Ingredients to a good life: The Alps, The Sierras, and Ice Cold Lake Water.

An interview with a mountain town professional

Name: Grant Leonard (LinkedIn, Instagram, Medium)

Mountain Town tenure(s): South Lake Tahoe, CA; Lugano, Ticino (Switzerland)

Why mountains?

The mountains feed my soul. They offer a playground for all the sports I want to play, especially hiking, trail running, and cold water swimming. After growing up in a big city, mountain town life offers a soothing lifestyle full of incredible natural energy and abundance. Perhaps most importantly, I always meet the most fascinating people in the mountains. If you want a good fireside chat, just ask a mountain townie how they ended up where they are. Near-guaranteed good content. 

Favorite mountain town activity:

There are too many to count, but if I had to settle on just one, it would be my daily swim in the icy cold waters of Lake Tahoe. The lake is so crisp, so clean, so clear, and so energizing. I call swimming in it a medicinal experience because it always cleanses my body of any inflammation or anxiety, and I come out feeling absolutely electric. Lake Tahoe water feels like what I imagine Mother Nature intended water to feel like!

How has living in the mountains influenced your career?

It all started when I lived in the southern Alps during a college semester abroad. Game-changer. Being surrounded by breathtaking beauty with access to incredible outdoor recreation shifted how I valued lifestyle design. After hustling in a big city on the east coast for my first stint out of school, I made a big leap of faith moving to South Lake Tahoe, and this decision catapulted me to now living the life I’ve always wanted. I am more focused on my work, more connected to my professional mission, and more energized to grind knowing that my career is ultimately the vehicle that has enabled and will continue to enable my abilities to bag 10,000-foot peaks, swim in a wondrous lake, and explore so much natural beauty. 

Advice for a mountain town job seeker: 

Just go for it. Pick a place, do your research, and make your move! Mountain Careers has been instrumental in helping me network with amazing mountain town professionals and has led me to fantastic opportunities, so definitely lean on it for both work and personal connections. For me, it was a decision to move to Lake Tahoe that served as my north star, and once I set the destination, all I had to do was reverse engineer my way there. You’ll be surprised what is available to you once you start to search!