Two weeks ago I accepted a full time position at a hospital in Anchorage, Alaska. They offered me a job I couldn’t turn down — higher pay, day shift and a very large relocation and sign on bonus. I just couldn’t say no. The only downside? I needed to commit to two years for the bonus money. So I committed to two years for the bonus money. If I leave in the first year I pay it all back. If I leave after the first year, I pay half back. After March of 2021, I can say goodbye penalty free. Two years isn’t that long, right? I mean I just spent 8 months at my last assignment. Two years isn’t that long.
Prior to Semester at Sea in 2006 I was craving adventure. I wanted to see the world. What better way to do it then sail around it on a ship, stopping in each port for a few days, experiencing as much as I possibly could in that short amount of time? It was a dream. I did it. My parents and family thought I was crazy. My grandpa was my biggest supporter. I wish he were here now to talk to me about Alaska. Semester at Sea was one of the best decisions of my life to date. And it further intensified my love of change, travel, adventure and new experiences, setting me up for a lifetime of craving all of which I just mentioned.
Fast forward 13 years. I’ve been living in Colorado for just about 9.5 years. It’s hard for me to believe just how long that is for me. I’ve lived in Colorado half of the time I lived in my own home town in California. Like, what?! I’m not that old, am I? No. I’ve just been here a long time. (For the record– I just turned 33 in early January. I feel the 30’s have been my best years yet– by far!)
I love Colorado and everything it is and everything it has and the people and my church and those beloved mountains– they’ve truly changed my life. I arrived in Colorado on September 18th 2009 as a completely different person. I leave Colorado as an independent woman who has done everything I can to chase my dreams while becoming a better person in the process.
I hate to leave. But I need to leave now.
So, to Colorado: Thank you. Thank you for changing my life. When I first moved here I used to tell people who were living elsewhere that you were a hidden paradise. That was 2009 when I could still drive from downtown to Castle Rock in 27 minutes during morning rush hour. You’re not hidden anymore… and more and more Californians and New Yorkers and Portlandians keep moving here, pushing the rest of us who came here for the quieter life and mountains, away. You’re just that wonderful. You’re not as quiet anymore, but your mountains are still amazingly wonderful and every bit as unbelievably beautiful — just a bit crowded for my taste. I hope all of these people appreciate you for who you are and don’t try to change you much more than they already have.
Thank you for the memories– for the three trips to Telluride, each with camping trips to that beautiful basin, but all so difference in their own way. For the trips in Fort Collins, Boulder, Denver, Colorado Springs, Breckenridge, Vail, Crested Butte, Lake City and American Basin. Thank you for the 29 unique 14er summits! 29. I still need to finish the Sawatch Range so you can bet I’m already mentally planning my trip here for that summit of Mount Columbia.
Thank you Colorado, for everything. This isn’t goodbye, it’s seen you soon, because you know I won’t be able to stay away for too long ❤
Next up: two days in Utah and then the long 5 day trek to Alaska– each day complete with about 10 hours of driving. We’ll be on the road until the 25th of February.
Here’s to new adventures in the last frontier.