Can’t believe its been a month since I began my first ever solo trip. I wasn’t alone the entire time. I’ve never EVER been on a road trip let alone on a solo road trip. Sure I been to a few cities a lone but its been work related. This was different on so many levels. I just can’t begin to articulate how proud I was of myself. When I originally planned the trip it was with the help of someone who I had been spending a lot of time with. He helped me plan the route, literally sat down with me and drew my stops on the back of a receipt. That would be the last time I would see this person and for a moment this trip became bitter sweet. I should be honest, for a moment I thought of coming back home after Vegas, I figured I could stay home and clean, get caught up on home chores. I don’t really know why I thought of cancelling, deep down I think it was fear but that’s what I been fighting. Fear can only be as deep as the mind allows and I want to limit its depth as much as possible.
My sister kept me company the first 3 days, we went to Disneyland,got to spend time with my best friend and then we were off to Las Vegas. Technically we entered Arizona since we stepped on the boarder while visiting the Hoover Dam.
Driving from Nevada to Arizona was amazing the Sonoran dessert it magical. As I was driving through it I kept wanting to stop and explore. Sedona was beautiful, it was everything I expected and much, much more. I spent the best $150 bucks and paid for an all day tour to the Grand Canyon. If you haven’t been…GO. I once read a quote that said, “people should only cry at funerals and the Grand Canyon” I didn’t cry, but I did shed a tear…OK maybe two. I got to visit Jerome, a quirky little city 20 minutes from Sedona. I went horseback riding and wine tasting in Cornville, home of Senator John McCain. I hiked Red Rock, Cathedral Rock and Bell Rock. I went to Perry which is 3 hours from Sedona. I visited Antelope Canyon and the Horseshoe Bend, I even got close to the Colorado River and nearly entered Utah. It was AMAZING! 2700 miles on a rental. Shameless plug the Volvo xc90 is amazing and a great road trip car. I ended my trip by driving into LA, spending quality time with my cousin. If you follow me on Instagram all pics are there.
I learned a lot while on this trip, I learned about my ability to face my fears, to seek adventure, to welcome silence, to laugh alone. I learned that I really like who I am. that I am a better person than I give myself credit for. Hiking Red Rock was such a challenge for me, it was especially hot that day and I decided to take the trail that would lead me to the Vortex. The joke was I went to Sedona to find myself so it seemed irrational to make that trip and not visit the Vortex. Before getting to the Vortex I reached 5100 feet of altitude, talk about achievement! As out of shape as I am, as hot as it was and all alone I pushed myself to get it done. There were moments I questioned why I was there, alone. Instances when I wanted to turn around and walk back to the flat trail, where I’d be around people but I didn’t.
I got to sit in silence for a significant amount I been calling it divine intervention. I started my stay in Sedona with a flash flood warning, thunder, lightning and a black out. If that wasn’t Gods way of saying, “you wanted thinking time, you got it” I don’t know what is.
I never knew how empowering being alone could be. When its all said and done we only have ourselves and the difference between embracing that silence and running away from it is perceptions of our self. I have no doubt that if I would have taken this trip even last year my state of mind would have been “run away” actually a year ago I doubt I wouldn’t have taken a trip like this. I felt peace and joy, I felt sadness and fear, I lived victories and remembered defeats. I know cheesy but I felt like I came full circle.
I got to cry which I had done recently but there was something so powerful about crying alone while also feeling peace. It was a cleansing of the soul. I cried over what was, had been and even what I knew could have been but never will be.
I am not angry anymore, I am not tortured. Am I done? No, I would question everything if I felt like I’ve worked through it all. My views on forgiveness took on a whole new life. Forgiveness is not just about making a conscious choice to move forward and drop resentment. I learned that forgiveness is about embracing strength. Forgiving, truly forgiving has brought me out of much of the darkness I was in. As I have worked through that darkness I’ve gotten to experience and meet a whole other side of myself one that is stronger than I ever though possible, accepting that, giving myself credit for that has been huge! I am learning to embrace that strength even in those moments when I question it.
So many of the things that happened during this trip might seem insignificant to many from my excitement about driving alone for 12 hours the conversation I had with complete strangers. Every part of this trip was exactly what I needed.