A Taste of Colorado: A Day Rock Climbing in Eldo

Eldorado Canyon State Park is one of Colorado’s premier climbing destinations. Nestled in a hidden little valley just a few minutes from the edge of Boulder, Colorado, Eldo is a spot most people will never have reason to visit. Unless you’re a rock climber.

If you’re a climber, Eldo is a Mecca.

I spend a lot of time on the road. This is, after all, a travel blog. But I can never spend all my time abroad — the pull of home is too strong. And climbing, for me, is a huge part of that pull. I don’t write about it much — but the fact is, climbing is just as exciting as anything I do abroad. (And I have not been that successful at climbing while on the road). So today, we’re going to take a look at one of the reasons I love my home so much, and why Colorado is a premier travel destination for many adventurers.

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Nepal 100: The Palace

Trekking Annapurna Base Camp Valley

After our race, Young Ankit and I struck up some conversation as we sat waiting for the rest of our group to catch up with us. Ankit was working as a porter, carrying the diplomat’s pack, but I had noticed that he seemed a little different from the rest of the porters. Younger, less beat-down. He was more wide-eyed, and certainly more social. Many of the other porters didn’t even speak English. Ankit was animated, articulate, and curious about life in countries other than his own.

It turned out, this was his first-ever trek. He was 15.

It was all still an adventure to him.

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Nepal 25: Smoking with Sujan

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Sujan walked me around Kathmandu for a few hours.

As we spent more time together, our chemistry grew and my walls started to drop, a little bit. We went to the monastery, where we spun prayer wheels and spoke of the mixture of Hinduism and Buddhism. Although in the U.S. we are taught the two religions are separate, here, as in many places in Asia, they have intermingled.

“Do not be afraid,” Sujan says when I hesitate to enter a temple. “Is touristic place.”

He shows me an array of butter lamps inside the temple. “Do you have someone to light one for? Good health, good thoughts? Prayers? Love?”

I light a lamp for Holly, and we return to the streets of Kathmandu.

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Homecoming

It’s been two months since I’ve posted an update to this blog. In that time, I ticked off three more countries (Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Nepal), finished more than a few items on my bucket list, and returned to my home state of Colorado.

Almost everyone I’ve talked to since returning says the same thing: “I didn’t think you were going to come back.” When I left, I didn’t think I was going to come back, at least for a year or more. And yet, six months after I left with a head full of half-complete visions, a different me was clearing customs at LAX, and a stern-faced immigration officer was telling me “Welcome home.”

What brought me back?

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Simple homesickness. Travel is a lot of fun, and it’s great to constantly be challenging yourself in new environments. But as I discussed in my last post, being a digital nomad can be very isolating, and I missed my big network of friends and family at home.

I had the money to keep traveling, and a job to sustain myself. I ran down a laundry list of cheap destinations I could hit next: Eastern Europe, Sri Lanka, back to Chiang Mai to meet a friend who was hitting the backpacker circuit in April… None of it sounded good. I was burnt out on travel, ready for the comfort and cleanliness of home.

So I bought a ticket home, and three days later I was on a plane. Such flexibility is one of the real joys of being a digital nomad. You are accountable to no one but yourself, and if you want to go home, you just go home. Here in the U.S. we are raised to believe international travel is this big, dangerous leap. But the truth is that the sort of always-connected travel a digital nomad enjoys is totally low-impact: you don’t like it, you leave.

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The Grass is Always Greener

So, I’ve been home for a month now. I’ve seen my friends, broke bread and maybe a few beer bottles with lots of the people I wanted to see, and a few people from my past I never expected to run into. I see the “regular” life I could have here. It would come easy, without much effort or soul-searching. And yet, all I want is to get back on the road. The road that seemed so difficult and lonely at many points over the past half-year.

Life’s funny like that.

It won’t be long before I’m in some new place, taking pictures and creating new stories. In the meantime, I’ll be regularly dripping out content from the past two months— I experienced Chinese New Year in Taipei, breezed through Hong Kong in two (expensive) days, coughed my way through Kathmandu, and trekked nine days through rural Nepal to visit Annapurna Base Camp at 4,130 meters. I took some amazing pictures, met some great people, and partied a few nights away. I lost a job, got a job, and almost managed to get myself hired for a permanent position in Austria in the middle of all that.

So I’ve got some stories to tell. I hope you’ll bear with me as I try some experimental approaches to content over the next few weeks and months. You’ll get the stories and photos from Taiwan, Nepal, Hong Kong, and even some Colorado content, as my home has become an enviable travel destination in its own right recently (thanks, legal marijuana!)

And if that’s not enough, feel free to connect on social:

@thisisyouth on Instagram

@thatisyouth on Twitter

thisisyouth on snapchat.

Namaste.

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