Homesteading in Central Appalachia certainly has its benefits, but one of them is NOT its proximity to appealing and well-paying jobs.
In all honesty, when Ian told me he wanted to apply for the position director of Big Laurel, my first thought was “well s***, what am I supposed to do now?”
My job options out here are somewhat limited. I am only eligible to work for AmeriCorps for two years and with Ian’s new job, our commitment here is for at least three. Though it might be possible for me to get a job off the mountain a town or two away, it would probably cause us to get a second car and me spending close to two hours each day driving. Worst of all, a normal job wouldn’t allow me to take springs and summers off to help with the groups and summer camps we host on the mountain.
Working full-time off the mountain would take away much of what I love about living here.