Step on the gas and head to Lake Tahoe |

Step on the gas and head to Lake Tahoe

Jesse Plate
Young Professionals Weigh In

I’ve lived in Tahoe for a year-and-a-half. In most comparisons with my former hyper-urban residences (Boston and New York City), I find life by the lake considerably more appealing. Tahoians are more grateful, sprightly and more curious than their East Coast city counterparts. The mountains have a visually therapeutic beauty that makes city skylines look like they’re trying too hard.

Before moving here, stories about West-Coast-laidbackness had merged in my head into the image of a 20-something mountain man that has everything he needs; a few bucks in his flannel pocket for beers, his snowboard, a job that let’s him get by long enough for an inevitable adventure to take off.

My first months in South Lake I looked to confirm my misconceptions. Worse, I buried impulses from my former metropolitan life that I didn’t think would fit in – a yearning to improve, the need to be heading in a direction, the intention to write and be more creative. Procrastination is easy, embracing uncertainty hard.

I’d highly recommend to my 2013 self and anyone wanting to make a change in business, socially, for their health — step on the gas. The timing will never be perfect to ask for a promotion, try to start a business, or even just try eating at that new restaurant. When you make a decision to change, make a commitment that doesn’t leave room for excuses to slide in. Don’t put feelers out, grab your idea and floor it. Don’t count how many days it’s been since you ate candy – you just eat healthier now, period. An ambiguous decision is just a goal, a “wouldn’t-it-be-nice” idea.

My presumptuous bubble about Tahoe burst when I got invited to a Tahoe Regional Young Professionals (TRYP) mixer, met a bunch of ambitious, young people and realized some of the impulses I missed seeing on the East Coast are universal. They exist here but manifest differently. The want to be more can be honorable instead of selfish. The search for direction can go inward rather than outward.

The young professional community around Tahoe is a sounding board. Do you want people to help you collaborate on a new idea? Someone at TRYP is running with a crazier, more ambitious idea than yours – and that might be what gives you need to take a chance. Maybe you’re just looking for an impartial sounding board? I encourage people to check out a TRYP event. You’ll probably get networked with a little, and maybe hit on, or maybe you’ll make a new friend who wants to check out all the sushi happy hours in town to help you decide which one is best.

Jesse Plate works at Heavenly Mountain Resort. He likes to snowdance, play poker, run, ski, rollerblade, write and ask ridiculous hypothetical questions. Contact him at

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