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Colorado

An American state in the Rocky Mountains, renowned for its breathtaking beauty, abundance of outdoor activities, and a contagious spirit of adventure.

Saram 사람

Korean for “person,” “person of,” or “person from”

Pronunciation: (sah-rahm)

Rhymes with (.com)

Korean for "person," "person of," or "person from"

Pronunciation: (sah-rahm)

Rhymes with (.com)

Welcome to Colorado Saram, the travel blog of John Buckley, a Colorado native and lifelong traveler. Born and raised in the ski resort town of Vail, I worked in resort PR before a travel bug bit. This led to a ski season in New Zealand in coordination with a year-long, solo, round-the-world adventure.

That year abroad changed my life’s trajectory, eventually leading me to consider South Korea a second home. Through many years of international travel, I’ve always kept my Colorado roots close to the heart.

My goal is to use my passion for international outdoor adventure to serve as your guide to:

Colorado-Inspired Travel Adventures in Asia & Beyond

Whether you live in Colorado, have visited it on vacation, or have never even heard of it, if you seek to explore the natural world, then you are a Colorado Saram.

Translation: a Colorado person.

Imagine it like the movie ‘Goodfellas’. You ski, you hike, and you like to travel to interesting places. You seek outdoor adventures. Maybe you even have a dog.

In the words of Henry Hill from the movie:

“Like you’d say to somebody, ‘You’re gonna like this person. They’re all right. They’re one of us.”

They’re a Colorado Saram.

My goal is to embrace the wonderful qualities that define us as adventurous spirits, but also to inspire exploration beyond our home borders, whether you’re from Colorado or anywhere else in the world.

Whether you live in Colorado, have visited it on vacation, or have never even heard of it, if you seek to explore the natural world, then you are a Colorado Saram.

Translation: a Colorado person.

Imagine it like the movie 'Goodfellas'. You ski, you hike, and you like to travel to interesting places. You seek outdoor adventures. Maybe you even have a dog.

In the words of Henry Hill from the movie:

“Like you'd say to somebody, 'You're gonna like this person. They’re all right. They’re one of us."

They’re a Colorado Saram.

My goal is to embrace the wonderful qualities that define us as adventurous spirits, but also to inspire exploration beyond our home borders, whether you’re from Colorado or anywhere else in the world.

Befriended by Myanmar Monks

Getting Off the Beaten Path

Yangon Township, Myanmar

Annapurna Circuit Trek in Nepal

Heading into the Himalayas

Annapurna Circuit, Nepal

Teaching the family trade to my new wife in Korea

Teaching a New Colorado Saram to Ski

Vivaldi Park, South Korea

Teaching the family trade to my new wife in Korea

Dog-Friendly Travel

Jeju Island, South Korea

Fresh Tracks

Latest Blog Posts

Alcohol-Free Life & TravelFeatured

Embracing Sobriety: Reflections on My First Year Completely Alcohol-Free

As I celebrate my first full year without alcohol, I look back on the journey and reflect on all the positive changes its absence has brought to my life.

Without minimizing its power, the hold alcohol had on my life feels released. I have no desire to go back to it.

Although it may always be lurking over my shoulder, I rarely even think about it anymore.

I don’t hold any grudges towards it; it gave me some of the best memories of my life. However, it became unsustainable.

They say the opposite of love isn’t hate; it’s indifference. And that’s where I choose to place alcohol for as long as I can.

I just don’t need it anymore.

Read More

At the top of Sky Ranch in Gangwon Province, South Korea
FeaturedSouth Korea Life & Travel

Drive in South Korea: A Complete Foreigner’s Guide

South Korea has a remarkably affordable and well-run public transportation network, making it relatively easy to get around without a car, especially in the major cities.

However, whether you are traveling in South Korea for a short time or living there long-term, having the ability to drive a car can make traveling around the country much easier.

It opens up difficult-to-access parts of the country and allows you to explore much deeper and get off-the-beaten-path.

Read More

The author loads his dog into the car on a ski trip in Gangwon Province, South Korea.
BootsFeaturedGearPaws

Ruffwear Front Range vs. Switchbak, Singletrak, and OneTigris: Dog Pack Review

The review explores the Ruffwear Front Range Dog Day Pack, which was trail-tested with my Border Collie, Winnie. Although pleased with the sturdiness and design, I reflect on the fact that a more compact option like the Ruffwear Switchbak may have been more suitable for my dog and our lack of deep backcountry adventures. I delve into additional alternatives such as the pricier Ruffwear Singletrak, which offers hydration bladders, and the
more economical OneTigris Dog Pack.

Read More

Border Collie Winnie tries out the Ruffwear Front Range Daypack
FeaturedPawsSouth Korea Life & Travel

Smooth Sailing: An In-Depth Guide to Jeju Island Ferry Travel

If you’ve decided to visit Jeju Island, South Korea, you’ll soon confront a crucial question: How do I get there? Unless you’re an Olympic swimmer, you essentially have two options: fly or take a ferry. I share my personal experience and explain why opting for the ferry might be your best choice. I’ll also guide you through the process, including how I brought my own car and dog along, to help you decide if Jeju Island Ferry travel is the best option for you.

Read More

Ferry from Jeju Island to Wando with dog and car.
BoardsFeaturedGear

Sukoa Premium Padded Ski Bag: My Top Pick for Air Travel in 2024

After years of using rental skis in South Korea, I recently purchased the Sukoa Premium Padded Ski Bag to transport my old K2 Pontoon skis from Colorado to live with me in Korea. Though the Sukoa was the right choice for me, I delve into several more expensive options like the TOURIT Rolling Ski and Boot Bag Combo and the Thule Roundtrip Ski Bag which may suit those willing to pay a bit more for rolling capabilities.

Read More

I used the Sukoa Padded Ski Bag to transport my K2 Pontoons from Colorado to South Kore
GearBoardsFeatured

Salomon S/Pro Alpha Flex 130 Ski Boot Review

A seasoned, former racer reviews the Salomon S/Pro Alpha Flex 130 ski boots. As a high-performance, low-volume option geared towards expert skiers, they offer heat-moldable customization, a stiff flex rating of 130 for control, and GripWalk soles for versatile terrain navigation. Priced at $799.95, the Salomon S/Pro Alpha 130 ski boots represent a sound investment in skiing performance and comfort for serious skiers.

Read More

Salomon S|Pro Alpha Flex 130 ski boot

Trail Map

Content Navigation

The author of Colorado Saram skis at Silverton, Colorado.

Boards

International Adventures on Boards

Atop Thorong La Pass, altitude 5.416 meters, on the Annapurna Circuit 21-day trek in Nepal.

Boots

International Adventures in Boots

Kalalau Beach, Kauai

Beaches

International Adventures in Sand

Dog Friendly Stand Up Paddling in Jeju Island.

Paws

Dog & Pet Friendly Travel

Temple Scene in South Korea

South Korea

Life and Travel 

Moorea, Tahiti is known for it's stunning beauty and posh honeymoon resorts. My friend and I stayed in a shack on the beach that gave me bed bugs, but you couldn't beat the view!

AF Life & Travel

Exploring Life and Travel in Sobriety

Story of Colorado Saram:

Story of Colorado Saram:

Story of Colorado Saram:

The author of Colorado Saram skis at Silverton, Colorado.

The story begins in Colorado

Atop Mount Kinabalu, the tallest mountain in Southeast Asia

A hike in Borneo leads to a new path

While living and working in New Zealand, I met a great group of friends and explored some of the South Island's best ski fields: Coronet Peak, The Remarkables and Treble Cone.

A ski season in New Zealand broadens my horizons

Colorado and Hanguk Saram Wedding Photo

Korea becomes a second home. 

Colorado Saram is born.

Are you a Colorado Saram?

If you’ve found yourself on this blog seeking information and inspiration for international outdoor adventures, the simple answer is “yes, you are indeed a Colorado Saram.”

Though native Coloradoans can be a bit prickly about who qualifies as a “local” and who does not, rest assured that I won’t be checking IDs at the door.

Colorado Saram aims to infuse the spirit of Coloradoan adventure into international travel. I’ve skied, trekked, biked and explored my way around the globe, and I hope to help you do the same. 

If you've found yourself on this blog seeking information and inspiration for international outdoor adventures, the simple answer is "yes, you are indeed a Colorado Saram."

Though native Coloradoans can be a bit prickly about who qualifies as a "local" and who does not, rest assured that I won’t be checking IDs at the door.

Colorado Saram aims to infuse the spirit of Coloradoan adventure into international travel. I’ve skied, trekked, biked and explored my way around the globe, and I hope to help you do the same.

If you've found yourself on this blog seeking information and inspiration for international outdoor adventures, the simple answer is "yes, you are indeed a Colorado Saram."

Though native Coloradoans can be a bit prickly about who qualifies as a "local" and who does not, rest assured that I won’t be checking IDs at the door.

Colorado Saram aims to infuse the spirit of Coloradoan adventure into international travel. I’ve skied, trekked, biked and explored my way around the globe, and I hope to help you do the same.

“Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.”

Anthony Bourdain