Estes Park, Colorado estimated population: 6,000.
Dallas, Texas estimated population: 1,200,000.
If those numbers alone don’t make you want to head to Estes Park, you either 1) have not lived in Dallas long enough, 2) actually enjoy that tons of people are everywhere you are, or 3) are all about big city living.
For Greg and me, Estes Park is a perfect get away. In Dallas (we’ll refer to it as home base for now since we can’t quite cope with this city as our “home” yet), we are in the middle of the constant hubbub. I am a tax accountant for a CPA firm in downtown, and Greg is a personal trainer right in Uptown. We love our jobs. We honestly do. Yes, my job is often taxing (see what I did there ;)), and I come home exhausted and worn out, but I don’t see myself working any other place. We are living the ultimate rat race. We pay bills, we grunt when the alarm rings at 4:15 on Monday morning (yes, that’s real), and we chase the American dream with every other rat companion of ours.
There is this billboard in downtown. It is massive and reads: “Dallas-big things happen here.” When I see it, I think: “Dallas: a booming place for huge, multi-million dollar business deals to happen. A place where if you don’t have the newest Lexus, Mercedes, or BMW, you aren’t of worth. And heaven forbid you go in public without a full face of makeup and hair, because that would just be disgraceful. Dallas: where the more money you have (and show that you have), the better the circle you run in.”
That’s maybe a tad dramatic, but I hate that stupid billboard. I love my 2005 Chevrolet Malibu, am most happy without makeup (who seriously enjoys wearing makeup?!), and face the monthly battle of having to pay that darn electricity bill. Needless to say, we don’t fit into this Dallas place. I realize we are a tiny drop in the bucket. After all, without Greg and me, Dallas would still have 1,199,998 other people running the city. For now, Dallas is our home base.
We leave when we can. One of our favorite places to travel is Estes Park, Colorado. A two hour flight to Denver and a beautiful hour and a half drive will get us to Estes Park (According to our bank account, it’s almost too easy.) This place is magical. We eat at this same little restaurant, we hike our hearts out at Rocky Mountain National Park, and we wander the small streets into the tiny shops. Everyone is so kind. What I love most about this magical town is the pace. Sure, people in Estes Park pay bills and many have jobs (hello fellow rat racers). But there’s this aura of happiness that is absolutely infectious. There are no signs of the wealthy. I would guess there are some quite wealthy people in Estes Park, but you wouldn’t know it. We are able to reset our lives when we visit. We spend time with each other and disconnect from the craziness of Dallas, where I’m sure big things are happening. We are simply amazed when we have the opportunity to visit this place. The simplicity of the people in this town is different than in Dallas, and to us this is pure bliss.
My wish for you is that you find places on this earth that are pure happiness in your heart. For us, one of these places is a small mountain town in northern Colorado known as Estes Park.
Keep it kinetic,