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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
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
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.