Never let time hold you back from an adventure.
A weekend trip to Tucson to visit family and friends turned into a spontaneous adventure to the Grand Canyon.
The legendary national park had been on my bucket list. With any mention of Arizona, adventure, nature or awe, it takes centre stage in my mind. So, when my boyfriend wanted us to go on a road trip from Malibu to Tucson I immediately planned how to make it to the Grand Canyon in the same trip.
My fervour was immediately subdued when I discovered that the state of Arizona is much bigger than I thought and that the Grand Canyon was located much further from Tucson than I expected. I’ve lived on mainland U.S. for over two years now, but my geographical reasoning is still attuned to my island-upbringing —back home on Oahu, Hawaii, the longest drive is about an hour and a half from one end to the other.
Although the limited borders for travel were never an inhibition to my adventures, they kept me from truly being able to comprehend the great distances that lay between Malibu and Tucson, Tucson and the Grand Canyon, and the Grand Canyon and Malibu. I am thankful for that lack of awareness, however, because it kept me from think that the idea was crazy.
When our plans in Tucson went awry, I lost no time in suggesting the idea of making a “pit stop” at the Grand Canyon on our way back to Malibu. As my adventure-buddy, Ryan was quick to agree, and as my boyfriend, he had few other options. I have never driven that long in my life, but it was more than worth it.
We arrived just in time for the sunset and walked a couple miles along the south rim taking in the grandeur. As the sun set, the wind grew calm and the features of the canyon were emphasized by the shadows that enveloped the Eastern half of every ridge. Colors spewed across that incomprehensibly huge landscape and filled my eyes with a richness I had never seen before, attempting to understand the heights, depths and breadths before me. Temperatures dropped below 40. Our spirits were undaunted, however, as we lingered to hold on to the last, teeth-chattering glimpses of the Canyon.
We had driven over fourteen hours that day to see the Grand Canyon for little more than an hour and a half. Leaving Malibu on Friday at 11 a.m. and arriving back at 2 a.m. early on Sunday morning, we had been on the road for twenty-four hours out of our thirty-nine hour road trip. A measly portion of our journey was spent at the place we were trying to adventure at, but that became a mere fact eclipsed by the fullness of our experience.
The journey itself became the adventure, with the destination being the only reward we needed.
Written by Akela Newman
Akela is a THISWORLDEXISTS Brand Ambassador. You can see more of her adventures on Instagram: @akelarenae
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