I took a break from the corporate world to work at Kelly’s Brighton Marina for the summer season because I recognized that I really needed to be around people after a year-and-a-half of being cooped-up at home because of the pandemic. Living and working at the coast has been a dream of mine, and this job gave me the opportunity to do that on a part-time basis.

I met a lot of wonderful people, worked alongside a kick-ass crew, and taught many first-timers how to crab. Even got in the occasional kayak trip before work! It was terrific to have a summer without video conference meetings.

I lived out of my camper van, sharing a campsite with my “coastal mom” Weni. My camper van is a converted mini-van. There is a mini-kitchen in the rear cargo area, and the passenger area folds down to a full-sized bed. After a week or two, I upgraded my sleeping space with a memory foam camping mattress. GAME CHANGER! I slept so soundly, even with the sounds of the marina coming to life in the morning.

Weni and I spent many a night around the campfire

It was a great exercise in meal-planning around what my shifts would be over the weekend. For early-shifts, I would plan to cook dinner. For later shifts, dinner was usually pre-made sandwiches or (in a pinch) hummus and tortillas. I depended on iced coffee to get me going in the morning without having to boil water. I had a “go bag” where my work clothes would live, and as soon as I got home on Sundays, everything would go in the wash and the van would be re-packed.

My van has a sink, stove, mini-fridge, and kitchen utensil storage

I would joke with customers that the “view from my office” was the best I’d ever had. So grateful for this opportunity to unplug and do something completely different for a while.

Abso-freaking-lutely beautiful. This is my happy place.

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