Why would one leave 70 and sunny Phoenix for 30 and snowy Colorado if not for the purpose of traveling full speed down a mountain? Good question.
I moved to Arizona for a few different reasons — one of the biggest reasons being the opportunity to travel the West. When one of my best friends started planning a ski trip to Colorado and asked me to join, I jumped at the opportunity to explore a new place. I got my PTO approved at work and booked my flight for a long weekend in Breckenridge, Colorado.
I’m not a skier or snow boarder. I spent my winter’s playing basketball and wishing winter would go away. The whole cold/snow/frostbite thing has never been my thing (OH, another reason I moved to Phoenix!). I will say I seriously considered learning how to snow board on this trip but after some calculating I figured that one day of skiing would have cost just about the same amount of money that I lived on for three weeks in Asia. Call me cheap, but hanging out on the bunny hill whilst falling on my tush all day didn’t really scream “fun!” So I opted for something a little less exciting: bumming around town and taking in the view =)
I spent the first night in Denver with my friend Elliot. We walked around downtown, grabbed a late night dinner and had some drinks at a speakeasy-type bar. Elliott and I went to college together but have gotten much closer over the past couple of years due to our shared passion of travel. If you get a chance, check out his blog. If you didn’t have serious wanderlust before, you will now!
My friend, Kevin, is stationed in Colorado Springs so he picked up my friend Brittany, her boyfriend and me from Denver and we took the scenic drive through the mountains. The 6,000 foot ascent was a treat for our eyes. The terrifying fact that the windy roads didn’t have guardrails was only a minor distraction as we climbed higher and higher. We stopped and got out at Loveland Pass. And this is when I realized it was time for a winter jacket..
Breckenridge is everything I hoped it would be a more. It’s simply a magnificently beautiful place. We spent Friday at the Breckenridge Brewery and wandering around town. Friday night we opened up at whole new can of worms with a game called Cards Against Humanity. That’s all I have to say about that!
The condo Kevin rented was nestled right in the mountains – walking distance to the ski lift and to town. When everyone took off for the mountain, I took off to wander. There’s nothing quite like exploring new territory without an agenda. If someone were to ask me what my most favorite hobby is, that would be it – wandering aimlessly. I know, I’m a real adrenaline junkie. I found a cozy coffee shop and caught up on some reading/writing by the fire. After a couple of hours I grabbed some lunch, a bottle of wine and headed back to the condo. Time to reacquaint myself with the fireplace!
The remainder of the weekend was spent catching up with friends, karaoke, some absolutely ridiculous dance moves (still sore..) and getting my quick dose of winter.
This wouldn’t be a “Hannah” post if there weren’t some motivational undertones. As I was thinking about this post, I was questioning what direction I wanted to take. Nothing crazy happened in Colorado. I didn’t ride any elephants in Asia or get ripped off by a gypsy in Paris. For a second I actually thought to myself, “Will people even be interested in reading about my weekend? It was just an amazing time with amazing people.” And that’s when it clicked.
Planning trips, whether it be a weekend away with friends or a vacation across the country to see family, can be overwhelming. The money, the logistics, the saving. It’s fun to talk about but when it comes down to it, it’s so easy to make excuses and say, “Maybe next time.”
As I get older I’m realizing the importance of relationships in my life — the people I grew up with, the people I survived through college with, the parents that support and love me no matter what, the siblings who make fun of me and still expect birthday presents, the extended family that’s always there for me, the mentors who taught me about life, the friends I’ve made around the world. These are the people who define our lives, which is why it’s so crucial we keep the communication lines open and stay in touch. GO on those weekends trips. STOP making excuses. Don’t get too busy with your own life that you forget to call your friends and family just to catch up. These relationships are the key to your past, present and future — don’t let them slip away.
On that note, cheers Colorado. I’ll be back for more one day!