So I've decided I want to move to Denver, Colorado. I don't really know a lot of people who just pick a place and decide to move there, but I don't like to do things the way a lot of other people do. The way I picked Colorado was even less conventional.
I went to college in Boston for five years. I adored it. It was the perfect city to go to college in. It's extremely walkable, it's close enough but far enough from my parents' house, and there's young people everywhere. I would walk around Boston and marvel at how pretty it was, and how happy I was to live there. But I was still in Massachusetts. And I'm a bit fascinated by the entire rest of the world, and the more I thought about it, the more I decided that I was done with Massachusetts. It's like your favorite food. You love it, you'll never stop, but you can't have only that forever. At some point, you're going to want to try other foods. I'm ready to to try something new.
I was still in the process of realizing this when I was talking to my friend Lauren one day. She was also done with Boston (because she hated it though). Unlike me, she had done her research, and picked out some places that she wanted to live. She looked for places with a lot of sun, and where a lot of bands tour. She narrowed it down to San Diego, Austin, and Denver. She told me this, and I stopped her. Denver, I said. Now that sounds fun. I would move to Denver with you. I'm not entirely sure why I said it, but as I did, it felt right. It felt true. We both laughed, but it came up again and again, and every time I said I would move to Denver with Lauren, and every time we both got more serious.
Thanks to Lauren for having similar interests to me; I would love to live in a place that was sunny and where lots of bands toured. But there were more reasons that it made sense to me. It was far enough away to be interesting enough, and different enough, from the state I had lived in my entire life. It has mountains, and I really love mountains, especially as a skier and snowboarder, and casual hiker, and wanna-be rock climber. In fact, I knew that Denver had a very outdoorsy culture in general, and that was something I wish I had more of. I would love to be encouraged to be outside. And the combination of mountains and outdoorsy people means adventure and extreme sports. And that's something I've always wanted to participate in, and to shoot. I could very much see myself working in Denver, and so I started to very much see myself living in Denver.
The biggest problem was that I had never been to Denver. Or Colorado in general. Through a series of tweets and joking turned very serious, I ended planning a trip to Colorado with Lauren and our friend Chris for late January. It was amazing. We flew into Denver and explored the city a little before driving out to Frisco to stay with Chris's co-worker for the night. Her name was Shannon. At breakfast the next day, our waitress was named Shannon. This state was calling my name. We headed on to Aspen. We stayed there for a few nights, watching the X Games and seeing our favorite band, Twenty | One | Pilots. We made a pit stop in Boulder for an afternoon before staying one more night in Denver.
Everything about the trip went perfectly. Our various couches/hotels/AirB&Bs all were perfect, the concert was perfect, the sights were perfect, the food and beer were all perfect. I even had the chance to meet some photographers and talk to them about working in Colorado and shooting the X Games. It all just felt like one giant universal sign. I loved Denver for its size, and relative lack of skyscrapers. I loved that it had breweries on every corner, and lots of public art. I loved that it was warmer than Boston, even in January. I loved how people were actually nice, and not constantly rushed and harassed. I even like the state flag.
Will it be hard to leave the place I've lived my whole life? Yes. Will it be even harder to leave my family and all the friends I've made? Heck yes. Do I think that having the chance to try something new while I'm young and relatively unattached is worth that? Absolutely yes.