Life Out West: Months 7 & 8

Since I moved to Denver, I’ve been posting monthly updates about the ups and downs of life out west: check out month 1months 2&3months 4&5 and month 6 here. Most of these photos are from Instagram, @ashleyabroad– find me there for travel inspiration and mountain pics! 

I hate to be such a blogging cliché, but here goes- I can’t believe it’s been a month since I blogged! I blame my absence on a few factors.

One, it’s summer, and the last thing I want to do is be holed up inside on my computer. Two, when I put in effort into other arenas, like working extra hours, exercising more or getting outside, my blog (sadly) suffers.

But anyway I’m back and life lately has been fun. I’m busy almost every night which is exactly how I like it.


New hair- a bit blonder for summer!

They say people come to Colorado for the winters but stay for the summers. I now TOTALLY get that.


Savoring every second of Colorado summer.


A salted caramel peanut butter cup ice cream cone at Denver’s most popular ice cream shop, Little Man Ice Cream.

Summer in Colorado is truly glorious. On weeknights I’m usually hiking the foothills of the Rocky Mountains or drinking on rooftops. On weekends I’m either attending music festivals, hiking, camping or white-water rafting. Or enjoying Sunday Funday, obviously.

And as a francophile I love any chance I can get to force friends and coworkers drink wine and eat cheese, so I enjoyed hosting a wine and cheese party back in May.




Catching 80’s and 90’s flicks at Red Rocks.

Film on the Rocks is AMAZING. Essentially you just grab a beer and spend the evening watching old-school movies on the big screen in the amphitheatre. Recently I’ve seen both Jurassic Park and The Princess Bride, one of my all-time favorite childhood movies.


Lots and Lots of Music.

Per my 2015 goal to make music a bigger part of my life, I’ve seen ton of shows recently.

So far I’ve seen HOLYCHILD and Passion Pit, Cage the Elephant and Flume, my absolute favorite DJ. unnamed-2

Friends at the Flume concert!

But honestly the best show was Luke Bryan at Sports Authority Field. Beforehand  we tailgated with fried chicken and very hoppy IPAs- so I was basically in heaven from the get-go. Once inside, his concert felt like the Fourth of July, full of unchecked patriotism and fireworks.

Sunday dinners with friends.

The thing that bothered me most about long-term travel was the lack of community and long-term friends, so it makes me super happy to have a group of good friends in Denver.


And thankfully, all my friends love good food as much as I do. Every Sunday we get together for “family dinner”, which be anything from super authentic ramen at a Japanese farmhouse to hole-in-the-wall dim sum. Nom.


Enjoying the Great Outdoors as much as possible.

While I don’t love commuting, I’m super grateful to work in Boulder as after work I get to hike here:



While I’m still far from my goal of being in good enough shape to hike a 14’er (that’s Colorado speak for a 14,000-foot mountain) I’m getting there slowly but surely.

Last weekend I felt super outdoorsy as my coworkers and I went camping and white-water rafting. While I’m still not sold on sleeping in a tent when cozy B&Bs are nearby, I still love the whole friends-around-a-fire experience.

And I absolutely loved adrenaline rush of white-water rafting on the Arkansas river- next I want to try class-4 rapids!


A very rainy May.

In May it rained almost every day, which apparently is not characteristic of Colorado weather at all. I also got sick in May so I was thrilled for June to come along.


Sales slump.

Sales is so full of ups and downs, and the downs are demoralizing. I’m doing much better now, but have decided that if I kill it in July I’m rewarding myself with an ONA bag and a wide-angle lens. Just because.


So freaking behind on blogging.

I still love blogging as much as ever but am ridiculously behind. This summer I’m going to try and play catch-up and in the fall will hopefully be able to actually write about my life here.


What’s Coming Up


In the coming months I will be taking French classes, attending a bachelorette party in Vail and heading to Telluride for Pretty Lights, where my friends and I are renting a gorgeous nine-bedroom house. I’ll also be heading back to Michigan for a few weddings and am planning a big international trip! (I’ll share more once I book the tickets.)

Oh, and I’m turning 25 later this month!


Most Liked Instagram Photo


A little #TBT of the Taj Majal.

How are your guys’ summers going so far? Also if you’re on Snapchat let’s be friends! @Ashleyabroad.

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About Ashley Fleckenstein

Ashley is a travel and lifestyle blogger who lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Since college she has au paired in Paris, backpacked the world solo, and lived in Uganda. Her work has been featured by Buzzfeed, Forbes, TripAdvisor, and Glamour Magazine.

26 thoughts on “Life Out West: Months 7 & 8”

  1. Great to see you loving life in Colorado!

    Am I allowed to request recipe posts on all this amazing food you make? I know you’re busy but every time you talk about food you make, I immediately get hungry!

  2. Oh, I love your Instagram photo of Taj Mahal, Ashley, it brings back so many amazing memories of my own journey across Northern India.

    Your life in Colorado sounds great and I really like the of idea of Sunday dinners with friends, I should do something like that with my friends in Cologne as well. I am looking forward to read where your next big international trip will take you. I am also planning my next international trip(s) as well and, like you, I will reveal on my Blog where it will take me once everything is fixed.

  3. My head is swimming from all your activities and have to admit I am envious
    .of course I couldn’t be doing all of them even if offered. I am so pleased for
    You ! The photos show what a fantastic place you are in. Your friends are so
    energetic and fun loving! Keep on doing and loving your life.

    We are thinking of you and missing you!!



    • I’d highly recommended it- lots of young professional transplants, perfect weather, mountains, reasonable cost of living and growing economy. My only complaints is that Denver’s a little small for someone used to metropolises and it’s not diverse at all really. But everything else is great!

  4. I enjoy your blog whenever it pops up. You demonstrate that work and fun can occur in the same paragraph. Denver like any city (or maybe a little more) is full of potential activities to keep you pumped and enjoying life. Keep it up, you set a good example for us all. And you hair is truly ‘movie star.’

  5. It looks like life is good in Denver! Reading this makes me realize how much I love Colorado. Denver and Boulder are so high on my list of places I’d like to live. And seeing your photo of Boulder made me SO excited for my trip there later this month. After being in Jakarta for a year I seriously can’t wait to go hiking and see some nature :)

    • I totally get that! I’m actually afraid to move to a big city after this because I wonder if I’ll miss being surrounded by nature. I do have to say, it’s pretty nice! :)

  6. These posts make me seriously long for a life in Colorado! You make it look so damn appealing! The movies at Red Rocks and actually HAVING A GROUP OF FRIENDS, specifically. And all the concerts. I need to find some good festivals while I’m in Europe for the summer or I might lose it!

    • The friends thing is more important than anything else because for so long I was just meeting people and saying goodbye. And I always found that sad :(. There are so many great concerts in Europe- my friends went to Primavera Sound and really loved it :)

  7. You sound as if you’re enjyoing life Ashley and having fun, and that’s how it should be so enjoy the moments LOL!

    I’m having a great summer. Not weather wise as Europe has had nothing but Mweeh type of weather. It not being cold or being hot. Sigh! However, I went to Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia & Finland for the first time at Easter. It was snowing LOL!

    Most importantly, our Queen Elizabeth came to Berlin a week ago and I was practically everywhere as a British expat blogger! It was brilliant. I got to make a documentary about how I live (sort-of), I did a radio interview about being a British expat in Berlin AND I ended up being on German Live TV on a very respectable German show having been invited as an expert on the British monarchy! I was a little bit scared as it was live and I had to speak in German, but I made a good job of it I think. Phew!

  8. Your hair looks great! I wish there was something like Film on the Rocks near me! That just seems so cool! And those hiking photos are stunning!

  9. ooh which wide angle are you thinking of getting? i love photography and i am dying to rent / try out a 70 – 200 mm. i had the ona backpack for a while but ultimately just use a regular backpack now. it was a bit TOO compartmentalized haha!


    • I guess that makes sense! There are quite a few compartments inside :). I’m thinking about getting the same one Young Adventuress has, the Canon 10-22. I thought it would be awesome because as I live in Colorado it would be awesome to take landscape shots!

  10. You’re giving me major fixed life envy right now. :p It sounds a lot like how my life was in Santa Barbara! I love that movie on the rocks thing, so cool! That’s awesome that you’ve been able to settle in and make a good group of friends so quickly. I think next year when I come home and “settle down” I’d like to move to Colorado, it seems like such an amazing place. :)

  11. Oh, my dream is to move to Colorado soon. I will be keeping up to date with all related posts. My fiance’s job is in the suburbs where nothing happens and no one my age lives here… I’m hoping we’ll be able to make to move over there or somewhere equally as cool.

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