Skinning Cats

The expression ‘there are many ways to skin a cat’ is awfully morbid and, not being a cat skinner, I don’t know if it’s even true. But it’s an idea successful adventurers apply a lot. Making dreams a reality, unless you’ve just won the lottery and also have no obligations in your life, often requires looking at the challenge from more than one angle. Here’s a great example.

The glamour of Galapagos life.

The glamour of Galapagos life.

Sharon loves to travel, especially to remote, wildlife-rich locations, but that can be pricey. How to do it without breaking the bank? She parlayed her work expertise. The first time, she used her librarian skills to get a pro bono stint with the marine reserve at the Charles Darwin Research Station on Galapagos, allowing her to stay on after the tour group – normally the only way to see the island – had left. Nothing like an inside look at one of the most sought-after wildlife destinations in the world.

Realizing she’d discovered a brilliant solution to her travel desires, she then went after the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s wildlife refuge on the Midway Atoll in the Hawaiian Islands. By then she was a webmaster, a skill that got her three weeks each summer for several years in a place very few people get to see for even a day. In fact, the refuge has since closed to the public, making Sharon’s time there a real rarity.

Rare friends on Midway.

Rare friends on Midway.

A little work was a totally worthwhile trade-off for such incredible opportunities. In a world where ‘volunteer’ experiences are something you typically pay to have, this approach to  travel adventure was particularly inspired.

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2 thoughts on “Skinning Cats

  1. sharon virtue

    Thanks Shelagh for helping me to remember I *do* have an adventurous and “creative problem-solving” side!


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