Why Not Telluride you ask? While Telluride is spectacular and I felt as if I were in Disneyland all the time, it does have it’s challenges. And while I was there for three months, I had three places to live and three jobs, thus the challenges I’ll share with you.
One: Housing is extremely limited not to mention Telluride is very secluded. And another reason why I chose Telluride to start with! For example, in the Telluride Daily Planet (that comes out twice a week) there are four pages of jobs for anyone that can get there, yet there is a small little partial column of available places to live. Add in the fact that many homes between the town of Telluride and Mountain Village atop the Gondola are multi-million dollar homes with one owner who does not want anyone living in it while they are gone. So while I had friends with homes that had eight rooms, it was understandable that they did not want to rent any of them out for seasonal employees like me or anyone else. Nor did they want to be penalized for owning large homes, while I also knew of people who were living in their cars just to get to work.
If you ask me, it was a mess and here is my personal experience: The first house I rented was shared with me via Facebook and the owner wanted me to coordinate the roommates, utilities and the lease which I did gladly thinking I’d have a place for the entire season. That was until I became aware that she had her own set of issues, she could barely care about me or the house; I didn’t even get a walk through, and when I tried to make a list of “As Is Conditions” she broke the lease on Day 4 for me. Well, with the rental market as it is, I found a replacement roommate in minutes until one of my roommates decided to move out of a shared space and into my room. Ultimately, I ended up renting my room from her until she arrived and I found a new place to go.
Enter place #2. It was in town and also needed roommates and all the utilities set up again, which I had done in my name for the first house until I moved out. And again, the owner wanted me to do all the work gathering roommates and setting up the utilities in my name, but this time the house was not ready and there were still people living in it. She asked me to wait, and wait and wait.
In the mean time, I about to start couch surfing because there was just so much waiting until I ended up on a crazy journey that sent me to five different people and ended with a call from a fellow co-worker that had a lock-off, which is a one bedroom space connected to his condo that was available but it was at a hotel. He said, you can move in and enjoy for the time being so I was thrilled and rented place #3 from him for the month.
In that time, I had started my full time job for TelSki while we all waited for the snow and skiers to show up. All of the stores were immaculately stocked and at my job I’d spend an entire day getting the area ready and only see a handful of members. It was quiet but I kept busy making sure all the details were handled, knowing that it would be crazy busy soon. During my off time I met so many great people and even started teaching yoga and auditioned to teach spinning at a new studio. I loved Telluride, my work mates, my room mates, and even got a Colorado license, post office box because the first house wouldn’t allow us to use the mailbox associated with the house and that should have been my first red flag, but I didn’t want to see it, and new bank accounts in town. I took the Gondola to work and loved the fact that most of the members were from Texas and with my background in ClubCorp and teaching for resorts, I was thrilled to be there. I’d developed a few coaching clients that worked perfectly with my schedule via Skype. While Giselle went with me everywhere on my days off and Zoe started getting CBD oils that were definitely affecting her positively since she was on meds for Lupus. We were great and I was committed 100% to my life there that kept unfolding in front of me with great experiences.
Until, I got two calls for interviews for jobs I’d applied for months in advance! Let me preface by saying this all happened within 24 hours because I was left with my head spinning. First, I went to work and then took my break for my first interview. It was for a part time job that would work perfectly with my current job because it would have been on my own time, but the clencher was that it would have been long term and THAT is what I wanted. I just needed more job security. I didn’t want to be seasonal and my current job was scheduled to end in April. I seriously wanted to stay for at least a year. And that’s what I had originally intended with the first house.
And this brings me to Issue #2 with Telluride and that is the Work Force itself because as it turns out, these jobs wait for you to find your own housing to then interview who ever is available for the job! And my manager had originally told me this before I came, he said, Sandy, find a place to live and there are plenty of jobs. Telluride has a mix of eccentric, happy, educated and amazing people and I loved every minute I was there. I’d even had my portfolio sent to me so that I could respond to requests. I was totally proud of experience and happy to take my time and focus it for the local community in a long term full time job.
I was so excited about the second interview and it would have been a fabulous full time job, so when I heard from my manager on my day off I knew it was not going to be good news but still I showed up. And that’s when, just an hour after my interview high, I was told that I didn’t ghost enough (fade into the wall paper) around members and hung on to long to a conversation and that my name had come up a few times and it was time to sever ties, oh and by the way, your team mates feel threatened by you. As my manager kept saying, you have so much going on, and this is a front line job. I actually cried, and you know why as my roommate shared with me, because I cared. Others told me later that I did my job to well and most likely it was members of management that felt threatened. At this point, all I knew was that I’d done my job. I’d done everything I said I would do. Just like with my roommates. I was very clear about my intentions and I showed up 100%. Being in transition is stressful but it was just happening and I was staying afloat happily. It had been an emotional day but I went to sleep without a guilty conscience and got 12 hours of sleep. Bliss.
When I woke up I didn’t know what to do but to take care of myself and the girls. It felt great! Because at first I was told that I’d be working Christmas, New Years and Spring Break and I was all in. But now, I was available and I hadn’t even had time to purchase gifts yet. Thank goodness I’d put all of my Holiday Cards in the mail in time. I actually went out and bought more cards to send to my new friends in town including Thank you cards for those I’d interviewed with. Yes, I am one of the last souls that actually send out hand written thank you cards because I was thankful for the opportunity to interview with amazing community leaders.
And within those 24 hours, House #3 called that they were finally ready for me to sign a lease and that’s when I had to pass. I am averse to sticky situations and there was obviously a reason why her house was never ready when it was originally supposed to be and why I was in a great but temporary situation. I was getting used to living in a hotel. It was gorgeous and I knew everyone there. I could walk to the grocery store and there was a hot tub and maid service. But if I wasn’t working then, I needed to leave. Plus, when you work for TelSki you receive a Season Pass and I didn’t check mine, but I just knew that it didn’t work anymore. Thank goodness I used it to snowboard on the mountain just a few days earlier. At least I got one day in! And it was fantastic. I remembered the mountain so vividly. I knew where I was going and it had been years since I was first there. It was spectacular. I felt as if I had my very own pastry chef aka the chocolate man from Zermatt and the Chef was totally fun and had a great dog… I could go on and on. Plus, I even ran into my manager, bought him a shot and gave him a hug saying, Thank you for setting me free, and I meant it. I spent time enjoying myself and having fun. On Christmas Eve, I made brownies and shared them with everyone on staff. They had taken care of me and I wanted to thank them with a hand made special gift. And since I hadn’t made any plans, I took myself out for a nice dinner and ran into friends and even met new ones including a guy that offered to hire me! Again, I went to sleep like a rock knowing I’d had a great time.
But then, my roommate had guests arriving, that I knew about in advance, and I had plans to house sit so on Christmas Day I spent the day packing my things and moving to the most beautiful home, Home #4. It was in a canyon and since it had just snowed and I didn’t have snow tires, I got to park in the heated garage and take their red jeep. It was a slice of heaven for the time I was there. It was peaceful and secluded and silent. All I had to do was take care of the animals and myself and I’d found a waffle iron! You see when I first moved into town, I was sad to have forgotten my waffle iron and kept checking Telluride Sweet Deals and even Second Chance Thrift shop for one and ended up with a Toaster oven and Sunlight lamp. Finally, I could make waffles and that’s when I knew I was leaving. The same thing had happened before I left for Texas earlier in the year while house sitting for some friends in their fabulous new house in Conifer. But this time the waffles weren’t just square, these were circus animals and I ate a Castle. With $8 French Vanilla Whipped Cream since I was in a resort town and everything was 30-40% more expensive, but it was perfection. That can of whipped cream even came home with me to Houston.
Now that I’m back and have spent the past week in a love hug from all of my friends, family and clients, I am happy to have had the chance to live and work in Telluride and Mountain Village. I’ve got so much to write about from 2016 and my Seriously Silly Six Month Sojourn. And it was my turn for a road trip after taking others on theirs. From July 15 to December 15 was a fabulous journey. At first I left scared and broke with a “check in the mail” but with a lead food that got me to Colorado pretty quickly. To returning ready to publish the first of five projects sitting in my computer. And more importantly for the journey itself: Dispersed Camping, Getting Fully Sniffed by an injured mamma bear looking for food for her one cub, getting circled by coyotes twice, and then having to leave because of the Displaced Housing Situation in Telluride. Whew! I’ve got stories to tell! And now I’m more focused than ever.