My priority in traveling is experiencing places the way they REALLY are. Some people do travel for the good pay, some do it to test out a place before moving there full time, some people just do it for a change. I think living in a place is so different than visiting or going on vacation there, and that’s why I travel.

I love going to places and joining the local running club, learning the local hikes that only the locals know, and going to the bar with the good deals. I thought of this most recently on an over-night back packing trip in Colorado’s 10th Mountain Division Hut System. It was the kind of trip that would never, ever happen on a week vacation to Aspen. In my time here, I have developed a life with my regular hangouts, favorite runs, and my own friends…. Very different from a vacation!

I guess there’s the flip-side too. There was a town I visited growing up as a kid. Awesome, rustic summer vacations, scenic vistas, and plain-old good times. After living there for 5 months, I found this place to be a trashy, sprawling demi-city, witha highly transient population that was really the kind of place surrounded by cool stuff with very little to offer itself.

Living somewhere is very different from vacationing somewhere. Not necessarily good or bad, just different. I guess places are like people, some you are really drawn to, others you can only take in doses.

James R Spencer PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS

Currently: Aspen, CO

Moving to: Skowhegan, ME (in 3 days)