Journal Entry- This week will challenge me, drive me, and motivate me. I think about all the possible outcomes and know that the people I meet are going to have such a profound effect on my life. I will take what I learn and write about it, finding ways to use the tools I learn in my life. I know I will return a different person, one who has an open mind and a clearer picture of my next steps. I feel motivated to make a change in my life, today, this trip, is the time, to take action and choose to live my life today, right now, making it REAL!
This is the second part in the series, please check out the first, which details the reasons on why I wanted to come to this amazing city to meet my “tribe” and get out of my comfort zone!
I arrived in Denver on a Monday evening, with a slight breeze in the air, I was excited to get to my Airbnb and after figuring out the train to downtown, I grabbed my bag and headed towards the platform. As I exited the airport and stepped outside and took my first breath of Colorado air, the sun was setting, casting beautiful shadows through the glass windows and metal pillars, and I glanced up and there was beer. I had arrived on the last day of the Great American Beer Festival and a booth was just about to take down their samples. A man at the front of the entrance to the beer garden asked if I’d like to try some craft beer, and if you are wondering, my answer was “Yes!”
Traveling on the train, getting to my stop, and walking off the platform, I felt scared, for some reason I was now all alone and afraid that someone was going to come and take my rolling suitcase and purse with my 5D Mark II in it, and I’d be trying to figure out how to survive with no money all week. I really went down a fear alley as I walked the back streets of Denver at 7:30 PM, it was weird. But then I arrived and found the house. Luckily one of my housemates, Mike, was already at the Airbnb and he helped guide me to the right house and greeted me upon my arrival, which was super nice. He gave me the “tour” of our “home” and then we decided to head out for a bite to eat.
As we headed to RiNo Beer Garden, I learned more about Mike and his adventures, that he was also interested in capturing nature with photography. The pub offered some interestingly named burgers, and Mike got “The PB&J” Burger, topped with peanut butter, bacon, and grape jelly, while I ordered simplistic wings and a salad, adding a local craft beer to my already “experienced” sampling from my arrival earlier. I vowed and stuck to only having one drink because I knew I needed to be up early in the morning. I’d planned to get up and do my morning routine of journaling, yoga, and meditation. The biggest challenge for me has been that I’ve gotten really good at doing my morning routine while at home, but I’d struggled with implementing it while away. I had strong determination and intention to keep this wonderful habit I’d built over this year.
Journal Entry – Waking up in Denver this morning and I feel amazing. I feel energized, well rested. I went to bed at midnight and now I’m up at 6:15 AM. I am just so excited to be here and to enjoy this day. On my flight in, I was reading the book Big Potential, and in the book, the author talks about the feedback from high performers are that they have found the tribe that encourages and motivates them. I know that the Location Indie group is that “tribe” for me.
I kept the promise to myself and did my morning routine of journaling, yoga, and mindful meditation, and had plenty of time to get ready. I was ready for Jim, the outside sales rep I’d be traveling with, sitting on the porch of the house, ready to meet clients, excited for the day. As he arrived, Jim told me that the first client appointment was at a Starbucks that was only 16 miles away, but it was going to take us 47 minutes to get there, due to the Denver traffic. So we headed out and luckily got there on time. I looked out the window at the amazing and vibrant city, busy and full of color, and off in the distance, mountain ranges gave me a feeling of just how wide and grand this place really was, so much here that it seemed overwhelming to me, and I just was trying to keep up with Jim as he talked about the day of account visits.
After our brief meeting, Jim was looking for a place to stop to do a bit of work before our next appointment. Our host at the Airbnb had mentioned a great coffee shop nearby and so I suggested Jim and I swing over there since it was right around the corner from Acorn, our lunch client meeting place. We were greeted with a friendly smile behind the counter at the Purple Door Café, and I ordered a vanilla latte with coconut milk and Jim got a breakfast sandwich. While he checked out his inbox, I worked on creating some photos for the story I knew I’d be writing, about popular coffee shops to see in Denver, and loved the story behind this café. It’s a small shop, but it’s a specialty espresso bar and coffee shop employs teens and young adults who have been homeless and want to leave homelessness behind. Their mission, to reclaim and sustain the lives of homeless youth and young adults through supportive and meaningful employment, really spoke to me. I actually didn’t know about their story until after I got back from Denver and was researching it, but now that I know, I’m so glad we made the stop into this place!
Heading into our next client meeting, I was excited to meet the team of people I’d been working with the last year on some large projects and to try this amazing food! What I wasn’t prepared for was the amazing space we discovered. Acorn Denver offers the wide variety and selection on the lunch menu, we enjoyed sharing plates of sun-dried tomato dumplings, pimento cheese with dipping bread, shishito peppers, as well as ordering tall-stacked burgers, crisp salads, and unique dishes like monkfish. The atmosphere wasn’t too loud for our casual business conversations and we were able to talk “shop” while weaving in personal stories about travel and food.
The eatery is located within the Source, a reclaimed 1880’s foundry turned new epicurean marketplace in Denver’s River North District. I was fascinated by the 45,000 square feet that make up the foundation of The Source Hotel’s culinary complex, with a collection of 25 artisans including a bakery, taqueria, modern wood-fired restaurant, barber, art gallery, kitchen goods store, apparel shop, florist, brewery, and barbecue. It reminded me of a larger scale of The Millworks, which is in my hometown of Harrisburg. But this offered so much more, and I found myself wishing I could spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the shops and artworks.
We left feeling confident about the growth in the business relationship and headed to our next meeting in Wheat Ridge. We were lucky to not hit as much traffic after lunch as we had run into earlier in the day and were able to meet the customer at his location, who greeted us at the door and offered us a water while Jim discussed possible business opportunities. After a great client meeting, Jim dropped me back off at the Airbnb and I changed and was trying to figure out what to do for dinner when another housemate arrived.
Heath was hungry and I could eat, and so I mentioned that one of the breweries that our Airbnb host mentioned was just a short walk, so we headed to Black Shirt Brewery to have some dinner and chat. I learned a bit about Heath and his story, which is, to say the least, inspiring in all the ways he transformed his life from a corporate job to living location independent, creating inspirational products including a journal and a “Domination Deck” of creative and positive motivational cards.
I ordered a flight and we enjoyed some craft beers while chatting and Mike later joined us, ordering a kombucha. I felt so awesome, just being in this arty and amazing town, being around new people who inspire me, and knowing that I’m on my own path and that the experiences I have will help shape the future I’m working to create. But being included and heard is what really made me feel like I was apart of something amazing.
We walked back to the Airbnb and then decided to go out again, hitting up some breweries on the way, and heading to the Infinite Monkey Theorem, which is an urban winery offering canned wine in red, white, rose, and even Hopped Sauv Blanc or Peach Bellini.
Their concept: “The Infinite Monkey Theorem states ‘that a monkey hitting keys at random on a typewriter for an infinite amount of time will almost surely type a given text, such as the complete works of William Shakespeare’.”
It was an interesting place and we walked in just as a group was starting a “speed dating” event, which was pretty awesome people watching. So Mike, Heath, and I joined two women who were sitting across from this area where the dating game was being played, and we started to discuss how interesting and intriguing the whole idea of speed dating was, and interestingly the two women were both interested in travel, so we talked with them about the location indie group we were in and the reason for being in Denver. After a few more stops on the way back, and a bit tipsy, we headed for the Airbnb. The guys were hungry and wanted some late dinner, but nothing was open as we aimlessly walked in search of food, and after some time, they gave up and ordered pizza.
I headed to bed shortly after retiring back home, excited about the next adventures that awaited me in the morning.
Stay tuned for the next Denver Adventure!