07 Jan 6 Reasons To Take A Solo Trip to Arizona
Finally! I was finally able to go on a completely solo trip to Arizona (AZ) in December of 2016. Why did I decide to go to Arizona? Well, I had a paid week off the end of December, AZ is close to CA so flights were affordable and AZ has a lot of underrated locations to travel to.
So from December 26, 2017-December 30, 2017 I spent my time in Arizona. I landed in Phoenix, AZ on December 26th and stayed at nearby hotel for one night. I met someone new that day and ended up going to a casino (I am not a gambler) for a few hours. Afterwards, I spent the afternoon in downtown Phoenix (like I said before, I am always drawn to downtown areas). I was able to take some great photos (I brought my film camera-Nikon N55), explore, grab snacks for the night and stop at Starbucks. The first day in AZ was pretty mellow.
*Side note: If you plan on going to the locations I visited, DO NOT land in Phoenix, land in Flagstaff, unless you don’t mind driving and have a few locations to visit near Phoenix.
The next day, December 27th, I rented a car to head to Page, AZ. My plan was to leave Phoenix early, but due to issues with the rental car, I was delayed about an hour and a half…
I was finally on my way to Page, AZ (4 hours away!) but I had good music and snacks (of course). There were benefits to the 4 hour drive:
- I always enjoy a good couple of hours of good music. You can imagine I skipped through the slow songs, it wouldn’t have done much for my 4-hour-drive.
- I was able to see the seasons change. From Phoenix to Page, there was significant snowfall so I had an amazing view of white snow spread across the mountains.
- I had a lot of time to really get into my head, and think about things that had been on my mind as I was going into 2017. It was literally me and my thoughts when my phone service was out of range. I didn’t mind. The view was amazing anyway.
I arrived in Page mid-afternoon and checked in. Page was significantly colder than Phoenix so I made sure to bundle up. After checking in and getting settled, I decided to see what was around the hotel. I was able to locate a Thai restaurant for dinner and a grocery store where I grabbed breakfast for the next couple of days and snacks. I returned to my hotel and ended up taking a relaxing bath and watching a movie on Hulu.
Here was my planned itinerary for December 28th:
- Antelope Canyon
- Horseshoe Bend
- Waterhole Canyon
- Starlight Arch-Utah
I planned to go to Starlight Arch that day, but I ended up not finding it after driving into Utah from Arizona for about 45 minutes. I was so determined to find the arches that I literally almost ran out of gas in the middle of nowhere with no service and what it seemed like no gas stations in sight. After realizing I was not going to make it to the arches (I was determined and stubborn), I decided I needed to find a gas station, and quickly! I remember constantly looking down at the gas gauge and slowly going into a state of panic. I had been driving for a while and it didn’t seem like a gas station would be approaching soon. I began to pray because I didn’t know what I would do if I ran out of gas with no phone service. With continued prayer, I was able to calm down and shortly after a gas station appeared. Prayer works! I wanted to make the most of being in Utah, even if it was at a gas station. It has just snowed in Utah so I was excited to go walk in the snow (I’m a Cali girl so of course I was excited!). I found a few spots for selfies and I was able to take in the fresh air and the amazing view. After selfies in Utah and getting gas, I headed back to the hotel. During the drive back I had peace, and because of that peace, I was able to allow myself to get into my head and do some critical thinking as the darkness began to cover to open land around me as I returned to AZ. I had something on my mind as the new year approached. I was deciding on what and who I would allow into the new year and that drive back was the perfect time to think about it. I was faced with the decision to continue on with someone I truly cared about and loved or decide to finally let go after the history we had. I began to realize that despite our history, this person did not truly want to build something with me and despite the conversations we had over the years that implied that that was what they desired, their actions said otherwise. I knew I had to let that person go, and it was hard. I wasn’t sure what life would be like without them, but I was sure that it was something I needed to do. Just because you have history with someone, it does not mean you have to carry them over into every year of your life, especially when they can no longer add to it. Everyone is not meant to stay in your life for the long run. Trust me, I tried to maintain all the relationships I had in the past, I tried for years with people. I had the idea that I could ‘keep people’. I wanted to keep the people that I had grown to care about and love, but they didn’t want to be kept. Whether it was because we were not on the same page or that perhaps we weren’t able to come into agreement about what friendship meant, I soon realized that I had to let people go. It was hard, and it took a while to stand my ground, but I did and time went on and I grew. I was able to blossom without them. At times, you will have to let things and people go to truly find peace and yourself. Because of the decision I made that day in the car, I am truly grateful for that trip. It changed my life.
So, although I was not able to make it to the arches, I was able to make it to 3 breathtaking locations: Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, and Waterhole Canyon.
If you plan on going to AZ I think Antelope Canyon & Horseshoe Bend, should be at the top of your list. Both locations were surreal! I was able to purchase a ticket for a tour of Antelope Canyon prior to the trip. Antelope Canyon was beautiful, but cold so if you are a little powerful (but easily cold) woman like me then make sure you wear layers and bring thick gloves. If you have an excellent tour guide like mine, they will even take photos of you in the canyon.
Horseshoe Bend was breathtaking! It was even more breathtaking than Antelope Canyon, from my perspective. The closer you get as you are walking up to Horseshoe bend from the parking lot, the more surreal it looks. I kept on saying to myself “this looks so fake, wow!” I had never seen anything like it before in my life, and I know I never will. Even when you are close to the ledge at Horseshoe Bend and you’re looking down, it is surreal. Make sure to visit Horseshoe Bend and bring your phone tripod!
Finally, the location I was able to go to before my crazy adventure in Utah was Waterhole Canyon. The entrance to the canyon was closed and entrance was by permit only, but I was able to explore the area around it. I only spent about 20 minutes exploring, but it was still a nice place.
On December 29th, I headed back to Phoenix and stopped at Montezuma’s Castle in Camp Verde, AZ. Finally, on December 30th, I headed back to California to spend new years with family.
I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to AZ based on a variety reasons that include personal growth, getting out of my comfort zone, becoming more confident in who I am, and being able to explore a beautiful underrated state, Arizona.
So after summarizing my solo trip to AZ, I want to provide you with 5 reasons to take a solo trip to AZ:
- It allows you to get into your head and do some constructive, well-needed thinking.
- You will be able to see some of the most amazing locations/landmarks in your lifetime.
- You can explore Utah, since it is so close. (But have a plan. I wasn’t successful at it because I didn’t have a plan.)
- It is nice place to get away from the city life. (Page was nowhere near major cities so it was a quiet peaceful environment.)
- I’d say it is a safe location to visit on a solo trip. (With planning and being aware of your environment, of course.)
Here are some photos from my trip:
December 28, 2016
Outside of Antelope Canyon
Inside Antelope Canyon (taken by my amazing tour guide)
Selfies in Utah
Horseshoe Bend, AZ (taken via Snapchat)
Thank you for being part of my journey. I would love to hear from you! Let’s talk. You can comment below, send me an email or we can connect on my Instagram profile, @kayiadore.
If you were inspired by this post and like this post, please do share. I appreciate it!
“The journey not the arrival matters.” –T.S. Eliot