Every time someone asks me where I live in conjunction to where I work, I get the same dramatic response. "What a drive!" "Talk about a commute!" "So much gas!"
They aren't exactly wrong, but they also forget that my forty-five-mile drive into DTC for work equals their eighteen-mile city commute. How is that possible you ask? Time.
You see, I may have farther to travel, but I rarely experience any traffic during my trip. If you're living in the city and commuting in the city, all you get is traffic. In the end, we spend the same amount of time commuting to and from work, we just travel different distances.
My route in and out of the city (my family and I refer to it as "heading down the hill" or "heading back up the hill") is honestly a very pleasant one. You can't beat the scenery and there are never that many cars on the road.
I live up the hill to be close to my family and our family ranch. I board my horse at my dad's ranch, and his property is only fifteen minutes from mine. My brother and sister-in-law and their kids are an easy five minutes from me. We are a tight-knit clan.
Add in the fact that my dog has acres of open space for a backyard, my neighbors are the kindest and most helpful humans around, the air smells better, and the peace and quiet can't be matched -- mountain living is simply magical.
Now I don't live in a secluded log cabin across a river and through the woods. I live in a tiny townhouse connected to another unit in a subdivision neighborhood off of Highway 285. Some houses have more acres than others - some even have barns and pastures, but most lots are about 2 or so acres with large gravel driveways, mature evergreens and pines, and big wrap-around decks. Our neighborhood is set between public open space, and we have multiple trailheads you can access just steps beyond our back porches. We get that mountain vibe with the comfort and community of a neighborhood. I feel insanely safe where I live, and I also recognize that most of my neighbors share my same 2nd Amendment sentiments. Deer often invade our yards and the bears constantly attempt to empty our trash bins... those are the only real nuisances though.
Living up the hill wasn't just a commuting change for me - it was a lifestyle change. One that I'm very grateful to have made. My hobbies and the things I hold most dear are in the mountains, and although I still make plenty of trips down to the city for other non-work-related events, I generally prefer to stay up around 8,000 feet.
Maybe it's part of getting older - or maybe it's just the high-altitude air impacting my thought process. Either way, this mountain girl loves her 285 life.