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.


  • Mila Jake

    I remember running into you pretty much the day after I moved to Boulder when I was walking down Maxwell – other than my housemate, you were the first person I already knew whom I saw in Boulder. Congratulations on 3 years in a place you love!

  • Scott Heath

    Congratulations on your Boulder-versary!

  • John Stevens

    Awesome summary on why you love Boulder. I am looking forward to spending the month of January there in 30 days with my family! I hope I can convince them to make the move!

  • Grant

    That feeling you get when you look at the mountains and smile? I call that an “I live here” moment—as in, “I can’t believe I’m lucky enough to call this place my home.”

    It also works as a good work/life balance barometer. If I can’t remember the last time I’ve had an “I live here” moment, it means I’ve been working too hard and need to get out and play.

  • George G Smith Jr

    Having spent around 2 1/2 years in Boulder, I really thought I wouldn’t leave. While career ambition often gets in the way of the best laid plans, I wouldn’t be surprised if sometime down the long winding road I end up back in Boulder….

  • Jacob Rideout

    Congrats! It’s been 6 years in Boulder for me. I’m even in your photo (the red shirt guy on the left)

  • Valencia

    hah, this was a wee bit persuasive.