Wow, it's been a few since I was able to update! Miles and miles of road has been traveled! Today though I want to talk about checking a bucket list item off and why it's important. I recently visited the Grand Canyon, which was a bucket list item for me, and in doing so I had a small realization that I wanted to share with you all. For now let's just start at the beginning.
After the fiasco that was the tire situation (see last blog post here) I had some time to really think about where I wanted to go on this road trip, well at least at that point I did. While the main goal of the trip is to expand my portfolio and grow an audience, obviously important professional reasons, there are other goals too. I now have the opportunity to see a few places on my bucket list. Even at only 28 I think it's important to have a bucket list and to start checking items off this list. You're never too young or too old to start in my opinion. So much can change in a few years time that if you can do it now you should do it.
As I go a goal of mine was to at least check off five bucket list items. A lofty goal, but doable given the current circumstances. For me one of the highest items on my list was to see the Grand Canyon and OH BOY DID I DO IT.
Many (many) people stop in Page, Arizona to see the canyon first. It's a spectacular sight but it is CROOOOWDED with people. It's like Disneyland on steroids but everyone drives a bus instead of a stroller. This doesn't make it any less beautiful, just be prepared for it. In Page you actually drive across the canyon itself and can park nearby to walk back over the bridge if you should desire. Seeing as how I am terrified of heights, I did not. Ha ha ha. The walls of the canyon were richly saturated with deep reds and purples. So deep in some places it looked black. GORGEOUS. However, due to the overwhelming amount of people I continued on through the town about an hour and a half south to the eastern entrance of the state park because there was a campground I was planning on staying at near there. Turns out the campground was closed... A little surprised, but it didn't matter. I had a mission.
If you didn't know already, when you enter the Grand Canyon National Monument (with an entrance fee of $30 fyi) you're able to drive along miles of road paved along the top of the south rim with plenty of predetermined places to pull over that also happen to lead to some great along-the-rim hiking trails. I actually got really excited when I reached the entrance, kind of like when you're in line for splash mountain and now it's your turn to get on the ride. Shortly after the gate was my first glimpse into the canyon itself. It's otherworldly. The landscape almost looks like it's a painted on giant Hollywood backdrop.
One amazing detail, well maybe not if you've got small kids who don't listen well, there are very few places with handrails. You can literally walk right up to the edge of the canyon and hang your feet off. Honestly it was really nice not have everything roped or barred off. This made people more cautious and more respectful of the landscape and dramatically affected how well you can enjoy it.
Now I wasn't that brave so I didn't hang my feet off but I did walk right up to the edge and look down. Trust me, that's a big deal for me. Haha. Oddly enough when you're pumped full of adrenalin fear just seems to disappear! Ha, who knew?! I did it though and not just once. I got Koda out of my car and took her for a short hike along the rim of the canyon. It was amazing. She clearly knew her boundaries so she avoided the edge, but every now and then she'd walk right up to the edge, look down, and then turn around and look at me as if to say “DUDE, did you see this thing?!” My dog has no fear.
I spent 3 hours at the Grand Canyon that day. It wasn't enough time to see as much as I wanted. Most of it was spent actually driving along the road (at 35mph omg kill me). However, it was enough time for me to feel comfortable checking it off my bucket list. I would have stayed longer but by the time I was getting ready to leave the crowds were swelling as people were returning from their day adventures back to the campgrounds and hotels inside the park. Thousands of loud crazy tourists? I'm out!
I am not entirely sure why the Grand Canyon was such an important place to visit for me. In some way it made this whole adventure ... real. I know that sounds weird but standing there 6,000 feet (1,857 meters) above the river looking at one of the natural wonders of the world just kind of put it all into perspective. There I realized that I no longer was home sick, I wasn't full of anxiety, no signs of depression were in sight. I felt peaceful and right in my own skin and my mind for the first time in a very long time was quiet. It was a unique and surreal experience. One I am so thankful for and one that brings me back to the point of this blog post.
Go check items off your list. If you haven't made a list, GURL GO MAKE A LIST. Get out there when you can and go do it. There's such a sense of accomplishment and self worth you deserve to feel. For me... I found peace. Who knows what's waiting for you. You'll only find out if you go.
That's all for now. Be sure to Check out the vlog and gallery below!