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Life is slow in rural Colorado.

From the unhurried drawl of the dialect, to the laid-back


ambience of the mountain folk that reside in the surrounding locality, time dawdles by. As an
adventurous and curious teenager, I craved for something more than lackadaisical trips on dusty
country roads and trekking on trails so familiar that I could navigate them on the darkest nights.
I wanted change, and like all things in Durango, Colorado, change came slowly.
I felt stuck, cemented in my life. I knew something was lacking when everything started
to blur together in an ultimate dj vu interval, with barely a detail to distinguish the differences
between the days. Even though I enjoyed living in Colorado, I was tired of listening to the steady
beat of mountains and the rhythm of valleys, I needed a melody of something uncertain,
something fresh. So I gathered all my courage in a suitcase and relocated somewhere I never
expected to be, the land of vikings, hygge, and dangerously delicious pastries; Denmark.
For eleven months I lived among strangers, who spoke an unfamiliar language and ate
unusual foods like smrrebrd, bleskiver, and flskesteg. I took risks, swam in icy fjords, and
even traumatized an entire restaurant by singing Take Me Home, Country Roads on open mic
night. I spoke Danish and integrated into a different culture, replacing pieces of my old self with
fragments of a foreign society. Time passed quickly in Denmark. With so many distractions to
occupy me, thoughts of the secluded town in Southwestern Colorado melted away, and
disappeared.
During the Danish spring, on a rare occasion where the clouds broke and the sun shined,
my almost-elderly host father, Kasper, enthusiastically hollered to me from the compact
Volkswagen, Kom s! Vi ska p turen! (Come! Were going on a trip!) I quickly laced up my
shoes and hopped in the car, the door not fully closed before Kasper accelerated out of the
driveway and down the road. Catching my breath, I asked, Hvor ska vi hen? (Where are we
going?) Kasper smiled, face crinkling with laughter lines before saying, Til toppen af
Himmelbjerget. (To the top of The Sky Mountain.)
I was excited to summit The Sky Mountain, a mighty title for one of the highest pinnacles
in Denmark. Kasper and I drove through winding forest roads and charming villages with white
trimmed houses topped with thatched roofs, before coming to a halt at the top of a modest
incline. After rambling up a worn path through the trees, we came upon a clearing and
approached a sign that read, Himmelbjerget, elevation; 147 meters.
The Sky Mountain was a mere hilltop compared to the 4,000+ meter high peaks in
Colorado I had conquered in my youth. Looking at the scenery of rich emerald lakes, lush trees,
and the occasional mustard-yellow blotch of farms that spread beyond, I sensed a tickle of
familiarity. I felt a sudden twang of loss and longing, feelings that I had neglected now appeared
abruptly. The emotions reminded me of home and a girl that I had left behind. For the first time
in a long time, I desired the easy tranquility that Colorado offered. This miniature mountain
harbored a categorically stunning prospect; there is a part of me back in Colorado. Wherever I
go, wherever life takes me, I will always be from Colorado, taking the recollections of home with
me.
In Denmark, I had been living life expeditiously, and forgotten to take a breath as
moments hastily scurried past me. I need the unhurried pace of home to remind me to slow
down every once in while. I have lived life in a sprint, but now I think it's time I take a stroll.