I noticed the sticker every time we got in the Jeep: “The mountains are calling and I must go”. It made me smile each time I read the words and a feeling of peace would wash over me. I finally realized that not only did that sticker speak to my friend’s heart, but it spoke to mine.
Before I left for the trip, I got some challenging news I wasn’t expecting. I was teetering on the edge of processing and moving forward vs. throwing myself a pity party.
I had a feeling Colorado would help. Perspective and travel always bring gratitude back into my heart.
I wish it was possible to write the perfect words to explain the way my soul felt in Colorado.
In my 30 years, I have been fortunate enough to travel quite a bit around the world. My travel passport currently includes 18 countries and 25 of the 50 United States.
I know how lucky I am to have had these experiences and am so grateful for the opportunities travel has provided. And I hope to add much, much more to my travel journal as the years go on.
But there was something different about Colorado; something in Colorado touched my soul in a way that other places haven’t.
I think a portion of the soulful experience was the fact that I felt God in those mountains.
Like all of life, I believe this unique feeling that I experienced in Colorado is multidimensional. I am sure that the reason this trip felt so different is because of the season of life that I am in.
I am truly single and have been for a bit. I am experiencing life in an entirely different way, as both a mom and a single woman in her thirties. And on this trip, I was able to adventure in a beautiful state as my single self with a close college friend.
Even with all this in mind, I still believe there was something special specifically about the state of Colorado.
Maybe it was that I felt free in Colorado. I felt like I belonged and could be the most authentic version of myself. I felt pulled to the Rocky mountains in a way different than other mountains across the country have effected me.
Travel has always had a unique effect on my heart.
When I traveled to Brazil at 12, the first time traveling internationally without my parents, I felt full of life and opportunity.
Or in Greece at 21, fresh out of college. I had not yet started my big girl teaching job, and I felt full of possibilities and potential.
Or Bali on my honeymoon, newly married and hoping to travel the world together as husband and wife, life felt adventurous and hopeful.
Then only a few short months ago in England, a young, newly divorced single mom ready to start a brand new path in life.
Even recalling all my travel opportunities, I still believe the Rocky Mountains and I have a special connection.
What I have learned most about myself is that new places and people and seeing the world through a fresh perspective is the connection and spark I crave the most.
Traveling is what makes me feel most alive.
What I hope for the world is that each person finds the feeling of my Colorado journey. One simple word: belonging.
Colorado, you were so very good to me and for me. Thank you for reminding me that I belong outdoors and that I can and should be my most authentic self always, not just in the majestic Rocky mountains.