I’ve been reflecting back on my trip to China lately for a couple of reasons.
- The clean Colorado air. I’ve done a lot of hiking since I got back, starting at over 6,000 feet elevation and increasing 1,000 or more through the course of the hike. I hike fast and require huge gulps of air to keep the oxygen pumping. Thinking back to the horrific air pollution in China, I’ve felt so grateful for our beautiful blue skies that enable me to enjoy the outdoors.
In Colorado, older cars have to pass an annual emissions test before they can be registered. There’s no vehicle safety inspection. It doesn’t matter if all the tires are bald, all the brake lights are burned out, and you cut out all the seat belts. That’s fine. But if your car is a danger to the environment, you’ve got a problem. I always thought this was the dumbest thing, but I certainly felt a little more respect for the process this year.
- I have a trip planned every month from February through May, and all of them are with friends. When I asked a coworker what her plans were for the long President’s Day weekend, she said she was getting in a car and driving south, all alone, even without her husband. Like me, she values her alone time. I loved traveling to China all by myself. There were probably fewer than five moments in the whole trip when I wished someone else had been there with me, and most of those were when I had to go to the bathroom in the airport and drag all my luggage into the stall with me. But of course I love getting out of town with my friends too. I miss travelling with friends during the winter. They head up to the mountains to ski a lot, and I’m not a skier, so I do get a feeling of being left out. Obviously I’d be welcome to go if I wanted to, but it’s just not my thing. So even though my solo trip was wonderful—and I hope to not let eight years pass between solo international trips again like I did last time—I’m happy that I’ll be getting to have some adventures with people I care about in the upcoming months. In fact, I’m on the first of these trips right as this posts to my blog.
- All the things! I had the busiest week ever! Here’s what I did in seven days, in addition to my full time job:
- Had a really great date
- Went on another, even better date with the really great date guy
- Had a session with my therapist
- Washed the dog
- Worked out in a gym four times
- Drove through crazy snow over mountain passes and past a horrific accident to Gunnison for the long holiday weekend
- Went on one cool snowshoe trek to an abandoned mine
- Wrote and rewrote and wrote again 15 pages to submit to my novel critique group
- Read and critiqued 45 pages for my critique partners
- Spent an evening at my critique group
- Spent another evening at one of my writer’s groups
- Took my car for an emissions test, bought a new gas cap, retested the car, and then renewed my registration after it passed
- Got photos taken and sent in my passport for renewal
- Booked a 40th birthday trip to Belize
- Planned my 40th birthday party in Boulder
- Won second place in the popular vote at my company’s Hackathon (okay, this was done during work hours)
- Spent about 6 hours working on my freelance project
- Wrote this blog post!
Yes, this week was busier than most, but not by much. I’m exhausted. No wonder having nothing to do or plan in China was so fantastic. Everything I do here is voluntary. I could stop at any time. But what fun would life be in that case?