I had the exciting opportunity to road trip to Arizona this past weekend. I was invited to perform poetry at the inaugural Phoenix Festival of the Arts and I figured it would be fun to check out northern Arizona since I was in the area.
I’ve done a lot of traveling in the past eighteen months. This year alone has seen me in Cincinnati, San Antonio, Portland, Seattle, San Diego, and Oakland. I’ve gotten lost in Vancouver, experienced the California Redwoods, spent nights gazing at the stars in Boulder City, pitched tents at most of the camp sites in Las Vegas, and have driven highway 1 from Medford to San Francisco. All in one year. And this is only the beginning. 2013 has even more to offer in terms of traveling with tentative plans to hit Santa Fe, Houston, Hawaii, Mexico, Pittsburg, and Brazil. All before I relocate to Atlanta. But I digress.
So…Arizona. I dragged two of my friends with me on the trip. We all agreed that Phoenix itself was so-so. I thoroughly enjoyed the art scene and performing at the festival. People are friendly and I found a Waffle House that I was super excited about. But as a whole the city is strange and pretty boring. However there’s much to appreciate once one travels out of Phoenix. As we drove north I began to develop an appreciation for Arizona. It’s a beautiful place! It’s mostly desert, like California and Nevada– but, trust me, all deserts are not the same. Arizona has some very unique landscaping. I would have never thought it had high elevations and mountains. Some of which looked almost like parts of Oregon. There are a lot of Native American communities so you see much of that influence in the architecture and lay out of the cities. We passed many pueblo style homes that were adorable.
My absolute favorite place was Sedona. I’ve never (to date) seen a more beautiful desert. I was amazed at how crystal blue the sky was and how striking the mountains were. On top of the ascetics, Sedona has a lot of spiritual energy. It’s no surprise that a lot of yoga practitioners, palm readers, meditators, and reiki masters set up shop there. I wish I had been able to spend more time in Sedona but I definitely plan on going back.
The best thing about the trip (and most of the others I’ve been on this year) is experiencing it with someone. I appreciate connecting with someone who is just a free spirit as I am. Who is willing and able to pack a bag and jump in the car to wherever random destination we end up in. I’m grateful because I’ve never had someone so willing to travel with me. It means a lot.