One of the [many] benefits of having a job which not only involves travelling, but has geographical spread at its distributed ‘core’ is that you often have the freedom to extend trips, and over the years I have taken advantage of this wherever possible; visiting friends, family, and exploring new places.
I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the location for November 2022 was going to be in Denver – a city that I have a lot of close ties to – and so I headed out around a week early, to stay with my friends Chris and Noemi.
It had been four years since I was last in Colorado (thanks to the plague), but having been there so many times now, it felt like a second home in many ways. You may or may not experience the same thing, but whenever I go to a new country, there is a tangible sense of difference in the air (and I don’t just mean the lack of oxygen in Denver thanks to the altitude). The smells are different; the atmosphere is distinct; everything feels alien.
Not this time.
The city has changed rapidly and significantly since I first started coming, around a decade ago. The legalisation of certain drugs; the liberal nature of the city; and other unique attributes such as its geographical location and proximity to nature have meant that it’s been ‘discovered’, with all of the consequences that come with that.
One thing that hasn’t changed is how unpredictable the weather can be. One day it was blazing sun, and the next, a blizzard. It was even more psychotic than Scotland.
The few days I had were spent catching up with family and old pals; seeing how their lives have developed and grown over the years – morphing from unruly 20-somethings who drank tequila at 9am into… well, adults that drank tequila at 10am. So maybe some things haven’t changed all that much.
Aside from lying in the garden staring at trees and squirrels as they threw apples at our heads, another highlight was my Denver famile taking me out for some bonafide delicious Mexican food; the kind that we can only dream and cry about in Scotland. Hey, at least we’ve still got Indian.
It was especially nice to get to spend a wee bit of time with my neice JJ, who has been growing like a weed since I last got the chance to see her.
Denver is home to a unique, immersive art experience called Meow Wolf. There are a few different ones around the US now, and I’ve wanted to go since the first one appeared, but never had the chance. It was finally time.
If you ever get the chance to go to one of these places, take it. Though I would highly recommend some kind of hallucinogen prior to entry for a transcendent experience. Or maybe to be completely terrified. One or the other. (nb this is not legal advice).
That’s it for now.