If you can believe it, I just passed my four month mark on Saturday of living in Boulder. Hard to believe I’ve been here four months already. For those of you who don’t know, or didn’t realize, I had never been to Boulder, or even to Colorado, before I moved here. I had absolutely no idea what to expect when I crossed that state border, when the mountains first began coming into view rising above the flat Eastern plains of the state. It has been a whirlwind of a four months and with June just one day away, it’s for sure going to only get more tornado like. (Speaking of, have you ever experienced wind coming from every single direction at the same time? VERY strange sensation! We had a downburst the other day while walking which created a mini dirt tornado, which then went on to run straight into me. Mmmm…dirt.)
It’s definitely been a learning experience being here in Boulder. I came from New York City, the land of high heels, cocktail dresses, martinis, suits and everyone in a hurry. Boulder is laid back, they wear things like crocs and their workout gear grocery shopping, they are outside ALL THE TIME , and they drive Subarus and Toyota Rav-4s. (Ironically, I own a Toyota Rav-4. I’m a Bouderite and I didn’t even know it!) In honor of my four month anniversary, I am now going to share with you what I’ve learned and how I’m becoming a Boulderite without barely acknowledging that I am.
- In NYC I had to deal with humidity and if it were above 80 degrees out, I could barely handle being outside. I’d be DRIPPING and disgusting within seconds. In Boulder, 95 degree heat is NOTHING, I can walk 7 miles and be perfectly happy. I am in love with dry heat and want to open mouth kiss it. For reals.
- In NYC I could spend hours and hours in Central Park and never get any sort of tan. In Boulder, I go outside for five minutes and I’ve got a nice tan going on.
- In NYC I didn’t have to lotion up that much. In Boulder, I have to apply every five minutes because OMG THE DRY.
- In NYC when I broke up with someone, I turned to chocolate, wine and sappy movies. In Boulder, I take 10 mile power walks into canyons. Healthy ways to process things? WHO KNEW.
- In NYC I had to fight my way through tourists everywhere, had to deal with crowds at every corner and a trip to Central Park always meant way too many people to properly enjoy “nature.” In Boulder I can avoid crowds by just not going to the Farmers Market on the weekends (or things like the Boulder Creek Fest). I can go for hikes and not see anyone, I can take walks and only pass a handful of people. I can be completely immersed in nature and not see a single skyscraper. Can’t hear a single car horn. It’s heaven. I still hate crowds though. I will turn New Yorker in .5 seconds if met with a crowded situation.
- In NYC I was terrified of going for a bike ride because that meant you had to ride in the street with the crazies and I didn’t really feel like dying. In Boulder everyone owns a bike and everywhere is super bike friendly. As soon as I get a job and set enough money aside, I definitely will be buying my first bike!!
- In NYC I had Trader Joes. In Boulder we do not. SADFACE.
- In NYC I ate out a ton. In Boulder I still eat out a ton. I love the foodie atmosphere here!
- In NYC I ate whatever I could make easily, and ate a lot of meat. I ate sushi at least once a week from the gourmet grocery store next to my apartment. In Boulder I still eat whatevers easiest but I do not eat meat much anymore. In fact, the only meat I eat is fish, even if it’s cooked. I never ate cooked fish before this year, so it’s a big step for me. (Don’t worry, I still adore sushi!) With the exception of the incident with the whole, raw chicken, I haven’t cooked with much meat since being here.
- In NYC I could not escape the city without taking a plane somewhere. I was chained to that island since I did not have a car or someone to pick me up from any train stations outside of the city. In Boulder I can jump in my car and drive up into the mountains if I ever want to. I’m never trapped here. I never feel trapped here.
- In NYC I lived in a tiny shoebox that cost me 1000 a month for my room. In Boulder I live in a two floor, two bedroom, one and a half bath with a PORCH, the entire thing less than my half of rent for my last apartment.
- In NYC I lived on the only hill in Manhattan and I thought it was bad. In Boulder, yeah there are no hills. THERE ARE MOUNTAINS. And they’re kind of scary to drive up. I’ve gotten a lot better at handling the switchbacks though. The first time Doni and I drove up Flagstaff, there was definitely shrieking coming from both of us.
- In NYC I just had my iPod to listen to my music. In Boulder I now need to make CDs on top of my playlists, so that when I go for a drive I have something to listen to. I kind of like that.
- In NYC, when I’d go out, I would get all dressed up in a cocktail dress with three inch heels. If I were going on a job interview, I’d put on suit pants and a nice top and blazer. In Boulder they will look at me funny if I showed up anywhere in ANY of those. Sure, Boulder isn’t as granola-y as I was expecting but they don’t wear suits to work. They don’t get all dolled up to go out at night. Sure they dress nice, but it’s not exactly the same. I miss my dresses sometimes.
- In NYC I would always make sure to get fully dressed with makeup and my hair done just right just to go to the grocery store. In Boulder I go on a ten mile walk and go grocery shopping in my workout clothes, still all sweaty and gross. I will always run into at least five people who also look exactly the same as me, and five that look worse!
New York City will always be near and dear to my heart. It is the one place I’ve lived the longest, it’s where I got my first “real” job, it’s the place where some of my best friends live thus where some of my best memories lie. I will always love that city and I cannot wait to get back for a visit, but I’m finding the Boulder way of life a hell of a lot nicer and I absolutely love it here. It’s taking some getting used to and there have been the usual growing pains that comes along with any move, but every time I see the sunset over the Rockies, every time I’m alone in the middle of the woods and looking at all this natural gorgeousness, I cannot help but fall in love just a little bit more with my new home.
I still get the urge to grab people and shake them, shouting I CAN’T BELIEVE I LIVE HERE! I wonder when that will grow old. Hopefully never!