As I’ve mentioned in previous posts I am a recent transplant to Denver from England. Since I’ve been in the Mile High City, which I’m starting to think is an apt nickname for reasons other than its elevation, I have made a conscious effort to get to know my new home. This has included discovering some really cool places that I am convinced everyone should see. Since this post isn’t long enough to name them all, I’ve only included a few of my favorites places to visit in Denver.
One of the first places I made time to visit was the Colorado State Capitol Building, and I still go back on occasion. I was pleasantly surprised by its neoclassical design, which is reminiscent of some of my favorite buildings back in England. This is also what draws me back whenever I get homesick. I simply love the iconic gold dome, and I should point out that it is also an important part of the Denver skyline.
This small house doesn’t look that different than other turn of the century homes, but the simple fact that it is the former residence of “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” makes it a must see for visitors and Denver residents. The home has been turned into a museum dedicated to the socialite and activist, and I assure you a visit here will be well worth your time.
I know that this is a little ways out of Denver, but if you are fascinated by dinosaurs it is worth the short drive. The trails can be a little steep at times, but when you get to the natural landmark you will be glad that you made the effort. After all, where else can you see fossilized dinosaur prints that look almost as pristine as when they were first made. There is also a museum and of course the chance that you might discover a fossil of your own.
Even if you don’t like or even “get” abstract art this museum is still worth a visit. The entire building is devoted to the painter and minimalist artist Clyfford Still, and with several exhibits you might be surprised to find one or two that you like. If nothing else, he is considered one of the most influential painters of the 20th century and that alone makes his museum one of Denver’s “must see” attractions.
I know it is a little strange to see a golf course on a list of must see places to visit, but trust me everyone should play a couple of holes on this one. First of all it has been consistently voted one of the best municipal golf courses in the country, and it literally has something for all types of players. There are 7 golf courses so beginners can take their time and pros can breeze on by without any problems. There is even a course that will keep kids happily occupied. It also doesn’t hurt that City Park Golf is meticulously maintained, and I swear it looks just as good as some of the courses I’ve played on in England.
Like any other job, being a travel assistant has its perks and not so good moments. But I love my job and I cannot envision myself doing something else, at least at this point in my life. Let me tell you about how my day starts. If you are a coffee lover, like I am, you know how important it is to get your bitter fix first thing in the morning. The main problem is that, from the very first moment I take a seat in my chair, my phone starts ringing. And that is when all the beautiful chaos begins, and my coffee ends up being postponed for lunch and sometimes even later when I get to think whether I should still have coffee or not.
It is something challenging and highly motivating about being a travel assistant for different people. They need routes to be thought out cleverly, they need the best, yet the most affordable accommodations in the city and they need to get where they want fast. Even more so, a travel assistant must be pretty much a know-it-all, when it comes to the unexpected. Of course, having access to Internet makes things easier for travel assistants in this day and age. Sometimes, I just need to visit several websites and get their best quotes so I can offer my clients the best solutions for their needs. Please do keep in mind that I used the word ‘sometimes’. More often, I have to draw an entire route using bits of information in my head, then run fast comparisons, using the same internal calculator I have implanted in my brain, and come up with the best and most decently priced option.
After that, I need to get back to the client and let them know of my findings. If they are satisfied, then that is all good. But that is not always the case, and I have to go to the drawing board once more, so I can find some alternatives that are more to their liking. There are times when they change your mind, and I need to start from zero. All this back and forth takes time and energy, and I have yet to encounter a day when I’ll have just a client or two on the line. Usually, I must juggle with several of them and I need to keep track of everything they want and need, without wasting valuable time.
The most rewarding moment is when a client calls and says that everything was fine and that they want to hire our services again. That is when a travel assistant knows that they did a great job!
As a British citizen who recently transferred to the United States I’ve had a lot of fun throwing myself into American culture. Thanks to my new friends at the travel agency I’ve discovered that I really enjoy fishing, and they’ve promised to take me hunting when the season starts. I might even get to go on an overnight trip, which means I also get to go camping for the first time in the states. While I still can’t get used to American Football I do enjoy watching soccer and tennis matches and this brings me to my new passion, baseball.
Baseball is a true American sport, and I even followed the World Series when I still lived overseas. It is a game that makes sense to me, unlike Americanized football which I still think is poorly named. Why name a game “football” when there is only one or two players on a team kicking the “old pigskin”? Anyways, my friends at work are part of a baseball team and recently they invited me to play. I can’t tell you how excited I was, and even a little honored.
Thankfully the game was just for fun, since this is my first time playing. I also didn’t realize just how much equipment was needed. I must say I am glad a friend convinced me to run out after work and buy a protective cup since I think this was also the pitcher’s first time throwing a ball.
My teammates stuck my in the far outfield, they claimed for my safety. Since there was very little action that far away from the bases, I think it was to also minimize the risk of my missing a hit that would allow the other team to win. Even though I didn’t get to make an amazing game winning catch, I saw plenty of action when I was up to bat. One of the things that I love about this sport is that everyone on the team gets a turn swinging a bat.
I admit that the first two times I was up to bat I struck out, except for the ball that hit me. Then I got to go to first base. Since the next two batters struck out, I never made it past first base until we got to the last inning in the game. On my last turn batting I managed to hit the ball, hard. It actually flew past the baseline. The excitement and exhilaration of running around the bases is indescribable, even though I only made it to third. While my team ended up losing by one run I am now hooked on baseball and can’t wait until we play again next weekend, especially since I just bought a pair of batting gloves and some cool shin pads. I’m dying to try out.
Hello there! My name is Dan Oliver, and I’m a British citizen who has recently relocated to the United States. I’m a travel assistant, and I’ve always been keen on the idea of continuing my career. I now work for a travel agency in Denver.
I have decided to start a blog because I wanted to document my experiences about adapting to my new life in the United States. Every day, I discover new things, some of which I like and some of which I don’t. While I did suffer some minor shocks at the beginning of my adventure, I have to say that I like living among US citizens because they are friendly and easy-going. Some of my colleagues helped me settle in. One of the first things that I noticed is that Americans don’t eat like Europeans. The local cuisine is packed with specialties that I still have to try, and the neat thing about it is that I’m open to new experiences. I know it might be less healthy, but once in a while I even like to try a new burger place or just a fast-food joint where I can get my carb and protein kick at the same time.
It’s no wonder that so many British people choose to live in the United States. Professionally and personally, my life couldn’t be better right now. I have a decent income that I can use to go out once in a while or even try my best at fishing. I have become fast friends with several of my colleagues and they’re passionate about fishing and hunting so that they might take me on their expeditions sooner or later. One thing I’ve noticed about the American culture is that it’s partly focused on sports. I’m not a big fan of American football but I do like a tennis match from time to time, and I’m trying to learn the basics of baseball. It can be rather daunting for a foreigner to understand the rules of this kind of sport.
American English is intuitive and user-friendly, and most of the words are extremely logical, which is why I have no issue understanding Americans. I know both the British and the Americans have their own slang, but given the openness of the European culture toward US movies and TV productions, I really have no problem communicating with the ones around me.
In short, I hope you will enjoy my adventures as I document them on my blog. Wishing you all the best!
PS If you’re interested about what other people had to say about adapting to life in the states, you should check out this post. I can’t say that I agree with it, but some of the points seem well documented.