Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs?! When job hunting, there are many questions we need to ask a Workamper employer about the job. These include duties, wages, hours etc. However, do you also consider the weather? This over-the-top movie (where it rains food), reminds us that we can accept a position and only later realize that the weather or other geographic factors affect our experience.
by Jaimie Hall Bruzenak
This article comes from an issue of Workamper News magazine. COPYRIGHT by Workamper News. IT IS A VIOLATION OF U.S. COPYRIGHT LAW TO PUBLISH, POST, BROADCAST OR PHOTOCOPY ANY PORTION OF THIS PUBLICATION.
Realize that different parts of the country have different weather patterns and go with the flow. If you want to experience the variety, take the weather with it.
Here are tips for dealing with a variety of conditions:
RVs have limited space, but keep some heavier clothing so you can layer for cold weather. Rubber boots, hats, and gloves will come in handy some day. Cover up in hot weather. Lightweight clothing is more comfortable than exposed skin.
In extreme hot climates, don’t turn your air conditioner down too low. The contrast between your RV and the outside makes it more difficult to leave the rig. I worked in Bull Frog, Utah, where summer temperatures were 105 degrees and up. After work, once we got in the air conditioning, you could hardly pry us out. The outside air felt much hotter.
Protect your tires. When parked for your job, cover your tires to avoid sun damage. Apply a coat of wax on your RV and tow or towed vehicle for protection against sun damage.
Don’t leave awnings out when you are away. Many places have strong or unpredictable winds.
In hurricane or tornado country, have a plan for safety and/or evacuation.
If you accept an assignment with extreme temperatures, make sure you’ll have an electric hookup and can leave your air conditioner or heater running while gone. Before clipping their coat, remember it acts as insulation and hair over their eyes protects from sun. Walk your pet when temperatures are cooler. Be sensitive to hot pavement which could burn their pads, or plants like cacti which could harm them.
Drinking plenty of water is always important, but even moreso in high temperatures. Carry a water bottle and drink frequently. When working in 115-degree temperatures at Bull Frog, I found that increasing my intake of salt at lunch made a huge difference in my energy level. Drinking an electrolyte drink may help too. If you have medical issues, discuss this with your doctor first.
Use sunscreen, particularly at high altitudes where the sun is more intense. Keep your skin covered and wear a hat.
Do grey days and rain depress you? Consider a SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) light. Google “SAD lights” for small, portable units.
If you have heart or lung problems, higher elevations could make breathing difficult. Talk to your doctor first. If you accept the job, arrive a week or so early to acclimate. My first job was in the Grand Tetons at 7,000+ feet. Coming from sea level, I got out of breath walking up the slightest incline. It took several weeks to get used to the thinner air. Be patient with yourself and allow time to adjust. If your breathing doesn’t improve, move to a lower elevation.
Do certain plants or other allergens bother you? Find out if that will be an issue. Be prepared with necessary medication just in case.
We have gotten so used to air conditioning and heating, we’ve become spoiled and find extremes of weather to be uncomfortable. However, experiencing different areas along with their climates is why we are on the road.
It does make it easier if you know what you are getting into. In mountain areas, you could very well have snow on the 4th of July. If you were picturing laying out in the hot sun and dipping into a pool, you could be very disappointed, especially if you don’t like cold. Realizing that could be the reality allows you to mentally prepare and focus on another activity that could be fun or unique to that place.
In all fairness to your partner, refrain from constantly complaining. One of my most important RV dreams was to work in Alaska. It was every bit as gorgeous and wonderful as I had hoped. However, we had a fair amount of rain when we first arrived and then, rain nearly every day from mid-August until we left around the first of October. Yes, mildew grew, everything was damp, and we rarely saw the sun. It wasn’t ideal. However, Bill complained almost constantly. I suggested that it was fine to make a comment about the weather once a day. After that it was complaining. Unfortunately, he needed to complain. Though he had agreed to work in Alaska, that sure put a negative damper on my experience.
In our case, a SAD light might have helped, but attitude is more critical. If you have a commitment to stay, the weather is not something you can change. Why waste energy complaining? Instead, focus on the positives of the experience. Even for Bill, there were many.
If you do have difficulty with certain conditions, then it’s best to find out before you accept the position and figure out how you will deal with it or choose a different location.
- Ask questions of the employer during the interview.
- Include a question about weather in your informational post in the Workamper Experiences tool at Workamper.com.
- Check out WeatherUnderground for historical data.
- Check the tourist center in the nearest town. They often have weather statistics included in relocation packets.
- Talk to your doctor if you have a health condition that could be affected.
Take full advantage of the RV and Workamping experience. Unless your health is threatened, weather is part of the experience. If you find yourself in a less-than-ideal situation, remember, you aren’t there forever. This too shall pass. You may even acquire some fun stories to tell around the campfire!
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