Over Halloween weekend, I visited Denver for no other reason than to play and enjoy myself. Tickets were cheap, accommodation was taken care of (thanks Justin!), and there was some concert my friends were going to… I was in! It was one of those rare trips in which everything is figured out and one isn’t required to think at all. Traveling in this way can sometimes be super refreshing and fitting of my personality because all one has to do is say yes, to everything. This impromptu trip marked the second time I visited Colorado and needless to say, I was once again reminded why one day I plan to live there. From the mountains, to the people, to Colorado’s booming economy, I expand on why I envision myself there.
There’s nothing like nature
I first went to Colorado over two years ago and seeing the Rockies for the first time was a profound experience. Something about the magnificence and sheer size of the mountains truly marked me. I felt that I was home. I attribute this sentiment to the fact that I grew up in Mexico along the mountain range Sierra Madre Occidental. My brain and heart probably associate mountains with a sensation of home. In retrospect, it’s no surprise I felt comfortable, safe and a sense of familiarity being in the presence of the Rockies, a mountain range that formed at the same time as Sierra Madre Occidental, roughly 65 million years ago. When I first moved to the US from Mexico, over 10+ years ago, I traveled on a bus for three eternal days. Seeing the Mexican landscape change from mountainous and desert-like to greener and flatter US vistas was disorienting for me. When I arrived in Illinois, my sense of distance and proportion were totally off. I could no longer use my tiny human size in relation to the mountains to determine distance. Gone were the distant bluish mountains I had known my entire life in place of suburban sprawl. Everything looked the same to me, with varying degrees of gray and dullness. I was literally lost. It took me years to get used to the flatness and visiting Colorado for the first time that summer after graduating university really moved me. It was nostalgic. I was in the backseat of a car driving towards the skiing town I was going to be staying when the mountains came into full view. Serendipitously, Manu Chao’s “por el suelo” came on, the song that apologizes to the mythological Andes goddess Pachamama, which represents mother earth, specifically the mountains, for the damage humans have inflicted. I was so overwhelmed, I started crying hysterically because the beauty at hand was simply too great to handle. The only appropriate response was to cry. It was a very cathartic experience.
This time around, I really didn’t venture into the mountains as I was there for only 36 hours. However, breathing the pure and fresh air still induced that distinct feeling of peacefulness within me. All of a sudden my anxieties were quelled and I felt tranquil. Seeing the beautiful landscape sit still and have such an omniscient presence automatically soothes me. This is a shame but I have yet to take advantage of Colorado in the winter. I’ve yet to ski, snowboard and partake on all the deliciously and adventurous outdoors activities… Clearly I’ve only scratched the surface of what Colorado has to offer but the way I am smitten with this place is a very positive indicator. Have you ever been to CO? Have you skied/snowboarded? Any tips for a novice like myself?
It’s all about those positive vibes
It’s no shock that I enjoy the energy in Colorado. People’s vibes are genuine, friendly, and playful with a high degree of chillness. During Halloween night, we went to see jam band Lotus. Can’t say it was my favorite but I enjoyed myself. I really liked the overall ambience and how creative and clever people’s customs were (shout out to the dude dressed as Bill Lumbergh from Office Space). The concert reminded me of the happy go lucky attitude felt at Bonnaroo earlier this year. Granted half of the concertgoers were probably on drugs that enhanced this positive feeling but that doesn’t take away from how liberating the collective vibe was. It makes sense that Coloradans exude a sense of satisfaction. Recent studies suggest that a greater exposure to nature has a positive effect on our well-being, making us happier. It’s unsurprising then, that people living in Colorado transmit a positive aura. How can anyone be dissatisfied if the Rockies are your backdrop? If you’ve been to CO before, what was your experience like? Did you visit Boulder? I am dying to go there!
Colorado’s economy is flourishing
We all know Colorado is pioneering the recreational marijuana movement. If you can’t beat them, join them right? Earning $70M in marijuana tax revenue from 2014, Colorado is banking and investing the profits back into the state, including education. It’s brilliant. It would be nice to live in a state that isn’t broke and seems as if it’s about to fall apart every few months. Now, when I say that I want to move to Colorado, I mean that in the future. Like a few years down the road. I really like the idea of living there temporarily, perhaps seasonally. I can’t help but fantasize about working at some laid back ski resort during the winter months, skiing, camping and hanging out with the guests. This all might be wishful thinking. Only time will tell if this idea will come to fruition but if it does, I’ll take you along for the ride!