Portland, Maine. 2013.

I grew up in Portland, Maine and went to college in Burlington, Vermont. After college I found myself in Boston because no one wanted to move to San Diego with me. I wasn’t entirely happy about it at first, but since I moved to Denver in 2015, I realize that Boston was probably where I was meant to spend my young, carefree days as a newly educated adult. The friends I made there will be friends for life and Boston will always hold a special place in my heart.

Growing up I got to travel around the country every now and again. My family was big on educational trips for a few years. We flew out to Arizona and drove around the entire state. It was my first trip out west and I was hooked. I think the colorful wide open space was just such a contrast to the dark coastal life I was used to. I saw my first real palm tree and big cactus on that trip. One of the highlights was a plane ride over the Grand Canyon. It was beautiful and I would suggest a trip around Arizona to anyone. One year we went to Virginia and had a patriotic educational vacation. Colonial Williamsburg was quite spectacular, but as a kid, my favorite part of that trip was our day of fun at Busch Gardens. We took buses to NYC or Boston once a year. As a child I thought Boston was the most boring city on the planet and NYC was the center of the earth. Now I can hardly stand NYC for more than five hours at a time and Boston feels like one of the most interesting places I’ve been to.

Boston from Mount Auburn Cemetery. 2010.

At one point we traded in NYC for yearly trips to Cocoa Beach, Florida. Some of my extended family and family friends came with us every year. These were some of the best vacations from my childhood. Just relaxing with family and taking day trips to Orlando to visit one park or another. While I stopped going to Florida every winter long ago, my parents and some family and family friends still go down, only for much longer now that a lot of people are retired. I’ve been down a few times for quick visits while they’re there and it’s still a blast. Nowadays there’s just a lot more alcohol involved.

When I got a little older I flew to San Francisco with a friend and her family. I wanted to go because I was thinking I wanted to be in California for college. I didn’t end up there for college, which is why I think I wanted to move to San Diego after I graduated. I enjoyed San Francisco very much, but I would love to go back as an adult and be able to appreciate it on a different level.

I’ve been to a few more places like upstate New York, Pennsylvania and all the states in New England. I might be a little biased, but New England is my favorite area of the country. We’re a different breed of people with our varying accents across our small states. I love the smell and sounds of the Atlantic along Maine’s long coastline. I love our little port city, the real Portland (fun fact: Portland, OR was named after Maine’s Portland). Some of the best food I’ve had has come out of Portland, Maine. My uncle is a lobsterman, but I really didn’t appreciate lobster until I was an adult. Great news is that Maine is Maine and lobster is relatively cheap and always available in season.

I left the great food selection of New England for Colorado. There’s decent food here, but it is nothing in comparison to back home. Having lived my whole life in New England (with a brief stint in Australia), I knew I needed a change. I quit my job, bought a car and drove out to Colorado with my dad. I’d say we had a leisurely road trip with many sights seen, but the reality is we left Portland, Maine at 12pm on a Saturday and arrived 2,100 miles later in Golden, Colorado at 4pm on Monday. While I haven’t yet explored the states around me, I have done a lot in Colorado. I’ve hiked a 14er, hiked the Sand Dunes and visited many trails and mountains and mountain towns. For me, the draw of Colorado was the laid back mountain lifestyle as well as the proximity to places I want to visit: Austin, Santa Fe, the Pacific Northwest, Vancouver. It’s yet to be seen if I will make it to those places, but I’m looking forward to more adventures.

Cutting down Christmas trees in the Arapaho National Forest, Colorado. 2016.
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