Breaking free of a cubicle isn’t solely about leveling up skills, working remotely, or starting one’s own business; it’s also about opting for employment in the Great Outdoors.
German poet Rainer Marie Rilke was onto something when he stated, “If we surrendered to earth’s intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees.” There’s loads of evidence that spending more time in nature in beneficial for our health. It boosts our immune systems, elevates our mood, increases our ability to focus, lowers our blood pressure, facilitates our recovery from injury or illness, heightens our energy, and improves the quality of our sleep. Spending time outdoors not only improves our mental and physical health, but it’s also been shown to boost children’s academic performance and amplify people’s creative abilities.
For those seeking to unite these benefits with the activity that occupies most of our waking hours—paid work—you’ve come to the right place.
To anyone caught up in the jagged gears of modern capitalism, leaving the rat race and becoming entirely self-sufficient is very appealing. There’s a beauty in returning to our earthbound roots, trading the glow of a computer screen for a radiant sunrise and living by the land’s clock—plowing, planting, pruning, and harvesting.
Going out and experiencing the raw power of nature can lead to downright epic activities, as opposed to simply sitting around feeling so-so in an office or home. In some cases, there are opportunities to get outside, explore nature, and get paid for it.
Making. DIYing. Handcrafting. The rise of makers and crafters may seem like a departure from the traditional nine-to-five career with benefits, but as the Economist points out, the notion of the “company man” (or woman) is really just a post-war construct: self-sufficient artisans are the labor market’s historical norm
As the great outdoors becomes the “next workspace frontier,” the average employee’s happiness may increase. And aside from telecommuters who have the freedom to work outdoors, there are many careers in which the fieldwork requirements can prove to be one of the best perks of the job.
It’s rarely about the money. Ask someone with a job that keeps them outdoors why they’re there, and very few put “earning a steady, sizeable paycheck” at the top of their priority list.
Nature enthusiasts say that even a bad day outdoors is better than a good day indoors. Even when conditions aren’t ideal, some people simply prefer an occupation or lifestyle allowing them to avoid four walls and a ceiling.