As the Coronavirus crisis was mounting in the US, we were in Southeastern Utah, near Moab, rock climbing the impressive desert towers that dot the area.
My climbing partner was a Swedish woman, Anna, a full-time climber who lived on the road. A “dirtbag”, we say in the climbing community. Without a permanent home, remote desert was about the most socially-distanced she could be.
I had a home; but amidst the mounting anxiety, I’ll admit: I wanted to escape. Lockdowns had not yet begun in the USA. But I read the news everyday. Italy closed. France closed. That omnipresent graph, always growing. It was coming.
Last month I took a short trip to Europe to see my buddy Shawn. After three years living in Budapest, Shawn’s finally moving on. But he wanted one last little European hurrah, so we planned a climbing trip.
But not to Spain or Italy or Greece or any of the other world-class Euro climbing destination. Nope. Shawn chose Bosnia.
Readers of this blog will know I’ve been learning Spanish for a few years now. The best way to do this is to travel or live in Spanish-speaking countries. That’s the Konami Code of learning languages. However, since most people don’t have the ability to just up and go, I wrote an article sharing some tips on how you can use Netflix for language learning.
Readers of this blog may also remember my article The Colonization of Mount Everest, and the Nepalese climber Nimsdai. Nims has safely completed his goal of climbing all the 8,000-meter peaks within seven months—a massive achievement and a new World Record. Good on you, Nims.
In Daniel news, ice climbing season is underway. Notched my first day of the season despite 70 degree temps on the Front Range. It felt right. Colorado is wonderful in many ways, as always.
When I travel internationally, I like to send postcards. I have quite a long list of contacts now, many in the USA, some abroad. Every person on my list means something to me; the postcards serve as a way to let them know that no matter where I was, what I was doing, they were on my mind.