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Old 04-22-2011, 08:45 AM
16 posts, read 15,811 times
Reputation: 38


Hey guys, my name is Bern (short for Bernard) and I'm 25 and currently living in the D.C. area. I've been reading just about everything thread in this CO forum for the past 2 months and finally decided it was my turn to share my story and ask for some insight and advice. So here it goes, I'll try and keep it brief.

I was born and raised in NYC (Staten Island to be exact) until I went off to college at Virginia Tech; big difference, I know, but I loved it. After graduating in May 09' I quickly found a job in government contracting as a Project Controller in the D.C. area. I am currently at a different company from where I started down here, but I am getting tired of it.

When I originally graduated college I had big plans to move out west, or hike the Appalachian Trial all the way through. However, lack of funds and grown up responsibilities got the best of me and I joined the work force instead.

After going through an extremely rough breakup, I discovered my passion for climbing last year. I had always been interested in it but never actually followed through. I now climb 4-6 times a week and it's become almost an obsession but I love it. It's been the one hobby I'm truly passionate about and has helped me center myself as a person.

Recently I've been increasingly frustrated with my job (government work is extremely frustrating), the area, and just how things are in general and decided it was time for a change. So here I am, I'm taking the leap and went ahead and set a hard deadline to move in mid/late September. I have about $2,000.00 saved up currently w/ (2) lines of credit with no balance. The way I am managing my money currently, I will have ~$6,000.00 and (2) open lines of credit available to me for the move.

Right now I have a high school friend that lives in Boulder, and a contact in Denver that would be able to get me a job at a bar/restaurant they own should I need it. I'm headed to CO with or without a job but I'm hoping that I can have something lined up for when I head out there. My plan is to live either on the outskirts of Denver, Boulder, or anywhere in between. I am really open for anything within an hour north of Denver. I don't mind apartment living, I don't need anything fancy. Just in a decent neighborhood. I'm planning on looking for places in the range of $550-$750 range. 1BR or a house with roommates, both are fine with me although the former would be more preferable.

I am also saving for a big trip to Patagonia next year but most of that has already been planned/saved for. I'm will cancel that trip should I need to tap into that money because this move is really important to me. I really want to make it work.

Anyways this has already gone on way longer then I figured it would so hopefully you found it all worth the read. I'd love any insight or advice anyone has to offer.


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Old 04-22-2011, 11:24 AM
812 posts, read 1,403,303 times
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Hey Bern, welcome. Your story sounds like a familiar variation of just about everybody I knew in their mid-20's in Denver back when I did the same thing in the mid 1990's. A very typical American story of looking out there across the land and searching for something better. Those smart folks who stood up to tyrants and fought for the right to "...life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness..." were on to something weren't they? Some transplants I knew back then ended up moving "back home" for various reasons. Others are still here, thriving. All were reasonably positive about their decision and "leap of faith." Lots of Colorado kids try their luck in other states and more power to them.

If I were you, I'd be prepared to work any type of job until the breaks fall in your favor professionally, which may take some time and perseverance, as it often comes down to timing, luck, and who you know. I'd be prepared to postpone the Patagonia trip, if necessary. This is obvious, but I'd be VERY open to new people.

I suspect people (mostly so-called "natives" who can be unfriendly and don't want your kind here mucking up their no-growth ideas) are going to tell you not to move without a high-quality professional job lined up first. Which, of course, can be a bit like telling a chicken to produce another chicken without first laying an egg. It's important that you respect the opinion of these folks and not antagonize them, but don't let them get you down or infringe on your right to exist where you darn well please. This is America not some tyranny run by them, which means you get to do whatever you decide is right for you, and they can grumble miserably but they cannot stop you from pursuing your vision of happiness (though they can refuse to hire you, so I say again, don't antagonize them!)

The Rocky Mountain West is, imho, the best region left so get yourself out here and enjoy it as long as you're here!
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Old 04-22-2011, 11:42 AM
2,253 posts, read 6,705,591 times
Reputation: 2651
Wink In beginning

You'll probably receive some valid advice about how so many want to move to Colorado, how few prepared for the reality, and how difficult the economy is here presently. So I'll offer something else, other than noting that you may have to up your housing budget or indeed live with roommates, and that Boulder is an expensive place.

If by climbing you meant rock climbing, then perhaps the first place you should check out is Eldorado Canyon. But a short distance southwest of Boulder, it is one of the best known places in the state for that activity. Since a small place, not that many options in housing, and possibly expensive, but with some great climbing right out your back door. Should that seem impractical, the canyon with too little sun, etc., then Boulder near by and not much of an ordeal to visit from there when desired.

Boulder and vicinity would also make a fine base for climbing. There are any number of options in fairly close proximity, with some just up the canyon between Boulder and Nederland. Farther removed on US 34 between Loveland and Estes Park, or also places in the canyon between Lyons and Allenspark. With also possibilities in Rocky Mountain National Park. You needn't go very far, but with other fine options elsewhere in the state as well. Or if just a hike, Boulder has a great system of hiking trails up into the mountains.

Any of this is possible from Denver as well, if it comes to that, but not as easily. Whichever the direction, commuting on US 36, between Boulder and Denver, would not be much fun. So then considerations of not only the exigencies of a job, but where one would most like to be placed. Many will argue that a job must come first, and all else orbit about it. While that is true to an extent, also that many end up where they are in part through happenstance. Aiming for a particular area can make a difference, and if not necessarily easy quite possibly worth it in the long run. Colorado is an often very lovely state, but no panacea, and if in the wrong spot just miserable. There are such differences.

Anyway, check out Eldorado Canyon; it might be a good place to begin.
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Old 04-22-2011, 01:13 PM
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If you have a stable government job I'd hang on to it. I know a lot of folks that have been looking for work for over a year now. RP
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Old 04-22-2011, 02:51 PM
Location: Bend, OR
3,296 posts, read 9,297,812 times
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What kind of government work do you do? There are quite a few government agencies in Colorado, so maybe you can find a lateral transfer? Just a thought. Of course, if you are unhappy with what you are doing, maybe you are ready just to leave and start new. While some will tell you not to do it because you have a job, I tend to follow my heart too. It sounds like you are smart about it, saving, and preparing yourself for possible unemployment. If you are open to numerous locations across Colorado, I imagine you will do fine.

You might look into Fort Collins. It's about an hour north of Denver off of I-25 and a great college town. We did quite a bit of bouldering around Horsetooth Reservoir when I was attending CSU. There is also plenty of climbing up Poudre Canyon. Fort Collins is less expensive than Boulder and has a better feel, IMO. Of course, it may be more difficult to find work there, but if you do, it's a nice place to live!

Best of luck!
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Old 04-22-2011, 02:54 PM
Location: Pagosa Springs, CO/North Port,FL
666 posts, read 1,391,511 times
Reputation: 596
Originally Posted by proveick View Post
If you have a stable government job I'd hang on to it. I know a lot of folks that have been looking for work for over a year now. RP
No kidding-I have tried in the past to GET a government job-not an easy thing to do.
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Old 04-22-2011, 04:24 PM
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,129 posts, read 29,919,393 times
Reputation: 6894
Originally Posted by CTC View Post
No kidding-I have tried in the past to GET a government job-not an easy thing to do.
It's a little easier to get one where the OP is coming from.

I say go for it before your tied down by wife and kids. If you're single and young you can pretty much go anywere and do anything with no sweat. There'll be plenty of time for establishing yourself in suburban boredom later.
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Old 04-22-2011, 05:51 PM
Location: On the sunny side of a mountain
3,574 posts, read 8,584,069 times
Reputation: 8124
I have to agree with CAVA, go for it while you can.

I don't climb, but when we lived in Telluride there were always climbers in Ophir and ice climbing in Ouray. I'm sure you'll have no shortage of new places to explore.
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Old 04-22-2011, 06:41 PM
168 posts, read 367,343 times
Reputation: 138
I just did this last fall....some things I encountered were: pre resume sending got tossed because I was out of state, depending on what you are moving with (and how) it'll be $2,000 just for that, be prepared to eat some humble pie on wages and job openings (vs where you are now).....and don't pin alot of hope on your trip, if you are lucky to get employed and stay employed you'll have prove your stability for a length of time.....

Most importantly, if you are serious about making it in CO and willing to do what it takes to stay there, then you'll be ok......
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Old 04-22-2011, 06:44 PM
6,684 posts, read 7,062,673 times
Reputation: 4856
If you want to be closer to Denver for job options, you might look at Broomfield and Arvada. Probably cheaper to rent there than Boulder.

If you are willing to share a place, go to an outdoor store (or several) that cover climbing seriously and check the bulletin boards and you might find both a room and climbing partners.

In addition to the climbing areas already mentioned, there is also less crowded weekend climbing in relatively near Golden Canyon State Park and in the Rampart Range further south. The right climbing center for you would depend on the degree of difficulty you want / need, whether you seek multi-pitch or top-roped opportunities, whether you want to be in a climbing scene or out in the wilderness.

There probably plenty of climbing sites / communities but here is one site with info on climbing areas & more:

Last edited by NW Crow; 04-22-2011 at 06:53 PM..
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