Happy New Year from the Sandy & Snowy Colorado Springs!

Despite all the shit show 2020 played on us, it felt like this year went by faster than I thought. It rather felt much like a blur other than March COVID news flashings, and the November election in the U.S. Mark Manson mentioned in his recent post about life lessons from 2020 that when we slow down, strangely time seems to be speeding up.

At the end of 2020, I wanted to start a new tradition of hiking somewhere to see the New Year’s sunrise, so we came to the Great Sand Dunes in Colorado.

The sand dunes are about two and a half hours from Colorado Springs, but the tricky part is the living situation. In order to be able to see the sunrise, we had to stay the evening somewhere close. We were lucky to find this Airbnb 15 minutes outside of the sand dunes so we can sleep until 6:00 a.m. before driving up to the park. Even though this Airbnb had a bucket as the toilet, and barely a curtain for privacy, we all have survived. It was nice that the Airbnb had a microwave so we packed my favorite. . . (wait for it) SANDWICHES and canned soup for dinner on new year’s eve.

The bed wasn’t the most comfortable ever. I tossed and turned all night on the sofa couch, but we were just glad we had a proper shelter and aren’t either camping out in the 5° F (-15° C) weather or getting up at 4:00 a.m. and drive in from Alamosa. 

There is no defined trail so we just aimed for a semi-high peak and started walking. Trudging up the hill seems fun at first, but it gets tiring after a while trying to pull your legs out of the sand with the strong wind whipping the sand against your face. Alas, we finally made it and I am allowed to sit down and have some water.

The sun rose over the mountain range right around 7:30 a.m. and we were all so happy it heats up our bodies a little! Ellie (my friend’s pup) is sitting on the pad probably cursing all of us for dragging her out in the cold this early in the morning.

2020 has taught me many things. For one, this is the first year I really started saving and tracking my expenses after reading Vickie Robin’s book on Your Money or Your Life. I’ve always traveled abroad every year whether for work or personal; and the pandemic has prevented me from doing so this year. Instead, I found myself much calmer settling into a morning healthy routine I like at home, mostly borrowing from Tim Ferriss. I’ve stopped drinking alcohol & coffee completely this year and I am going to keep doing this. I took on a huge project of renovating the barn this year. I thought I could finish it by 2020 but we are nearing the finishing line! I am glad I took my time this time around unlike my first renovation, and I was able to keep the renovation expenses on a budget. 

I know I am somewhat privileged to not have been impacted by the pandemic as some of the others this year. Mr. Code Junkie and I were able to save up some money to go to Alaska when the COVID numbers were decreasing in September and had a blast. We are grateful for our friends and family who supported us emotionally throughout this year and they have also been in relatively good health.

May 2021 bring a little more hope and prosperity to everyone’s lives!


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