Category Archives: Colorado

My Winter Playground in the Mountains

(I apologize. It has been a rough week the Universe has thrown at me recently and has prevented me from writing. On a happier note:  )

The winter air hugs my red cheeks and snow is gently falling all around. The sun is trying to shine but has been blocked with the pure white clouds full of snow in the sky. My body sways up in the

Happo One
Hakuba Ski, Japan

air…back and forth…back and forth…my left foot growing heavier than my right. I look across the world around me, as I feel that I am on top of it. The evergreen trees are decorated with white puffs and look almost jolly in the winter wonderland. I can faintly hear people laughing and yelling out to one another. The cold is not so bitter, and I want to feel it even more. I take off my glove and allow my free fingers to catch the big snowflakes out of the air. The cold air feels refreshing on my skin and there is hardly any wind.

I look around again and take a deep breath and relax. There is not much else you can do while riding a ski lift up a mountain. You are pretty much stuck in that spot for the entirety of the summit. As the end approaches a big ol’ butterfly starts to flutter around inside my torso. Just one…but one too many. I have never been known to be a

Happo One
Hakuba, Japan

coordinated person. The chair comes to a slower pace a we must hop off of it before we get stuck or it knocks us over. I plant my right foot on the middle of the board and start to slide down. I catch my balance and skid to a stop by the rest of the people.  Success.

The wind is whistling and all the people go shooting off down the mountain. Some at a faster speed than others. I strap myself in. This will be an interesting run. I start down and the snow feels smooth and soft under the board. I make it to just at the point where I cannot see the top anymore and fall on my face.  I get up and keep going. I am basically doing what boarders call “plowing” because I can go straight down with the snowboard or I lean on my back heels

Copper Mountain, Colorado
Rocky Mountains, Colorado

to stop and go down on the back that way. I fall three more times. On the third time, I stop to catch my breath and take  in the world around me. It is so peaceful. I listen to the snow gliding under the ski’s of people as they go past. The world has never seem so much more at peace and beautiful than in the white snow on top of a mountain.

74 days until Le Flaine!

The Mysterious “Round the World Ticket”

In 2008 I moved to Colorado. I will not admit that I moved for love. Some may say that I am kidding myself then. The truth is, when I graduated college I moved in with my mom in Chicago and it felt very anti-climatic. I was itching to travel or move and to do something interesting and spontaneous. Then in May of 2008, I met Byron on a

Colorado Living Westminster
When Jacqueline came to visit me in Colorado

graduation trip to Mexico, and he was from Longmont, Colorado. We were instantly drawn to each other. Always on the phone. Texting too. He visited me and I him. It felt like it was fate to see where that relationship might go, and I was still itching to find some new adventure. So I planned and saved and planned some more and moved to Colorado (about 25 miles from Longmont). My heart was broken a week later when we broke up and I was having an extremely rough time. He was my very first love and one of my best friends. It was a bad break up to say the least. I stayed in Colorado through 2011 with the help of his friends and family

First love
Byron and I with friends when he came to visit me in Chicago

(funny enough), and with the help of my mom who brought me home for a summer.

While living in Boulder in 2010, I was browsing around online travel sites to try and help in distracting from the sadness and a friend of mine from Chicago was talking to me on Facebook. He asked me if I had heard of gapyear.com. I hadn’t. This was where it all started. Gapyear.com was the starting point of my research. I went onto gapyear immediately and for the first time ever, I read about the famed “Round the World” Ticket. It was that moment, that I set my mind to go do it. I read all over gapyear.com. I went onto several other search engines. I browsed

Brisbane travel
Brisbane

around on airline sites for the “Multiple Cities” ticket. I finally checked STA Travel (which I was familiar with from studying abroad in Canterbury, England). I emailed and received a response from an extremely wonderful and helpful representative named Peter. He gave me advice and threw some rates at me. I used the information from Peter and compared other prices I found. I settled on what Peter had offered and I was able to purchase through them as I was on the “Youth Pass” (under 26).  I bought my ticket to San Diego/Sydney/Melbourne/Malaysia/Cairo/London in May of 2010 and left January 22, 2011.

Sydney Ferry Ride
Sydney, Australia Early in the morning on a Ferry

As for the “Round the World” ticket that people speak of with unlimited dates, times, and destinations, I have yet to fully find out all about it and any companies that sell them for a reasonable amount. Go ahead and type in “Round the World Ticket” into Google and see what comes up if you would like to start your

Malawi children
Teaching highfives to the Malawi kids

adventure. It does sound too good to be true, but I know it exists out there. As far as I know, gapyear.com, STA Travel, and some airlines have something similar to the idea of an “Round the World” Ticket. I will update you if I find out more of this golden magical ticket!