Seven degrees of Colorado
Vail CO, Colorado
It truly is a small world we live in. Our little planet Earth feels so overwhelmingly vast at times, so infinite that one need only stand atop the nearest peak or sit in a boat in any ocean to feel insignificant. Conversely, if one were to venture out of their comfort zone by traveling to another part of the world, they can arrive at the idea that although the earth’s inhabitants are geographically separated by land and sea, it really isn’t so overwhelming after all.
Take Colorado mountain people for example. Generally speaking, they are healthier and more active than the national average, more liberal in their politics (just ask Telluride), and more adventurous by nature. Mountain people are a breed of their own. Being free spirits they scatter themselves across the globe seeking out the next great adventure.
Recently a few of my friends and I took a weekend sojourn down to a fun little beach in Mexico. Ironically, most of Summit County’s inhabitants decided to enjoy that same vacation, as a good percentage of the visitors in the sleepy town we visited hailed from the other side of the pass. That was not the first time.
A few years back my sweetheart and I ventured down to Costa Rica for some quality surf time. Upon our arrival we immediately bought surfboards and dove into the ocean to rinse the travel grime off us and begin our vacation. Joel paddled off on his own, hoping for a respite from people and to be alone. He selected an empty break a short jog down the beach from the rest of us and paddled out to the empty wave when someone yelled his name. Bewildered, he looked around and caught a glimpse of another solo surfer in the water near him. The first person he ran into in the water that trip turned out to be a fellow mountain man (read: ski bum) we’d befriended years ago surfing in Mexico after crossing paths numerous times along the southern coast. I find it ironic that the two of them chose the same two weeks to travel to the same small dirt road town in the same country for the same activity, and that the same wave lured them away from all the others. Fate sounds so cliche, but to me it describes the connection we all have to the tangled web of collective consciousness that fuels many of our decisions.
So often we connect with a stranger we meet through our shared experiences; we know the same person, worked the same job or visited the same locations. It seems like we tend to forget that we all belong to the same matrix, which boiled down, reveals that we are all on the same team. I hate to wax nostalgia, but it gives me a warm fuzzy feeling in my heart when I think about the similarities we share with every other human being on the face of the earth. For me, the seven degrees of separation that parallel our lives reduce the complexity of it all while simultaneously enriching us with memorable experiences and “chance” happenings. Along with the excitement of experiencing new places, I look forward to the strange events traveling brings, because you never know what to expect or who you’ll run into, but you know that you’ll remember it for the rest of your life. Someone wiser than me once said, “The world is a book, and those that don’t travel read only a page.” The man was a genius!
Dana Jurich of Avon writes a biweekly column for the Daily. Send comments or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.