Montana – Wyoming – Utah Roadtrip

This is the last blogpost of 2020. When I wrote my last blogpost of the year, last year, the world looked a lot different. I was, as always, looking forward to my next big adventure (I’m glad we ended up taking it, in January to Colombia, before the world shut down in mid-March!), and awaiting the start of a new decade. No one could have predicted this is how the new decade would start. It’s been a tough year for many, and we are privileged enough to say that we have been so fortunate this year to be able to be flexible and just change our plans accordingly.

Hiking in Park City
View from Park City, Utah

I admit I am a little bummed that this pandemic shut down the world, perhaps more than most, since these two years of my MBA was supposed to be a vacation from work where I would be able to take off as much time as I want to travel and do whatever. Even though my life will be changing a lot next year with the arrival of baby Liu-Happ, it’s less the arrival of the baby and more of my work life that will disrupt my last few years of travel. Already I’m planning on taking the baby (or leaving it with someone) once it gets old enough to travel, before I start again at work – but once I officially start up again, I’m going to really have to crank it out for the next few years since they are some crucial promotion years. But at least the arrival of the pandemic solidified our plans to have our first human child next year, so we are excited that get that started!

Some Tibetian temple in the middle of…Montana??

The brightest area of this year was getting PANDA (sorry, pregnancy. Although I am sure I will love my baby, I will never be a baby person. Similarly, M loves Panda but will probably never be a dog person). It is true that I had to not be travelling/running around to be able to finally get the puppy of my dreams, so staying stuck at home has afforded me the luxury of being able to get Panda without guilt. I still hold a grudge against those who said getting a dog with my lifestyle would be a bad idea though – because you bet they’re not saying that about having human children, even though human children suck your resources and your time way more than fur babies do. If these were normal times, I certainly would be flying with Panda to places that he’s able to, and have plenty of friends who would be happy to dogsit for weeks if needed. (The same could not be said about friends who would want to babysit a child for weeks, hah!) Anyway Panda has been such a joy in life, especially in the long cold Boston winter when I won’t be traveling anywhere. He’s helped with my physical and mental health so much, and even though he’s just a puppy is the definition of unconditional love. We are currently roadtripping through upstate New York with him, and he’s having a blast!

Mining town in Utah

This blogpost is to tie up the loose ends from our August national parks roadtrip. If I weren’t pregnant or had Panda I would want to be travelling to some Utah national parks this winter, but M is much more cautious about flying during the pandemic than I am so it would be a tossup of if we would be able to go. But since I have Panda, I am totally fine not flying anywhere for this long, cold winter, and have these wonderful memories and pictures of our last roadtrip to remind me of what’s awaiting us after the vaccines are distributed.

The Great Salt Lake

Ghost town in Wyoming

2021, I think you’ll be a harder year than 2020 for me personally. I’ll be graduating, having a baby, and going back to work in a world where the future of work is very much disrupted. It’s strange not being able to foretell how the year is going to look, but I’m excited to find out!

Salt Lake City, Utah

Enjoy these pictures! At the end of our roadtrip, we spent a few days in Park City, Utah at the St. Regis. It was the off-season, plus COVID, so Park City wasn’t as glamorous as its reputation, but was still a lovely few days to relax in the pool and start dialing into the first days of class.

A surprisingly delicious meal we had on the side of the road in Butte, Montana
The St. Regis
Ski practice at Olympic Park, Utah

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