my previous employment in New Jersey, I was willing to make the move permanently knowing that my quality of life and cost of living change would easily make up for my lower take-home pay. My wife enjoys the same outdoor pursuits as me—hiking, whitewater paddling and downhill skiing—all of which we can do within 20 minutes of home, four seasons of the year. Many of my friends in the Poconos have similar stories. These are small business people, educators or administrators, and outdoor industry professionals.”