After experiencing a lot of debilitating anxiety over the past few months, I knew I needed a change of scenery. It was so hard to be motivated and to get anything done, and I was desperate for something different. I knew I needed help.
So for four days at the end of June, I packed up a large duffel and hopped on a plane to Colorado to visit my twin brother and older brother in Boulder. I was so excited to see them, but was also quite nervous about the possibility of altitude sickness, or just not belonging there in general. Thankfully though, I had nothing to worry about after all.
My trip started off with a massage and spa day at the Hotel Julien in downtown Boulder. It was more than I could have asked for, especially for the sake of my dehydrated muscles. As you can see, I took full advantage of the jacuzzi:
My brothers then proceeded to show me around Boulder, and showcase their favorite spots. For my brother Chris, those places included a quiet tea cafe amongst the hustling downtown area, as well as an arcade bar with our favorite Star Wars game we had growing up. For my brother Gerry, he showed me a lowkey speak easy bar called License No. 1 that had the best aperol spritzes I’ve had in the States for a while. When I wasn’t exploring the downtown area, I was nestled up on the mountain in my twin brother’s cabin while overlooking the quiet beauty that Colorado had to offer.
And of course, there was all of the nature. A few days into my stay, my twin brother took me out to the mountains. First, we visited a ranch in hope of meeting his friend Siegfried the pig. Sadly, I was unable to meet the pig, but I did encounter a beautiful colt named Justin who was obsessed with trying to unzip my jacket with his teeth!
We then proceeded to go through Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park, where we started driving up the highest road in the United States. We drove above the clouds, and from there, it felt like a Chicago winter. The temperature plummeted to 33 degrees with severe wind chill, and it even started snowing! Thankfully though, with the help of Vlad the Landrover and multiple electrolyte tablets, we were able to get to the top of the mountains at 12,000 feet and take in the majestic view.
Other perks of this trip included seeking out wildlife, watching old late night movies with my brothers, shopping for the perfect utility jacket, and finally, going out in downtown Boulder on my final night in town and dancing to the point of no return. Because of all of this, my mental health is in a much better place than it was. It’s amazing what traveling and being with family can do for you. I’m already making plans to come back for ski season, so don’t cry for me, Colorado. I’ll be back before you know it.