It’d been awhile since I’d taken a true getaway vacation. Three years ago I traveled over to Boulder, Colorado to serve as a volunteer to help put on the five day Hanuman (yoga & music) Festival. As you may have seen on my Facebook page, I was there again for this years’ festival. That first year I went, I had such a great time my heart started to ache halfway through with the thought I’d eventually have to return home to my normal life. How neat would it be to live in such a wondrous place, surrounded by mountains, crystal clear streams, beautiful blue skies and a lifestyle totally focused on healthy living! I was ready to move in. But then a funny thing happened. I started talking to some of my fellow volunteers that lived in the area and got their take on what it was like to be a resident. Not everyone I spoke to realized they were living in paradise. Once we got past the obvious beauty of the landscape, they shared stories relating to daily life: escalating traffic issues, unemployment, through-the-roof housing costs and difficult winters. Tragedy has also struck the area in the way of forest fires one year, followed by massive flooding the next that nearly washed away whole towns. By the time I left, I had a new appreciation for my hometown of Kansas City. We have no mountains, but we’ve got some of the most beautiful parks in the country; Swope Park is one of the largest in the country. The economy is rolling along nicely thanks to the strength of the auto industry and the arrival of Google. My commute to work takes less than 10 minutes and although traffic can be a pain if you hit it at the wrong time, our road system is a fairly easy one to navigate. Last but certainly not least, the choices for participating in the yoga community are colored with variety. There are many top-notch studios available serving every part of the metro area. Donation based classes are increasingly common at varied locations all around the city, both indoors and outdoors when the weather’s nice.
Nope, all things considered I’ve got it pretty good living right here in the heartland. It certainly is nice to go off from time to time and get the experience other locales have to offer, but somehow those vacations are made even better by acknowledging the many positives that await the return home. Baseball game, anyone?