It’s been a whirlwind of a summer. I write this from Denver Airport, with a glass of Prosecco nearby and a less-than-heavy heart. A few months ago, J and I began the incredibly tedious process of procuring a UK residence permit for me. While being in a relationship for four years and living and working in and traveling to over 45 countries together might seem like it goes beyond reasonable requirements necessary to prove a legitimate relationship, it unfortunately was not enough to secure my visa. This was on a technicality: not having original housing contracts showing that we co-habitated for two years. Innumerable photos and videos, letters from people evidencing our story, pay slips, and even a stint on UK public TV were still not enough, but I digress from the purpose of this article.
Applying for the visa required me to come home to the U.S. for the summer to work and get all of my paperwork together, so that is what I did. Feeling that my opportunities were limited in my home state, I took to the skies and headed out West to a place that had always appealed to me but that I’d never ventured to: Colorado. A friend that I met while teaching English in South Korea had returned home there and recommended an outdoor adventure company that was hiring instructors for the summer. Two minutes after submitting my application, I had an impromptu Skype interview, and the rest was a blur.
For the last three months, I called the hip and happening city of Denver my home. I taught mountain biking, kayaking, and standup paddleboarding to kids, and had the incomparable opportunity to spend 40+ hours per week in the mountainous paradise that is the Rockies. Although I didn’t get to explore on my downtime as much as I’d hoped- Denver is seriously expensive, folks- I wanted to share some images of the vistas that comforted and consoled me throughout this trying summer. For anyone out there who happens to be in love with someone from a different country, good luck- future undertakings and processes necessary to being together are not in your favor, and you will undoubtedly go through some uniquely stressful times. If you ever have questions or need support with these matters, please feel free to shoot me a private message.
Although I still have no desire to call America my home, I’m grateful for the opportunity to be reminded of its grand beauty. In these times of political and social darkness, finding light, no matter what the situation, has never been so important.