Today makes it 8 months since I’ve slept in my own bed, so 8 months of traveling every single month – and in the last two months alone, 8 different cities. That’s a bit aggressive even by my current travel standards.
And even though it’s felt like quite the whirlwind, my grandpa’s words echo in the back of my head (especially so right now as it was just his 94th birthday and I’m missing him this week, wishing I could celebrate with him). He used to say, “I can’t hardly wait to see what happens next!” He was a glass-way-more-than-halfway-full kinda guy. Amidst times of great sadness for him, he wore a smile and a positive outlook and shared that with anyone he met.
The constant flow of life right now, feeling like it’s moving at warp speed, has at times left me feeling ungrounded and unsettled. But instead of dwelling, I choose to think to myself, “I can’t wait to see what happens next,” and ground myself through what I can control: my breath, my own movement practice, my thoughts. As I take a step back to let gratitude in for the past couple months, I realize how very full it all is. I shared on Instagram how I’ve been embracing winter (and if you know me, you know that’s a honestly a BIG statement!)
Getting outdoors in places like Moab, Utah, the mountains surrounding Salt Lake City, Bend, OR (again!), and Buena Vista, CO has filled up my cup. I may feel a little all over the place, but I’m choosing to be that way with a smile on my face.
These are my eight highlights and lessons learned from our winter travels this season!
My first time skiing in many years was in Durango, Colorado, on an unseasonably warm day (so bad for our climate, but it did lift my spirits on the slopes, I’ll admit). With the sun shining and almost no one out on this non-holiday weekend, we skied with the locals and I didn’t care what I looked like. Our local Durango friends took us to the hot springs to enjoy the sunset, a beer and a perfectly steamy soak overlooking the San Juan mountains. (Pro tip: If you go, get there early enough before sunset that you can snag one of the smaller, more private baths that overlook the mountain range for the best view and most calm experience.)
The only photo I have of us at the gym is Stephen outside of Planet Fitness after we joined in Salt Lake City 😆. A 2-minute drive from our place, it was so easy to pop over to the gym first thing in the morning and we just fell right into the habit of doing it. I had forgotten how much I like to work out in the morning, but the routine just sort of stuck once we got into it in Utah, so we’ve since started short term memberships at a single gym in every city – from SLC to Moab to Buena Vista to Denver – we’re now on Week 9 of not pressing snooze on the alarm and it feels really good. The gym is kind of like a playground to me and I love to see the types of equipment that these gyms have, how I can utilize space, and stretch my programming brain to see what I could do to bring new inspiration back into my at-home workout regimen or add to my classes in my online library.
This month I realized that I’ve met up with a friend, run into someone I know, or made a new friend in every single place we’ve traveled since last August. Some of the most remarkable of meet-ups have been in the last few weeks. One of my dear friends from my 300-hour yoga training lives in Park City; we met up for a walk with her dog to catch up. One of the first teachers’ I loved to take classes with in Chicago, Anne Rivelli, lives in Salt Lake City and I dropped in to take her class. Perhaps most random of all, in a training I just completed – Empowered Performance with Katie St. Clair – I realized another individual lived in Moab at the exact time we were staying there. Clara and I met up for lunch and a workout during our short stay. And even though I’ve had so many meetings, workshops and live sessions with a lululemon colleague over the past year, I hadn’t met Sara in real life (as she likes to put it, “I’ve never seen your legs!” which absolutely cracks me up every time). We were finally able to take our legs on a walk in Denver.
We lucked out with our plan to visit Moab in southern Utah at the end of February/early March. This sleepy town of 5,000 was about to explode towards the end of March as tourist season was approaching. Moab is home to some of the country’s most visited National Parks, but we were able to hike through Arches, among others, with no issues, no navigating lines, no crowded view points. The temps did drop overnight but I still hiked in shorts most days.
Other very unexpected finds in Moab: the best little South African restaurant that was off the beaten path a bit (they only serve South African dinners beginning in March so we ate on the first night they were open for the season!), local pottery from our adorable little Airbnb studio, and truly the best bread on a sandwich I have ever had from Love Muffin Cafe (I don’t say that lightly, I still dream about the Rasa Club there.)
Let’s just say if all our future trips got cancelled and we were “stuck” in BV, I would have been the happiest camper in all the land. What a magical place with such welcoming people. The first day we were in Buena Vista was a blizzard. Per usual, Stephen and I wanted to explore more about our surroundings so we set out for a “walk” which turned into a hike, which turned into a “we are not prepared for this weather let’s go buy all the Yak Traxs in stock” adventure. Once the snow sky cleared, we realized we were in the most gorgeous valley surrounded by 360-degree views of the mountains with the majestic Arkansas River running through town. The views and hikes alone were enough for us to fall in love, but if that wasn’t enough, the community of BV is incredible too. A wonderful friend of mine runs and Airbnb there (you simply MUST reach out if you’re thinking of planning a trip – you have to stay at her place) and was kind enough to include us in so many things happening around town.
We enjoyed an intimate family-style dinner led by a world traveling chef accompanied by live music and attended a 90s grunge band concert on St. Patrick’s Day. Kelly accompanied us through a 1,000-mile elevation gain snowshoeing excursion up to a frozen lake (perhaps, surprisingly, my greatest fitness accomplishment to date), and showed us the way to a food truck that serves veggie nachos like they are a delicacy. They were unreal.
Durango’s hot springs served beer (a major bonus to a sunset soaking experience) but in the hot springs next to the Arkansas River just at the base of a mountain, you can practice mind-over-matter in as many cold plunges as your heart desires (or it can handle 😆).
Since reading “The Comfort Crisis” we’ve been mildly obsessed with getting out of our comfort zone and will jump (literally) at experiences like this. We plunged into the 37-38 degree rushing waters multiple times during out sunset visit to the BV Hot Springs and it was definitely a highlight over the last couple months. (If you’ve never tried it before, not something I recommend diving right into but it’s quite exhilarating.)
The first place on our travels out west was Bend, Oregon. In the back of our minds and deep in our hearts, it has had a special place ever since. We were curious if going back for a weekend (we’ll have a little post-legal signing wedding celebration out there this summer and needed to visit for a tasting!) would make us realize it was just the magic of the beginning of it all, or if we really loved it. I’m so happy it was the latter … walking around along the river, a late afternoon walk up Pilot Butte, a pit stop at Midtown Yacht Club for a beer, all of it was just a reminder that little moments like this can be just as special as anything else.
Cold weather has put biking around cities on pause for us for a bit, but on warmer days in Denver, we’re back to exploring the city on two wheels and it feels so good. One Sunday was filled up by biking to a neighborhood, walking around in local shops, grabbing a coffee, snack or beer, and hopping back on the bike trails to a new stop. Before we knew it, we’d been out for five hours.
If you’ve been in my virtual classes as of late and seen me in a different background almost every week … this is why! It’s been a whirlwind of two months but as I sit still for a moment to write, I am so grateful for each and every long travel day that has taken me along this journey. And speaking of virtual classes, those are still happening almost daily! Interested in popping in? Give me a shout – I’ve got a guest pass for you through Bare Feet Power Yoga, and your first 7 days of a membership at my website are free!