I’ve lived in Chicago for almost six years, but this June, it’s time to say goodbye. There’s another place my rambling soul craves to be: Denver, Colorado.

As I’ve told several friends, “the mountains are calling.” From what little I understand about the state’s culture, this isn’t uncommon: many individuals visit Colorado, and make plans to return as tourists, but find themselves returning as residents. This tale perfectly describes my experience: after traveling through the Denver area many years ago, it has always remained a beautiful memory in my otherwise cluttered mind.

After we decided to move, I scheduled an appointment with a leasing agent — Sharon of the Apartment Guyz, if you’re curious — and hopped on a plane. The next three days were a whirlwind of activity, but I accomplished what mattered most in the end. I found a new home for our growing family. I also discovered something else that I didn’t expect.

In an attempt to simulate my future life, I used RTD Denver’s light rail and bus system extensively. Since we don’t currently own a vehicle (and have no immediate plans to purchase one), I hoped this exercise would help me understand daily life in the city; you know, commuting to and from downtown, and around the suburbs, should I need to leave my home office. Much to my surprise, the reliability of Denver’s public transport systems surpassed our own!

For reference, buses in the City of Chicago are routinely late, and sometimes don’t show at all. Even on the outskirts of Denver, I never had a bus arrive more than three minutes behind schedule.

Needless to say, I have many wonderful friends here in Chicago, and I’ll be sad to leave them behind. But I’m also excited about the opportunities that await me out west.

Until June, I’ll be here. If you’re in the city, or just traveling though, let’s connect (or re-connect). Because after June, I’ll be out west, in the desert.