Climbing mountains, not corporate ladders

It was spring of 1988, and I was sitting at my third job interview with the IT consulting firm, Electronic Data Systems (EDS). We were in an Embassy Suites hotel in a suburb of Minneapolis – me in my navy suit and they in their silk ties. Being a recent business graduate at the time, my interviewing skills (I had lots of practice in those days) and passionate selling of my rural work ethic served me well through the first couple of interviews. The third interview was when we both came to a decision point.

Quite simply, the decision came down to one question asked by the interviewers “Do you want to sit in front of a computer for eight to ten hours a day”. I paused, thought for a moment and “No”. Their response – “Ok, the interview is over”.

At the time, I was working at a hotel night auditor/front desk clerk, living on my brother’s couch; while looking for more desirable jobs that connected with what I wanted to do with my career. I didn’t know what my passion or career path was at the time, but I definitely knew what I didn’t want.

As a recent business graduate, the EDS job seemed the most idea situation of using my degree and working for a well-respected company where I could climb the corporate ladder. It turns out, my answer of “No” was probably the best decision I ever made – and one of the major turning points in my life.

Within weeks of making the decision at the EDS interview, I was contacted by a resort in Glacier National Park for an accounting position. Months prior, I’d met with managers of the resort (after being 20 minutes late for the interview!) and honestly had forgotten about their job. By May 1, 1988, my feet were back on Montana ground and thus began my 26+ year career in the resort and adventure travel industries. I spent most of that time climbing mountains, not corporate ladders.

I’m thankful for that moment of clarity in the spring of 1988. It allowed me to experience extraordinary adventures with friends, family and guests ever since! Robert Frost’s famous word ring true for me – “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference”.


In 2010, Dean created a three week Alaskan tour for my two sons and me. For all the trips I`ve ever taken in my life, and I`ve traveled quite a bit, this was by far the most customized trip I`ve ever taken. He did a great job of challenging us and catering it to our desires. The whole thing was exquisitely coordinated. — David K. New York, NY

I have traveled with Dean on more than one occasion and I cannot speak highly enough about his professionalism, friendliness and dedication to his guests. Dean is an excellent guide and he makes every trip an adventure. His excellent attitude ensures that every guest will have a great time. I am looking forward to traveling with Return On Adventure because I know any trip that Dean facilitates will exceed my expectations. — Janet H., San Diego, CA

I would like to express appreciation to Return On Adventure for an absolutely perfect ten-day trip to Guatemala a couple of years ago. The hotels, were very nice and the guides were always on time, provided excellent information, answered questions, and escorted me to wonderful sites in the country. I highly recommend this company, as my experience was wonderful! — Lee W. Fort Collins, CO

Your next trip needs to be this one! The highest place in Africa is absolutely spectacular!! Excellent service and attention to detail. Incredible guide and support. Great food. Quality gear. I would highly recommend Return On Adventure. There was excellent service and attention to detail throughout. — Andrea D. San Francisco, CA

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