Who would’ve thought you could see something that good looking in Nebraska? Me, and there was my first mistake.
It took me way too long to figure out, but I’ve finally realized the first step to any adventure is the way you view it. I’ve been itching to get out of town to somewhere new and far for over a year now, but if I was really going to appreciate something new I should probably start appreciating the things around me first.
I recently jumped at the chance to road trip out to Steamboat Springs, Colorado to help a girlfriend move, and it could not have been a better choice. The last time I was in Colorado, Vail specifically, I was 8 or 9 and definitely didn’t appreciate it. This time couldn’t have been more different. Steamboat is the most incredible place I have ever been, hands down. And I think half the reason I appreciated it so much is because I chose to actually take in the beauty, slow down, and not rush through my trip like I usually do. Check out all the beautiful photos here from our road trip and Steamboat Springs, CO (or the Flickr link bottom right).
We hiked, we climbed a waterfall, we went to yoga in the park, we wandered around the town, we sat in the sun, and we stared out the windows at the miles of beautiful scenery we drove through. I wanted to do everything I couldn’t do in the city back at home, I wanted to feel completely different. Mission accomplished! The air was just better once we hit Colorado; brighter, calmer, clearer, more peaceful. In all seriousness, I told my friend I didn’t even feel the need to speed on the highway once we hit CO, and I am a notorious speedster. Colorado won my heart in about 24 hours, the mountains have definitely moved up to number one on the list of places I’d like to live.
I mean, how could you not want to live here? I love Chicago, it’s home, but it’s completely different than being up in the mountains and I never even thought to stop and consider the pace city life can have on a person. This is part of the reason travel has become such a priority for me: I want to get outside of my comfort zone, try new things, meet people who don’t know me, actually slow down and appreciate everything around me, and learn more about myself in the process.
Well that being said, it wouldn’t have been a vacation without a good read 🙂
During the trip I was reading The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton. It’s a short read so I figured it was the perfect book to bring along for just a few days on the road. And like I said travel is now a fixation, so it was the perfect topic. I was close to finishing the book as we were driving through the mountains on our way to Boulder and my favorite thing happened: the sentences I was reading as we drove exactly mirrored my feelings at that very moment! I love when something I am reading just perfectly relates right when I need it to.
The chapter was called “On the Sublime” and I quote:
But it is the vast spaces of nature that perhaps provide us with the finest, the most respectful reminder of all that exceeds us. If we spend time in them, they may help us to acccept more graciously the great, unfathomable events that molet our lives and will inevitably return us to dust.
Can you image something more perfect as you drive through the Rocky Mountains? I always need a bit of a reminder to keep my inner peace, not stress, and remember there is a reason for all things. I have lots of life changes coming up and I’ve been working so hard on changing my attitude and outlook, this struck me as so vital and such a perfect explanation of my thoughts in that moment.
The book was a good one, for travel and/or history buffs I’d recommend it, but I will say I recommend a week in the mountains even more.