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Off topic: A change of scenery - I’d like to be a forest ranger or work outdoors in a nature reserve
Thread poster: Buck

Buck
Netherlands
Local time: 12:40
Dutch to English
Jul 20, 2009

Hi. I’ve been translating for over 15 years and I’m getting itchy feet. I have begun to feel I no longer want to be a translator (work fulltime at an agency and freelance a little on the side). It is no longer satisfying. I have always enjoyed the outdoors and tranquility of nature. Preferably, I’d like to be a forest ranger or work outdoors in a nature reserve. I live in the Netherlands, but the job doesn’t necessarily have to be here, as long as it’s in the EU. I suppose I could freelance at the same time for addtional income if necessary. I’ve done a bit of searching on the Internet, but haven’t found the information yet. Does anyone have any suggestions about where to look? Thanks for your input.

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2009-07-20 19:14 GMT]


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Michele Johnson  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:40
German to English
+ ...
Ökojobs or Schlaf im Stroh? Jul 20, 2009

I assume you are too old to qualify for what they call a "freiwilliges Sozialjahr" in Germany (if they even have that in NL)? To get your foot in the door, you might look at http://www.oekojobs.de/ or http://www.schlaf-im-stroh.de/. Or maybe you would feel more satisfied if you went 100% freelance? Or possibly look into "alternatives Wohnen" / alternative living - where I live, there are a number of communal farm-type living places that are looking for people. If I understand correctly, they have quite a few members who work externally but contribute financially and in-kind to the community farm.

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Gerard de Noord  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:40
Member (2003)
German to Dutch
+ ...
Can't resist Jul 20, 2009

I didn't want to be a barber anyway. I wanted to be... a lumberjack!

(A visonary glow suffuses his face and he begins to walk slowly out of the darkened shop.)

Leaping from tree to tree as they float down the mighty rivers of British Columbia! The Fir! The Larch! The Redwood! The mighty Scots Pine!

(He tears off his barber's jacket to reveal a tartan shirt and lumberjack trousers underneath. The singing of a choir begins to rise up in the background...)


Good luck,
Gerard


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Michael Barnett
Local time: 06:40
English
+ ...
Lumberjack? Jul 20, 2009

Hi Gerard.

As a translator, this would definitely interest you.

If you say "lumberjack" in British Columbia, you will be identified immediately as an "Easterner". Here we call them "loggers".

Michael


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:40
English to German
+ ...
Thanks, Michael! Jul 21, 2009

Michael Barnett wrote:

As a translator, this would definitely interest you.

If you say "lumberjack" in British Columbia, you will be identified immediately as an "Easterner". Here we call them "loggers".

Michael


Indeed.

Greetings from the Pacific Northwest!


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Johanna Timm, PhD  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 03:40
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
Try wwoofing! Jul 21, 2009

WWOOF is short for "Willing Workers On Organic Farms", an international movement that is helping people share more sustainable ways of living. In return for volunteer help (mostly on farms), WWOOF hosts offer food, accommodation and opportunities to learn about organic lifestyles.

My oldest son - who grew up in Canada- did his first 2-month stint in Mexico 2 years ago and loved it (he worked on a mango farm). Before starting another round of university studies for his MA he will head down to South America again - this time, he will spend 6 months in Brazil!

More here:
http://www.wwoof.org/

[Edited at 2009-07-21 00:14 GMT]


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Gerard de Noord  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:40
Member (2003)
German to Dutch
+ ...
Very interesting Jul 21, 2009

Michael Barnett wrote:

Hi Gerard.

As a translator, this would definitely interest you.

If you say "lumberjack" in British Columbia, you will be identified immediately as an "Easterner". Here we call them "loggers".

Michael


Over here in Europe we'd immediately think Monty Python.

Cheers,
Gerard


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chica nueva
Local time: 22:40
Chinese to English
Monty Python 'Lumberjack' Jul 21, 2009

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clPYfaTvHT0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zey8567bcg&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQOMxz-O7Sc&feature=related
Monty Python- I'm a lumberjack THE BEST VERSION by Eric Idle
Lumber jack song
The Lumberjack Song


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Buck
Netherlands
Local time: 12:40
Dutch to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks so far Jul 21, 2009

Thanks everyone for the input so far.

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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 11:40
Dutch to English
+ ...
Some general advice from someone with itchy feet too Jul 21, 2009

Hi Buck,

I know how you feel. Well, there are days I wish I was back at my legal practice in SA as I miss the 'buzz' of all that dreadfully some days (which isn't quite the same thing, but you know what I mean).

Jobs are hard to come by these days, so perhaps you should consider negotiating a period of unpaid leave, if personal finances allow for it, and get away from translations completely for a month or two. Try not to freelance over this time, I think you need to put a blanket ban on translations for a while.

Use the time to volunteer at places that seem ideal to you and see whether the novelty wears off. Preferably do it during winter when outside conditions are tougher. You can gather information during this time too.

If you are really bitten by the outside bug, then return to your job, save a bit and make your move, but, if not, at least it's out of your system then and you can be more focused.

Just don't do something drastic that you might regret later.

All the best
Debs


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:40
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Just try!! Jul 21, 2009

After having the same feelings for a long time, my wife and I decided to become amateur farmers, bought a piece of land, and started to plant it with almond and walnut trees. Yes, it is nice work when the weather is pleasant and the idea of seeing a thousand healthy trees magnificently decorating the slopes of our little land is lovely. But there is a downside too: it is very hard work when you are pulling a heavy hose in 35 degrees of heat and a fierce sun to water 500 trees so that they don't die, or when you have to drive a slow, noisy tractor for hours on end to plough the soil and kill the weed, or when you have no option but to pull the weed with your hands from a heavy, hard soil, or when you have to prune the trees in a very cold winter while you don't feel your toes and your fingers ache.

I can only encourage you to do the activity of your dreams in your free time or holidays for some months so that you can experience not just the lovely ambiance you can enjoy as a tourist but also the hardships involved in any professional, forestry or farming activity outdoors. Then you have more information to decide whether your life as a translator is that awful.


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Capesha  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:40
Member (2006)
English to German
+ ...
Do what you can do best - and enjoy your free time Jul 21, 2009


I can only encourage you to do the activity of your dreams in your free time or holidays for some months so that you can experience not just the lovely ambiance you can enjoy as a tourist but also the hardships involved in any professional, forestry or farming activity outdoors. Then you have more information to decide whether your life as a translator is that awful.


I absolutely agree with Tomás. Some years ago I wanted to start a career as blacksmith as I always liked watching my own blacksmith working on my horses.
I then started to calculate: what do I earn currently, what do I need do earn in order to keep things running. How long would I need to get expertise and a diploma and how many horses (also horses, which are not politely enough in order to refuse kicking women) would I have to do per month in order to earn the same money as I do in my office job.
And at least: would I be willing to do this job until the age of 65?

No need to say that I changed my mind - otherwise I would not be at proz.com


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KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 11:40
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
I get the same bug Jul 21, 2009

Too much time in the office behind a screen can be a depressing drag, which is why I got into hunting dogs and spend several hours a day in all weather training them in the local woods and fields. The rest of the time they are curled up at my feet or under my desk (or in my partner's office) while we translate to pay for dog food.

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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:40
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Why does this happen? Jul 21, 2009

Why so many translators dream of living in the outdoors or do farming and related activities? I sincerely wonder.

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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 11:40
Dutch to English
+ ...
Two words Jul 21, 2009

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

Why so many translators dream of living in the outdoors or do farming and related activities? I sincerely wonder.


Cabin fever


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