Three Years in Boulder
This weekend I fired up the motorcycle and rode until the sun fell behind the flatirons, 65º and sunny the day after Thanksgiving, I pretty much HAD to. But temperate winter isn’t much of a surprise here, I was reminded of why I moved out three years ago; wearing shorts hiking the foothills in mid-November, the trailhead starts a mile from my house.
While working in Detroit three years ago, I was invited out to Boulder by two friends who had made the move from Michigan 6 months earlier. It was time for a break, so I took a week off and flew into Denver. We drove into Boulder at night, I didn’t see the mountains (foothills) until I woke the next morning. Years later, waking up and seeing the mountains still puts a smile on my face, I wondered if it would fade. It has not. That week I attended Boulder’s New Tech Meetup (it was still 25 guys in an unused conference room) and the first Barcamp Boulder. I met startup founders, freelancers and others who liked to talk tech on the weekends. There was interesting work to be done. I took a few interviews. I was back 2 weeks later.
By living in Boulder, I can take a better vacation on my lunch break than I could in a weekend. Canyon ride to a mountain town, mountain park or just a bend in Boulder Creek that I can have to myself for a while. A little further out, Snowboarding, Mountain Biking, National Parks and Rafting. And a lot of people who’ll join you. As a small town, Boulder has short commutes; allowing one more time to spend with friends or family. A small land area allows for serendipity, running across friends while walking the pedestrian mall or the ease of getting a few people together for dinner / drinks, downtown is always just a few minutes away. Everyone here is from somewhere else. There’s not the same lock-in you find in towns where most have been friends since grade school. You become a local once you’ve been here longer than half your friends.
Wether it’s a girl, a job or a university; what brings you here won’t be what keeps you here, but that’s fine. If you want to be challenged and grow as a result of it, stick around a while. You’ll have either found new reasons to stay, or gained experience that allows you to go be awesome somewhere else. Myself? I’m still closer to the beginning of my time here than to the end.