The Place That Left Me Speechless
Updated 2016: This post is about my first backpacking trip aged 18. You can read about my most recent adventures here.
I was lucky enough to spend a month travelling North America at the age of 18.
I took a year 'out' between College and University, and chose to leave the comfort zone of yearly European family holidays and venture out a tad further, to the States, just myself and my close friend Fi
We began our journey in Boston, which was covered in inches and inches of snow, so opposite to the weather we then experienced the rest of the trip.
America had an unseasonably warm February in 2009, so our whole journey, from East coast to West coast, was filled with warm and sunny days.
It was truly lovely to get so lucky on my first 'big' trip away as a 'big' girl. We traveled using Amtrak which takes you through all the major places you'd want to see, and some absolutely random places, which we did stay in, albeit for one night! For the most part we saw what everyone else should see when visiting the states and we loved every minute.
New Orleans brought true introspection; the parallel between the buzzing and lively nature of the French Quarter in the run up to Mardi Gras, with the scenes of devastation which still remained after hurricane Katrina.
Tennessee brought the truly surreal experience of visiting Graceland, New York was, well, New York, which is always pretty damn cool!
Eventually we touched down in Flagstaff Arizona, small seemingly sleepy but nonetheless pretty town, which would be our base for a trip to the Grand Canyon.
A friendly guy helped us to our hostel, which was our first taste of Is-he-gonna-kill-us-oh-no-he's-actually-being-kind...
The tour bus from our hostel to the Grand Canyon was driven by a really cool young guy from the hostel, who drove us along the sun-kissed and breezy highways, blasting Kings of Leon, getting to know us a bit better, all being from different places all over the world.
When we arrived at the Canyon, and got out the van, the driver made us close our eyes until we got closer to the edge (by edge I mean, a barrier between us and certain death) and then, wow, there it was.
A vastness and space so gargantuan, and beautiful and crazy.
The different layers of colour, of age, how deep the canyons are, being able to actually get very close to the edge, as I did in the picture.
We spent a good few hours here, taking in the sight from different sides and then we took a short hike down into it, which admittedly tired me out completely; we didn't make it all the way down at all.
But nevertheless, sitting down at the top, just taking in the view, was truly amazing, and it was definitely the only place I have ever visited which left me speechless. And at peace and alive. All at the same time.
Check out my other post on my US trip here.
Thanks for reading!
Hannah and Taran here. We hail from Southern England, where we met online and are now realizing our mutual passion for travel here at Nomad'erHowFar. We discuss Nomadic Living, Simplifying your Life and Long-term Travel, to empower, motivate and inspire our readers. Get to know us here!