Challenge #5: Explore My New City - 3
Now that I’ve been in Denver for almost a month, I’m starting to feel like it's home. I’m a new Denver Broncos fan, and I find myself smiling as I walk the streets and drive home from work, thinking, “Wow, I live here.” So it’s fitting that my final week of this challenge was spent on very Denver-centric things.
Sunday: Driving Up and Up
My week started in the mountains. My roommates, a couple of friends, and I went to Aspen to hang out, explore, and hike. My friend’s aunt and uncle were kind enough to host us for a splendid wine-and-dine weekend. They took us on a hike in Redstone, which is only about a 20-minute drive from Aspen. The hike was timed perfectly—the aspen trees, which look similar to birch trees, were full of leaves in a beautiful fall yellow shade. It was an incredible hike with countless viewing spots, and just the right mix of exercise and pleasure. We had a cheese, pear, and salami picnic at the top before we headed back. I think this hike was the exact moment when I fell in love with Denver.
Wednesday: Downtown Mall
The 16th Street Mall is a main attraction in the heart of Denver. Buses run along this mile-long pedestrian promenade, but no other vehicles are allowed, and cafes, restaurants, shops, and more line the road. I finally made my way down the street to check out this attraction and, of course, do a little shopping and eating.
Thursday: Walking by Mint
This week my roommate and I decided to try to reduce our carbon footprints and walk to work. Walking we passed by the Denver Mint Facility, which is something I guess I knew Denver had, but never really thought about. The facility, which was established in 1863, is responsible for all the D’s you see on our coins and bills. Interesting, right? It was just one more thing Denver has to offer.
When I took on this challenge, I didn’t know what to expect. To be honest, I’ve moved three times in the past year, so I figured this fourth one would be pretty much the same—I’d just have the chance to write about it! But I realized that, in the past, there was so much I had intended to do in each city or in each office and just simply hadn’t because I kept pushing it back. With this challenge, I was forced to tackle the things I wanted to do as they came.
The challenge also showed me that goal-setting is really effective. Now, nothing I accomplished in my challenge was impossible, and if I hadn’t done this four-week plan, I eventually would have gotten around to most of what I did at some point. But—definitely not all of it, and definitely not within such a short amount of time. By planning out my weeks and enforcing “rules,” I was able to accomplish my goals, and I didn’t have an excuse to drag my feet in opportunities and moments that could pass.
For me, moving to a new city, it was easy to find ways to push myself outside of my comfort zone—but I know how easy it is to get stuck in consistency in your day-to-day life. So, why not spend some time thinking of what you can do this week or month that’s a little bit different—that’ll push you to try some new things? Take it from me: Taking on the “challenge” is worth it.
Kelsey Colt is the writer behind the blog The Pilot's Daughter. She also pens a food column in the Island Eye News called Lowcountry Bites and keeps herself busy freelancing for a variety of online blogs. As an aspiring food writer, she can constantly be found cooking, eating and trying new foods. Currently she is about to make a big move from Charleston to Denver to begin working at 5280 magazine. For recipes and travel advice visit her blog: the-pilots-daughter.com.More from this Author