I flew over the white peaks, gazing down from the airplane across a fresh coat of wintry powder and I knew I was home. Despite traveling around the world and seeing some of the most beautiful places, Colorado is my home.
A home should make you feel both comfortable and challenged, it should be a healthy juxtaposition between a comfort zone and a cliff you stand atop despite being unsure of what lies beneath. A home is not just a couch to where you fall at the end of a day, but it’s where you wake up ready to conquer a new day. Colorado pushes my limits and tests my boundaries, egging me toward the life I want to live despite admittedly not always having the courage to chase it. It’s here in Colorado that I have learned what love is, what loyalty is, and what passion is. It’s here in Colorado that I’ve experienced hurt and hatred that became apathy through clarity, sadness and frustration that became lucid beginnings, and determination that helped me find balance. It’s here in Colorado that I’ve stood atop mountains that took my breath away and taught me to breathe all at once. It’s here in Colorado that the dry weather chaps my lips but warms my skin. It’s here in Colorado that I become determined to find my place in nature yet simultaneously enjoy a cosmopolitan lifestyle. It’s here in Colorado that women drink whiskey and men meditate through yoga, that stereotypes are challenged, and that the politics are as purple as my lips atop Peak 9 at Breckenridge. It’s here in Colorado that the number of days you ski matters more than the number of years you’ve lived, and that the family you left behind matters as much as the family you create ahead.
It’s here in Colorado that I am surrounded by like-minded individuals filled with curiosity who teach me about paleolithic foods, latin dance, mixology, ski traffic, and the best burrito.
It’s here in Colorado that my new family both follows me and leads me along I-70 to camping adventures in the summer and ski adventures in the winter. It’s the magnetic beauty of Colorado that stopped my parents from asking when I would come home, and started helping them book tickets to visit me a few times a year.
It’s here in Colorado that brunch is more than just some food between breakfast and lunch. It is a gathering place for friends and family alike. It’s a soft-heated debate about which eggs benedict and mimosas are the best, but it is also a loving compromise when you realize all the food is spectacular and its the company that means most.
Colorado is outdoors: outdoor yoga, outdoor fitness classes, outdoor concerts, outdoor bars, outdoor farmer’s markets, outdoor fairs, and outdoor festivals. It’s here that I can spend my morning on a hike along red cliffs and my evening at a concert in Red Rocks. It’s here in Colorado that I spend the winter snowboarding through Beaver Creek‘s trees and the summer watching live music at Vail’s Oktoberfest.
It’s here in Colorado that we all came for the winter but stayed for the summer, that we came from across the world but come from Colorado, that we really do live life a little lighter at a mile high.