New hire! Starting a different sort of adventure.

Atop the broad ridge between Spiller and Matternhorn Canyons, just south of Whorl Mountain, Yosemite National Park.

Atop the broad ridge between Spiller and Matternhorn Canyons, just south of Whorl Mountain, Yosemite National Park.

From Andrew:

I’m excited to announce that Amanda joined me as a business partner as of this morning. Some of you probably know of Amanda already, maybe from this Facebook post or this blog interviewFor about a year we have contemplated this possibility, and recently we decided to finally go for it. The growth of my business has demanded additional help, and fortuitously Amanda has the right skill set to step in.

I have worked since I was thirteen years old.  I have waited tables, driven beer carts at golf courses, slung lattes at coffee shops, and literally flipped a burger or two. (Coincidentally, I’ve avoided red meat ever since).   And yes, I do believe that some of my charm can be credited to the character building and resilience one can only acquire by working in the service industry.

Post-college I began my marketing and consultative sales career, mostly for private non-profit higher education institutions which, while rewarding, are not financially glamorous  therefore, on top of my “day job,” there was a period during which I worked retail — i.e., cleaning up Everest-sized armloads of clothing from dressing rooms and running around like a sweaty, underpaid lunatic to find a customer the perfect “woven button down” for her luncheon.

Despite my seemingly myriad list of employment over the last couple of decades, I have never worked from home, or not had a soul-sucking commute where many times just when I thought I was a decent person, I would experience volatile road rage and felt my tenuous place on the karmic chart plummeting rapidly.  Additionally, I don’t know what it is like not to be anchored to a desk, to have precisely 55 minutes to attempt a lunch “break”, or how to juggle a “generous” surplus of 10 days of vacation.

Most importantly, I’ve never worked in a capacity whereby my efforts and all energy expended result in a better quality of life for me and my loved ones — “Skurka” plus my furry four-legged child who has been the subject of more Facebook posts than I have.

Our furry four-legged child, Oden, hard at work.

Today that will all change. Still, old habits die hard. I’ve been hammering Skurka for weeks with questions like:

  • What is the dress code? (My sweet mother asked this, and I’m certain she was only half kidding.)
  • Do you have a formal training process?
  • What is my official job title? (I feel Director of All Things has a nice ring to it.)
  • Who do I report any HR issues to? (Hello, sexual harassment!)
  • Are we ever going to talk about salary? (Insert silence. Cricket…cricket)

Admittedly, and in all honesty, I’m reticent in assuming this will be a blissful work arrangement simply because my now boss also happens to be my significant other of 2+ years.  I’m enough of a realist; I know that my adventure loving boyfriend runs a tight ship, and we will both have learning curves to maneuver as we begin this new partnership. For instance, I don’t believe that all the world’s problems can be solved in Excel, whereas he does; and, he finds my ability to make our morning coffee by “eyeing it,” rather than busting out the scale for perfect ratio a greatly befuddling mystery.

That being said, we are both excited about broadening Andrew Skurka Adventures LLC into a “family business.” We’ve made a thoughtful and deliberate choice — together — to invest in what he has created, with both the short- and long-term goals of having better work/life balances, more time together throughout the year, a better usage of my talents, and a joint interest in the longevity and success of the business. Sounds easy enough, eh?

My duties include but are certainly not limited to:

  • Overall business development
  • Assistance with trip planning and coordination
  • Marketing & social media
  • Customer service
  • Increased profitability of, well, everything
  • Keeping Skurka sane (e.g. currently he does it all, and I mean it all.  I hope to alleviate some of the existing pressure so that he might do more personal trip, focus on other writing projects, etc.)
  • And, let’s be real here people: he will be better fed and tended to than his typical disheveled, I-forgot-to-eat-anything-but-dates-and-apple-juice-or-change-my-shirt-in-three-days state that I often find him in because he has been working from 8am to 8pm.

So, wish us well our fine followers, friends, and loved ones.   This is a considerable change for the both of us, and one we intend to handle with great care, malleability, and collaboration.  Now, what time does happy hour start around this joint?

Posted in on January 28, 2013


  1. mr. haley on January 28, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    congrats. big moves. enjoy the ride.

  2. Stephanie on January 28, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    Congratulations Amanda!

  3. Justin on January 28, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    Wait…what’s wrong with a 3-day old shirt? I’m pretty sure that’s the set dress code Amanda!

    Dates and apple juice make up a perfectly balanced diet.

    Good luck to you both, should be a challenging but rewarding experience.

  4. Donna Saufley on January 28, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    Amanda & “Skurka”, congratulations on your new partnership and adventure together! Much love, L-Rod

  5. Robby Brown on January 28, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    Congrats guys! Following seas and happy trails!

  6. Randy Martin on January 28, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    Congratulations as you embark on this significant step. Hopeful for much success as the business grows.

  7. Thomas Goggans on January 28, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    Dear Amanda and Andrew,
    What a wonderful, exciting, and challenging new step for you both, personally and professionally! You seem remarkably well suited and for each other, and blessed to have a relationship in which you each challenge and support the other.
    I truly wish the best as you make this transition.
    Best, TCG

  8. julie simpson on January 28, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    Your new business partner (and not-as-new partner) rocks as a writer! Enjoyed this post … good luck!

  9. Mike Clelland! on January 28, 2013 at 7:59 pm


    I wrote the “other” backping book, the one with cartoons.

    Here’s what you are getting in to. I set up Andrew Skurka for 10 days of rations in 2009. this involved putting exactingly weighed out amounts of things like cous-cous in plastic bags. Andrew asked how much water was needed to cook the cous-cous.

    To which I (correctly) replied, “”Well, the right amount, not too much, not to little.”

    That was not the answer he wanted, his expression reminded me of a computer that has seized up.

    Someone in his crew saw the problem, she said “I know how to cook, dont worry.”

    (I wan’t worried, she said that to Andrew)

    peace from Mike C!

  10. Stephen on January 28, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    Your very fortunate to be doing something you love with someone you love for a living….
    All the best…
    Take Care

  11. ronda on January 28, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    Exciting! Congrates and best wishes!

  12. Amanda on January 29, 2013 at 11:02 am

    Thank you for all of the lovely, encouraging, and honest comments. I kind of like hacking into Skurka’s blog to post my own commentary; I could get used to this!

  13. Sharon Phipps on January 29, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    Congratulations Amanda! Does this also mean a promotion for Oden? What is Oden’s new job title and work responsibilities?

  14. Cody on February 4, 2013 at 10:19 am

    Yee haw, right on! I wish you both well and I hope to meet Andrew again in the future! And Amanda too!

  15. Ramona Murphy on February 4, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    Congrats!! Awesomeness!

  16. Bart Smith on February 7, 2013 at 10:02 pm

    Thanks for reminding me that I need to change my shirt. Three cheers to you both!

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