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)

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 intent is to serve as your guide to:

Colorado-Inspired Travel Adventures in Asia & Beyond

Colorado Saram and dog (Winnie) at Conan Beach, Jeju Island - Korea.

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.

Think of it like the movie Goodfellas. You ski, you hike, and you like to travel to interesting places. Maybe you even have a dog.

To paraphrase 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 “Colorado people,” but to also inspire us to explore beyond our home borders.

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)

FeaturedKorea 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.

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.

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Border Collie Winnie tries out the Ruffwear Front Range Daypack
FeaturedKorea Life & TravelPaws

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.

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Ferry from Jeju Island to Wando with dog and car.

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.

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

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.

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Salomon S|Pro Alpha Flex 130 ski boot
BoardsFeaturedKorea Life & Travel

A Complete Guide to Muju Deogyusan Resort: a Hidden Gem in South Korea

Muju Deogyusan Resort is a hidden gem resort destination in South Korea's Jeollabuk-Do province. Compared to the popular resorts in Gangwon-Do, Muju's distance from Seoul makes it a more quaint alternative ski destination. This laid-back resort caters to all skill levels and offers diverse accommodation options. Check out this guide and review with terrain highlights, and practical tips for visitors.

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Beginner Lucy, takes to slopes at Muju Deogyusan Resort
The author of Colorado Saram skis at Silverton, Colorado.


International Adventures on Boards

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


International Adventures in Boots

Kalalau Beach, Kauai


International Adventures in Sand

Dog Friendly Stand Up Paddling in Jeju Island.


Dog-Friendly Travel & Pet-Friendly Itineraries

Temple Scene in South Korea


Life and travel in South Korea through the eyes of a seasoned expat.

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 After Leaving Alcohol Behind

Story of Colorado Saram:

The author of Colorado Saram skis at Silverton, Colorado.

The story begins in Colorado

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

Atop Mount Kinabalu, the tallest mountain in Southeast Asia

A hike in Borneo leads to a new path

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. 

“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