Why I left the “best cities in America” to live in rural southern Colorado

Denver and Colorado Springs the best cities in America? I can hardly stand to drive up there now! I know those places may be good for businesses and careers, but for actual ‘quality of life’? Forget it!

The air is so dirty up there you can smell it. The traffic and noise is unbelievably bad unless you compare it to other cities like LA. I find it interesting that young people love the high-stress atmosphere of cities like Denver. High anxiety just makes me tired these days.

When I last visited Denver and Colorado Springs, I could feel the stress building in my body immediately. First just getting there is so stressful, because of the intense traffic from Pueblo north on I-25. Then the air starts smelling really bad, and my fellow drivers start crowding in on me, pressuring me to drive faster than I feel is safe. Most city dwellers would disagree with me, but the point is we humans don’t fully realize how much stress we live with daily, until we try living without it.


The view from our new home!

I moved to Walsenburg Colorado in June 2014 to build a solar home down here. The culture shock was strong and immediate. Each morning when I went outside, I would think, “Where am I?” The pace of life here felt so foreign. Now I call it slow and comfortable, but back then it took me a while to appreciate the lack of constant pressure, noise and traffic. Yes, the trains were noisy in town, but I’m originally from Kansas so I like the sound of trains.

IMGP4362When our new home was finished, a stressful process in and of itself, we moved out to the foothills. Now I spend hours just staring at those incredible mountains, with their ever changing cloud and weather patterns.

The silence and beauty of this area takes my breath away daily, but in a good way…   “Goodbye city life!”

Laura and rasta close upCheck out my new book:  A Memoir of Retirement: From Suburbia to Solar in Southern Colorado  and share this information with your friends if they are considering a move to rural America. Feel free to contact me directly to discuss any of these challenges, and to order your own signed copies of any of my books!   Cheers, Laura Lee  (email me: MidlifeCrisisQueen@gmail.com)