[dropcap size=small]O[/dropcap]ne of my cats, the fluffy black one, is snoozing on a large pile of recently unpacked clothes over another pile of sheets and pillows on my unmade bed. The windows are open, and it is raining outside, but barely. When the sun comes out again, the pine needles will dry up and fill the Colorado mountain air with their glorious scent.

My room in Boulder, Colorado is small, but perfect. I pay more for my current room than I paid for my entire home in Fort Worth, Texas, but it’s all worth it.

I lived in the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas for 28 years. Moving 800 miles away from everyone and everything I had known was a huge uprooting. Driving away from my old home, watching my boyfriend of three years wave at me from the porch was one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life. I think I cried for a total of 11 hours during my 12 hour drive from Fort Worth to Boulder (with my two cats).

Why did I do this to myself?

About two years ago, I decided to travel once a month, at minimum. It didn’t matter where, it just had to be somewhere I had not visited. I got to see Austin, Portland, San Francisco, Boston, The Grand Canyon, Arches National Park, Moab, Iceland, Jackson Hole, Albuquerque, and many other places. My favorite place was Iceland. That country is magical.

I have always been a hermit and a homebody. Introvert by nature, being home and by myself is important for me to recharge. Travel helped prepare me for the inevitable uprooting. When I used to travel, I would get incredibly homesick. It would be the second day of a vacation that I had been really excited about, and all I could think of was going home. I had a hard time enjoying myself.

So, how exactly did I end up being capable of making the 800 mile jump?

In August, I got a social media internship with Outdoor Women’s Alliance. This position exposed me to learning about women in the outdoors doing daunting things like ice-climbing and backcountry skiing. As a Texan, this stuff was never a part of my life. We don’t have ice and we don’t have mountains (The Guadalupe Mountains excepted).

Photo Credit: Tiffiny Costello

Photo Credit: Tiffiny Costello

Seeing how passionate these women were inspired me. They lived for adventure. They lived for climbing mountains and surfing at dawn. I started hiking more. I left the house more. I started digging into who I was, more. Nature held those answers.

In January of 2014, my friend and I ventured out of town with a rental car, a map, and no real plans, but we headed west. We ended up driving 4,000 miles over the course of a week. We visited National Parks and saw so many beautiful desert sunsets. I got a little homesick, but quickly got over it because I felt alive and had finally learned to live in the present; that’s all there is.

Photo Credit: Tiffiny Costello

Photo Credit: Tiffiny Costello

However, something still was not right, and that something was my location.

Texas has been wonderful to me, but my soul needed the mountains. I knew it was the mountains I needed because of how heavy and sad I felt anytime I traveled away from them— the horizon becoming flat always killed me. I love the jagged peaks and silhouettes during sunrises and sunsets.

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March 5 was the day of my uprooting. I threw everything that fit into my Mazda 3, including my two cats, and drove away. I drove away from my life, friends, family — but I drove towards myself.

[divider]Guest Contributor[/divider]

Screen Shot 2014-04-23 at 12.10.08 PMTiffiny Costello is an outdoor adventurer who moved from her Texas home of 28 years to Boulder, CO in March of 2014. She will be graduating from Namah Shivaya Yoga school in May of 2014 with her 200-hour certification as a yoga and meditation teacher. In addition to working for five years for Apple, Tiffiny also manages the digital community for Outdoor Women’s Alliance, a non-profit organization & media collective, promoting women in the outdoors.