Denver Then and Now

I used to believe that our memories like to play tricks on us. We remember things not as they were or happened but as our brain allows us. It forces out negative, scary or embarrassing feelings leaving us the awareness that something unpleasant happened in the past. As much as I believe this is cheating of some sorts, I still really appreciate this ability. Otherwise, the weight of the things that were done and couldn’t be changed, can press down on us and mess with our present and future.

In 2007, the whole 9 years ago, I did the craziest thing my parents could have ever imagined and signed up for Work & Travel program that basically meant spending three months working in the United States as an international student and then traveling for a month around the country.

The papers were signed and the tickets were bought. After flying about 12 hours over the ocean and foreign lands, I finally stepped out of the plane and held my breath.

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The Denver Int’l Airport was huge! It looked like a small well-operated town with its own infrastructure, life, and citizens. Just a step back here, you have to understand I had never seen anything like that before. It was massive, it was busy, it was heart-pounding. And I loved everything about it! I was taking pictures non-stop of everything around: stores, cafes, airlines’ stands… Being born and raised in a small town meant learning about the world through movies. And that movie was definitely one of the best I had ever seen!

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I knew that I was about to see Denver, a beautiful city of Colorado, and it was the only reason I finally made it out of the door.

Do you remember me saying that the airport was huge? Forget it. The city WAS enormous! Streams of cars, multitudes of people running in all directions, the tallest and dizziest buildings, craziest outfits you can imagine and constant chatting in the language I had spent years learning and still was not able to understand at the moment. Have you ever been to road coaster? Do you remember the feeling of being dead-like scared but still wanting to scream at the top of your lungs from the excitement (and maybe help to release the fear)? That’s exactly how I felt when I stepped out of the airport and inhaled the air of Colorado.

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Guess what? Last week after a nine-year break, I visited this great city full of the sweetest memories again. My memory did play a little trick on me though. I remember it bigger and louder, wider and crazier. Or maybe it is me who has changed?..

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