Digital Nomad First Stop: Boulder, Colorado

My eight months of living as a nomad has officially begun!

The lease on my Kansas City apartment has expired, I've moved all my belongings to my brother's basement, and I just drove eight hours to Boulder, Colorado. My plan is to remain on the move between now and April 2017. My rough itinerary includes five different cities in Colorado and then a jump over to Chiang Mai, Thailand. (The latter seemed like the best place to escape winter.)

I'll be "living" here in Boulder for the next couple weeks. My agenda:
• Work from coffee shops
• A daily hike
• Enjoy the novelty of a new place

I made a little design to commemorate my first stop:

I'll be primarily staying at Airbnbs throughout my travels. I scored the absolute jackpot for my first destination. I'm staying with a couple in their home, but have a private bedroom + bathroom. My room even came with a complimentary cat, Acorn. She had a good time exploring my backpack.

My "office" for this trip is comprised of all the best coffee shops Boulder has to offer. After an eight-hour drive, I dropped off my bags at my Airbnb & to headed one of the few coffee shops that was open late on a Sunday night. The Cup Espresso Cafe on Pearl street was jam-packed with college students and young professionals. It's late summer, so the front of the shop is all open air. I ordered a decaf (I'm old and it was past 8) and got in the zone, knocking out some logo options for a new client before calling it a night.

My other go-to workplace is The Laughing Goat. I'm definitely not in the minority for camping out here all day. (Don't worry– I tip!) I start the morning with a latte and switch to black coffee to tide me over for the rest of the day. By 3pm, I'm incredibly wired off caffeine and therefore triple-productive.

THE best part about working in Boulder: nature. I headed up the trail towards Gregory Canyon and found the perfect spot to eat my sandwich for dinner.

I watched a storm roll in as I completed a short hike along the Flatirons. I made it back to the trailhead and my car about five minutes before the rain started. Here was my view:

After driving 650 miles to get here, my car needed a belt replaced. The upside of being temporarily carless: I found an alternate mode of transportation and this city is loaded with bike trails! Nothing beats this view on the way to go eat tacos. 🚲 ⛰ 🌮

Day Trip to Estes Park

On Thursday morning, I wrapped up a call with a client at 10:00 and was in my car by 10:05. My destination: Rocky Mountain National Park, a little over an hour northwest from Boulder. My plans: Spend the day hiking in one of the most beautiful places I've ever been.

My 8-miler took me to some pretty sweet destinations, but this was my favorite: Mill's Lake

I stayed a little too long at Mill's Lake. When I turned back towards the trail, the sky had darkened and the wind had picked up. Not the best sight, considering it would take me about two hours to get back to the trailhead. Fortunately, the rain only began during my last half mile. I booked it down the path and the only casualty was my damp hair by the time I made it back to my car. The storm chased me all the way back to Boulder, and I slept deeply with the sound of thunder rumbling outside.

Dream Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park:

8 miles later, I'm almost back to the trailhead! That little spot of blue down below is Nymph Lake. My end point is the Bear Lake Trailhead, just north of Nymph. All downhill from here.

Traffic jam: the root cause.

I stopped in Estes Park afterwards for nourishment after a long day's hike. Gotta refuel those electrolytes. 🍏🍭

Saturday Farmer's Market in Boulder, CO

Chautauqua Park

The beginning of my hike:

1.5 hours later: Royal Arch. Mountain weather is unpredictable.

Next stop: Back to KC for an art show. After that = Fort Collins!