This Spring I visited Chamonix, our Sister City, for my cousin’s wedding. My girlfriend and I were graciously greeted by long-time Sister Cities Liaison Jacques, Mayor Erik, and a number of Council members and City Staffers.
Chamonix, my first time to visit, is stunning. The mountains rise near vertically into oblivion, 3-5 times the height of the peaks visible from Aspen. Though international, the community maintains the pace and effect of a French ski town, the small pedestrian streets littered with outdoor gear stores as troops of rope, crampon, and ski laden locals tread by on the way to an untold adventure.
In conversation with staff, electeds, and locals, we are united by more than our shared enthusiasm for the outdoors and sport. Our communities are inherently international, creative, and cultural. We share pressures of demand on our housing, transportation, and wilderness, and seek to address skyrocketing prices, overuse, equity of access, and preservation of character.
Though the problems are similar, our history, culture, and mindset are delightfully different, yet similar enough, with a firm overlap in our Ven-diagram.
What did I learn? That a life with travel and exchange is more fulfilled. That beauty can be found everywhere. That in our diversity of perspective, shared amongst sisters, we are more likely to meet our moment. That we are better together.