It was my first day in Colorado, I’d just arrived to stay with my friend Jon T. and he showed me around the city a little bit when he didn’t have to work but, for the most part I was on my own! I went out for breakfast at Snooze café and walked around a mall, went for a look at the notorious Green Mile strip (marijuana mile), Denver was incredible however, it wasn’t exactly love at first sight. Whoever tells you they loved traveling alone from the second they started is a bloody liar. Honest. Here’s why. Its really fucking lonely. I know, that seems like a no brainer but really, it is so much more than it seems. Not only do you not have someone to help pick where to go or what to see but you also don’t have anyone to share the excitement of making new memories and experiences new things with. After a while I learned to appreciate this but, at first, it just plain sucked. Don’t get me wrong, I loved where I was and I was so happy to be exploring but being alone took a while to get used to. My first few days were hard, Jon was always working and I was still dealing with the things I was running away from back in Florida. I was confused, a little lost, and doing a lot more soul searching than I’d signed up for. After all, I planned for this trip to be more of an exciting distraction, kind of a way to forget the problems I’d had back home. Well that’s certainly not what I got, but what I did get was so much more. I started to get to know myself. My real self. Away from the pressures of fulfilling my parents dreams for me, my grandparents wishes for me to go into the armed forces, my mothers pressure for me to stay at home and do a whole lot of nothing with my life, away from the me who was trying to please everyone else while sacrificing her own happiness to do so.
Jon took me to my first ever concert at Red Rocks to see Major Lazer and Damian Marley, the venue was incredible, honestly, I would reccomend a show there to be on any traveler or music enthusiasts list. The natural music enhancement the rocks give to the amphitheater gives it an amazing factor you just won’t find anywhere else.
After my concert I contacted my moms old friends Angie and Brad who later on in my story would be my absolute lifesavers. I asked them if I could come stay with them for a few days, to which they graciously agreed. Their home was beautiful and it just so happened that their daughter, who is my age almost exactly, was away at college in Scotland! I lucked out and they let me stay in her room for that week. It was like home almost immediately, I was so happy there with them, they were such absolutely lovely people and welcomed me so wholly. Truly, I will never be able to repay them for the kindness they showed me or their generosity. I spent my 19th birthday (February 1st), with them in their home and bless her, Angie, who is now and forever going to be known as to me, Angie-momma, got up early and baked, from scratch mind you, a carrot cake (my favorite). It was so very delicious but better than the wonderful flavor was the heart warming gesture. I’ve never had a very motherly figure in my life but that’s a whole other story. I couldn’t believe this woman who hadn’t seen me in over 10 years, hadn’t spoken to my mother in nearly as long, let me into her home first off, I mean really…I could’ve been a total nutbag for all she knew, and baked this beautiful cake for me to celebrate my birthday. The kindness she showed me will never be forgotten.
While on my road trip I had been talking to a man I had met the year before on a snowboarding trip. While talking I of course told him all about my spontaneous road trip and he invited me to come out and stay with him in Arizona, where I met him. My dads best friend in college lived in Scottsdale Arizona and we went to visit them once a year. I was smart enough to know not to go jumping into staying with a man I’d met for one day, approximately spent 3 hours MAX with him, and asked my aunt and uncle if I could stay with them and so, I was on to the next leg of my journey. Another 12 hour solo road trip from Colorado to Arizona.