In the winter of 2015 I was in Vegas, also known as the entertainment capitol of the world for 4 days for a soccer showcase tournament. This is where people go to gamble high amounts of money, where fraud occurs often, and where glitz and glitter is all around. I was on a u17 travel soccer team called “Bloomfield Force”. We were a decent team, so this was a pretty big deal for us. The tournament took place for the full 4 days if we did well, but unfortunately we lost on the third day so we didn't make it to the finals. Which could have been considered a good thing, and a bad thing. A bad thing because we didn't win the tournament. Good, because we had our last day in vegas to explore and do whatever we wanted.
¨Anna, what do you want to do tomorrow?¨ my Dad whispered to me as we were getting ready for bed on the third day.
¨I'm not sure, what are our options?¨ I responded. We had the option to drive to the Hoover Dam or walk around the Las Vegas strip, which we had already previously done so it wasn't a big deal, or to drive to the Grand Canyon. A couple weeks before the trip to vegas, my family had spent an awful lot of time trying to convince my Dad and I to visit the Grand Canyon if the opportunity sprouted.
¨You definitely should go, it was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.¨ My grandma consistently murmured to me and my Dad.
Something my Mom has always explained to me since I was a little girl is ¨Never pass up an opportunity to travel, you may find yourself regretting it.¨ After remembering what my mom preached, we both gave in and ended up being extremely excited to go, like Father like Daughter. The closer we got to february the more ecstatic my Dad and I became. Then, finally the day had come.
The car ride down was the only downside of the spontaneous trip. I remember thinking to myself, ¨Oh gosh, this is going to be a very long day, but it's okay because it's totally worth it.¨ From Vegas to the Grand Canyon the car ride was about 3 hours, depending if you get lost or not. When you're driving 3 hours through any state, you're given a lot of time to look at everything.
Looking at ¨everything¨ when you're driving through Arizona and Nevada, is quite beautiful. Mountains and rivers go on for miles and miles and the sky looks like it never ends, the sun shines on everything, and there isn't an opportunity for anything to find a hiding spot. It is all exposed and it's truly amazing. The mountains look like they faded into the sky. Looking back on previous vacations, I realized I have never seen something like that. I have lived in Michigan my whole life, yes, we have the Great Lakes which a lot of people who don't live in Michigan think is sweet. They are, don't get me wrong, but living in Michigan you never get to experience places like The Grand Canyon.
When we finally arrived at the Canyon, it took quite a bit to find a parking spot, which made sense to us because we had known going on the trip that the Grand Canyon was a place everyone wanted to experience.
“Look for spots, be on the lookout” My dad uttered to me.
I stepped out of the car and immediately felt a cold gust of wind run through my hair as if I had walked into a room with a giant fan blowing directly on me. The elevation and openness of the area on top of the Canyon was why the wind was so strong, there was nothing to block it. With wind as strong as a bulldozer, I was reminded that I clearly was not in my little home state, Michigan. With that big bright blue sky, I knew what I was about to see was more than just a place people made a big deal about. I had finally stepped out into a greater part of the world. I remember it like the back of my hand, I skipped to the cliff, while trying to prepare myself for what I was about to see. It looked similar to a sidewalk. A big piece of concrete that had cracked right down the center, making it difficult to see what is at the bottom. The Canyon was awfully breathtaking. I had never seen something so simple, yet so extraordinarily beautiful. I had a ton of pictures I needed to take. My camera fell in love with it, although pictures couldn't do it any justice. The colors inside the canyon were as good as gold. It was all natural, humans didn't make that, nobody touched it, it is the way that it is because our earth is amazing. The walls of the Canyon are like a history book, it is a timeline of the earth's history. If I was to go back to the Grand Canyon now, I would take it in more than I did the first time.
Before I was given the opportunity to travel, I thought that there was nothing greater outside of Michigan. We are taught that there is no place like our home. Now that I have ventured out and felt the wind from the great big world, I have found, Michigan doesn't even compare. If you’re ever given the opportunity to travel anywhere, take it. Seize the moment. Don’t you dare think twice about it. It’s all worth it in the end, I promise you won’t regret it.