I was sitting at work one day when I saw a post about really cheap flights to Denver. I went to the Frontier website, typed in Charlotte, just to see what would come up. When I saw that I could fly to Denver and back for only $130, I started texting my friends to see if anyone could go. If you know about my trip, you already know that no one could. It was last minute, I’ll admit, I didn’t expect anyone to be able to. But I was finding it hard to talk myself out of buying this ticket. When else would I be able to fly to Denver for $130? Maybe never! So after an hour or so of debating, I booked a flight for my first solo travel adventure!
I’ve done a lot of things I never thought I would do recently. It’s not that I said I would never solo travel, it’s that the thought just didn’t cross my mind. Usually, someone is around and available to do a little adventuring with me. I booked my trip only a week before my flight so I didn’t have a lot of time to dwell on the solo part. I just packed my bags and headed to Denver.
I’m not going to lie, though. Denver was weird. Like really weird. Maybe it’s because I started smelling weed on the train from the airport to the city and didn’t stop smelling it until I landed back in Charlotte, but it’s weird. The city didn’t blow me away like a lot of cities do. It was almost underwhelming to see in the distance as I rode into downtown, miles and miles of flat land and suddenly a city right before the mountains emerge, cascading towards the sky.
Maybe it was because I went on a solo trip and never had to spend any time alone. Maybe it’s because someone died in my hostel the first day I was there (really though). Maybe it’s because I had one too many mimosas in Denver… But something about it was weird.
The thing about travel that I’ve come to learn is that you’re never alone if you don’t want to be. The world is full of kind, generous and wonderful people if you’re willing to give them a chance (and put a little work in to meet them). I spent so much of my time exploring and laughing and getting to know strangers that I met on the train or in my hostel or even the person sitting next to us at a random bar downtown. Talking to new people generally terrifies me but in Denver I had to do it. And I had such an amazing time because of it.
My favorite part of Denver was venturing out to Red Rocks. I met two friends at the hostel I was staying at. We took a train from Union Station to Golden, CO and then an Uber from there. Red Rocks was incredible. If you make it to the top of the amphitheater, you can see mountains in one direction and the Denver skyline in the other. There’s a few hiking trails around that we attempted, only making it a few steps in before stopping for photos. Everything just looked so different than home, so strange and new to me.
one// meeting these lovely humans
two// brunch at ophelia’s
three// voodoo doughnuts
four// denver film festival
“The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till the other is ready.”
Denver might has been my first solo travel adventure but you can bet that it won’t be my last.