Predictably, it’s hard to believe that it’s been more than a month already since I’ve driven west. The past weeks have rushed by as I’ve settled into my new temporary life, again as a traveler but in a new context. Traveling in the states feels like a mix of experiences I’ve felt traveling in other countries, but without the leap and disconnection of culture, location and language. I’m still home—but I’m not, and I’ve been seeing traveling in this country as an experience to look into both a nation I realize I don’t know enough about, and, without a doubt, into my own identity as an American and a young person in the world today.
With the declared mission of finding a new place to live, for whatever duration, this trip feels like it carries a different weight. Instead of a break from life at home, its both a departure and very much a continuation of my permanent trajectory, my ‘real life,’ as opposed to the sometimes seemlingly alternate reality of living in another country. In addition to leaving me to more deeply scrutinize my motivations and existential underpinning, that notion has compounded the sense of liberation inherent in packing up all your things and going wherever the feeling and the fair breeze takes you.
For now I get to enjoy the fresh air and the adventures that come along with life on the Front Range. Life as a ranch hand will suit me for a few weeks but not much more, as already I look forward to being again on the road and on a schedule of my own making. The security of a home base, even if temporary, is worth enjoying even as it weighs against the influx of new experiences toward which I must goad myself. It feels naïve to attempt to fulfill a thirst for the ‘Colorado experience’ of the outdoors in such a short time as a few months of winter, but sometimes we must work to make the real in line with the ideal, as we understand it, only to tailor our approach as we continue to learn.
A view of home sweet home under the moonlight.
The alpaca (a few of many).
And friends, like Ty the awesome goat.
Hikes out from the ranch
Exploring the neighborhood in the Front Range
Hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park
Crazy weather conditions, like nights below -25F and frost like this..