Why I Chose to Move to Colorado

So just a heads up – it’s not a permanent move. It was decision that I made merely over the summer, by doing a bit of research and surfing on the net. I got a job in the Rockies, packed and prepped, and hopped on a plane to come out West. Yes, I wanted change. I wanted a new experience. I wanted to do something different.

 

Earlier this year I had stayed in Switzerland for 3 months with some dear friends – friends I hadn’t seen in a few years since my first ‘workaway’ experience back in 2014. This time, I arrived right after Christmas and stayed the New Year until late March or so. It was wonderful and I didn’t really want to leave so soon. I cried on the train heading to the airport, and on the plane when I was leaving. I literally had to watch movies to forget otherwise I’d get too sad.

I was looking forward to seeing everyone back at home, though.. it was good to be back in the States, but I already missed Switzerland within 24 hours after I arrived back in Florida. I wanted to go back. It’s always an adjustment for me when I first come back from being overseas. I’m always mentally calculating the time over there (they are 6 hours ahead of the eastern time zone) and am forever wondering what my friends are up to during the day or night.

And I just miss Europe.

I had gotten 2 different offers to go back to Europe to stay but I felt like it wasn’t the right timing. Even though I wanted to go so bad, I held back and knew I should save up more money first.

So my task for job hunting began. I was forever looking on the net for something. I had considered doing something locally, but nothing looked or felt quite right. I didn’t want to work at a fast food place or do something like that. Plus, I was still missing my old job back in Florida. My family had just moved over the border into Georgia and I knew I wasn’t going to find as nice of a job like my old one.

I kept thinking, why not try for something else? Why not another state? A new place?

I don’t remember exactly what I typed in the google search bar, but something along the lines of ‘gap program’ and this website called ‘coolworks’ came up. I must highly recommend this website. It has seasonal jobs, and opportunities all over the States and even in many parts of the world. I knew what I was going to try to go for.

Mountains.

Some place that had mountains.

I missed Switzerland.

‘YMCA of the Rockies’ popped up. They were hiring for the positions starting in August. It was June. Room and board were to be provided for, as well as 3 meals a day. And I’d be getting paid a decent amount. I’d be right in the heart of the Rocky Mountains surrounded by rolling hills and forests. Why would I not go for such an opportunity? Something in my gut told me to do it. Colorado didn’t seem so bad. It had mountains. And it was another state to visit and experience. Why not?

I showed my mom and dad just to see what they thought. They both thought it would be a great experience and my mom told to me go for it. I immediately applied for the gap program and got a response right away! Within a few days I had a skype interview which went really well. I felt like a had the job. Then, a few days later I got a call back with them letting me know I was hired and they’d see me a few short weeks. I was so happy.

Next thing you know, I’m booking a one-way flight to Denver and reserving a shuttle to take me from the airport to my new job. On the day of departure, it felt like everyone I encountered or bumped into was so nice and friendly. It was truly the first exceptional experience I had while flying (excluding the time when I flew on Swiss Airlines) ..

And already it’s November – I can’t believe I’ve been here nearly 3 months. The weeks have flown by! Everything has been wonderful, though and honestly, I didn’t expect to have met so many wonderful people and friends, both Americans and Internationals.

A movie we’re filming

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When it first snowed

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My last day working with one of my dear friends

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Group ‘Elevate’

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This is the beauty of travel. Connecting and bonding with people from all over the world. And I have met so many like-minded people as me. I’m actually admired for my choices (especially for the one of not going to college right away!). Here, I’m treated in the best way and I’ve grown so close to everyone. It will be hard when I have to leave. This job I have in seasonal and doesn’t last forever.

Although I could stay another semester, I am choosing not to. I must return home for I have things to catch up on. The pay here at the Y is decent, but I plan on making several trips next year and I must have the money to do so. I have to pay myself back for the trip I made to Europe last spring. And if I plan on returning next summer to work here again, I have to have a 6 month gap to allow this.

All in all, I’ve not regretted this decision of coming here for one instant. It’s been the best thing.

I posted a video talking a bit more about the whys and hows I came here:

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8 Days Before I Fly Out to Colorado

And I’m nowhere near finished packing or moving my things outta Grandma’s house!

I must love the extra pressure and stress…seriously.

These last days have felt a bit strange for me – I’ve been a mixture of things: excitement, anticipation but also nervousness and uncertainty. Of course, the excitement has overpowered any fears I may have or have had. The choice of going to Colorado was entirely made on my own. I thought long and hard about it (but not too long for I’d miss an opportunity!) and making the choice has just felt right. I feel it in my gut. It just feels like it’s something I should do. Like… it’s part of the journey.

Whenever I’ve flown out to Europe, the last week before my scheduled flight always felt like a bit of a trance… and that’s how it’s felt so far this time. Part of me can’t believe it. I’ll be in a new State, new place, have a new job, be around new people, etc. I know I’m going to love it, yet at the same time, I wonder how it’s really going to be once I’m living out there. It shouldn’t be too different than from living abroad – only difference is I’m still in the same country, and I have an actual, paying “job”.

I’ve been making lists of things I still need to do, pack, buy, etc before I head West. For example, I had to order new extra contacts (being a nearsighted person as I am) and buy some hiking shoes (for the hikes we’ll be doing every week or so) and a bunch of other things!

And I still have to pack… I’ve had to drag my winter clothes out of the garage and sort through them, and am still currently undecided as to what to bring exactly. I don’t want to over-pack, but goodness! I definitely don’t want to under-pack, either!

I unfortunately won’t be able to bring my guitar with me. It will be different to go 4 months+ without playing it – hope my callouses survive! Maybe I’ll be lucky and find someone who happens to also be a guitarist.

I will, however, bring my art supplies – some paints, brushes, pencils and a couple of sketchpads. After looking at the Rockies I know I’ll find plenty of inspiration for my art 🙂

So, I still have full days ahead of me! Finish packing. Move out. Spend time with family. Celebrate a birthday. Fly out to Colorado.

Butterflies stir in my stomach just thinking about it! 😀

 

My new hiking shoes

Bussie helping me… Such a nice little pal. I’m gonna miss her 😸

Still keeping up my Zumba classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays 🌟