Since I was a little boy I’ve dreamed of moving out of Arizona and exploring the world. With a world so big at our fingertips, I knew I had to get out and experience it.
Colorado has always been on my mind. I grew up in the heat and hell of Phoenix, Arizona, where I would constantly sweat and dream of a cooler climate. Although the summers were a great time to swim, the 110 degree days got old… very fast. I grew up playing baseball and we would play every summer. 12pm games, 3pm games, games on the hottest day, it didn’t matter. I wanted to be out there. Being a young kid, all you cared about was getting out there and being on the field. But the older you get, the older that warmth gets.
I always loved Colorado. I saw pictures and heard stories, but while I was growing up I never visited the gorgeous state. But I had a pretty good idea.
And I also didn’t grow up being the nature-lover that I am now. As a young boy, we didn’t adventure much. Yeah we took a trip to California every year or so, but we never went camping or spent some quality time in the great outdoors. The only time I would experience it would be when we went to northern Arizona to play in the snow. And I also went on a few camping trips with my friends. I didn’t start REALLY appreciating nature until I was about 18 years old. At that age, I was pretty certain that Colorado was in my future.
I knew I wanted to be somewhere unlike Arizona. Although AZ provides amazing sunsets and has good weather for half of the year, it wasn’t for me. From the time I was little, I knew I had to get out. So that I did. Not Colorado just yet, but a step in the right direction. Flagstaff, Arizona was the answer. My family and I traveled to Flagstaff a few times a year to escape the desert heat and to frolic in the snow. I loved snow and being in Flagstaff growing up. The thrill of sledding down the hill , the cool brisk air as it hit my face, the small town feel; I loved everything about it. I knew this is where I wanted to go to school.
So after I graduated high school, I made the trek up north. And with Flagstaff being only 2 hours from Phoenix, I wasn’t far from home. I fell in love with it. Flagstaff is peaceful, low-key, and a great change of pace from Phoenix. And the best part of all – the nature. Flagstaff is surrounded by gorgeous forests and high mountain peaks. Hiking, creeks, and nice weather is also abundant in this area. And over the next four years, that’s where I spent a lot of my time.
Depending on the weather, I would hike a few times a week and I would spend as much time in nature as possible. Something about getting outside in the cool fresh air really intrigued me. And I’ve fallen in love with finding a cool view. Every hike I go on, my goal is to find the best view possible. I prefer steep, challenging hikes because that ultimately means a spectacular view.
I enjoyed my time in college and Colorado was still on my mind. I knew I wanted something more. Something bigger, with more nature, more opportunity.
I first visited this awesome state last year. Even before I made the trip I knew Colorado was the place to be. It was everything I dreamed of. Great snowboarding, beautiful nature, all four seasons; It was everything I had in mind. I graduated college in 2015 and I immediately was planning my escape. Although I wanted to live in a small ski town similar to Flagstaff, I knew it would tough to begin my career. So one city in particular sparked my interest – Denver, Colorado.
Denver is huge, Denver is a concrete jungle, but more importantly – Denver has tons of opportunity. I was looking for a job to start my career and Denver has a lot of those available. So even though I was scared, I was very excited for this move. It was just a matter of time.
So its a long story on how I got to Denver, but lets just say life happened. I was in a relationship and moved to Phoenix after college. Things didn’t work out and the city wasn’t for me. So Denver was in the near future. The only problem; I needed to save up some money. Although Denver is great, Denver is very expensive. Therefore I needed a good amount of money saved up before the move. So that being said, I moved back to northern Arizona and got a job as a bellman. I might good money and had a very cheap housing situation, which gave me a good chunk I could throw into savings. So that’s exactly what I did. I worked extremely hard for 6 months and it was time for a change.
After planning my move for a few months and doing a lot of research on housing and employment in Denver, the time was almost here. And there comes a time where you have to just do it. I didn’t know if it was the right time, or if I saved up enough money, but I just had to do it. So I did.
I was scared, nervous, and excited all at the same time, but it was time to put words into action.
Moving to Colorado was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. Moving somewhere with no friends and no knowledge of the area is pretty frightening. But you gotta do what ya gotta do. I had to do this for my career and I had to do this for my well-being. I spent my whole life in Arizona and I desperately needed a change. I started feeling stuck. So one day in September, I packed the car and was on my way.
Looking back it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Although it was scary and different, I couldn’t have been more happy. The mountains, the beauty, and the opportunity was calling my name.
Sometimes in life you have to make really tough decisions. Leaving friends, leaving family, and leaving comfort may sound terrible, but sometimes its the right thing to do.
Sometimes you have to get out of your comfort zone to find what you really want. It may be rough, it may be scary, but that one decision could turn into the best move of your life.
Follow your gut, follow your passions, but more importantly – follow your heart.