I just got back from two full weeks of travel and it feels both exhilarating and terrifying.
Exhilarating parts included:
- Introducing Rick to fabulous Las Vegas
- Renting a torch red Corvette Stingray from All Star Cars and zipping around the desert
- Eating the best tomahawk ribeye at Giada Vegas
- Visiting the Grand Canyon for the first time
- Exploring glorious Sedona by myself
- Too many kids standing way too close to the edge at the Grand Canyon
- Wildfires all around me in Arizona
- The price of Ubers
- The pile of mail and bills I had to go through when I got home
- Air travel post-pandemic. Passengers have lost the plot
After Rick went back home (the pitfalls of having a husband with a “real” job), I was able to take a solo, just-for-fun adventure where I visited Tempe, the Grand Canyon and Sedona. I haven’t had the chance to travel alone in quite a long time.
And you know what? I’ve still got it. The passion for travel. The desire to see new places and then come home and tell everyone all about it. The bravery to step out into the world all by myself. It feels a bit like 2011 in my heart again, when this whole Angie Away adventure got started.
I’ve been churning out more content than I have since the pandemic began, and it feels great to be writing travel guides and making fun videos for TikTok. I even sent out a newsletter and did a giveaway – look at me go! Another one is on the way so if you aren’t subscribed yet and you like receiving free stuff, you can sign up here. Promise we won’t spam you. We literally don’t have time.
Look at all the stuff I wrote since Reflections 46! It would make my day if you clicked on a few of these and showed the Google gods that I know what I’m talking about 😉
- Ultimate Guide to Tupelo, Mississippi
- Purple Mattress Review: We Got a Grown-Up Bed
- Weekend Guide to St. Simons Island, Georgia
- DIY Peloton Hack That Can Save you $2,000
- 7-Day Costa Rica Itinerary You can Book Right Now
- How to be a Writer in 2021
- Family Recipe: Cheap and Easy Chicken and Dumplings
GUESS WHO’S BACK
Projects are raining from the heavens! It is the best feeling ever to be back to work again. Rae is still kicking all the butt on her Amazon Prime show (her first episode aired last week – eeeee!) and I am on the road again creating travel content like it’s my job. Wait – it IS my job once again. HALLELUJAH! We’ve got a couple of new Jet Sisters episodes in the works for later this year which we are ecstatic about. It definitely feels like travel marketing organizations and destinations are regaining their footing and realizing how important it is to claim their share of the travel boom that is upon us.
We made it through to the other side of the pandemic and we still have a business. I did not know if that would be the case, so I am just giddy with gratitude.
Are y’all as obsessed with the desert as I am? I don’t know if it’s because I’m Floridian and Nevada/Arizona are just so vastly different or if it really is that beautiful for everyone, but I loved every moment out West. And that’s saying something, because I was a melty popsicle the whole time. I said “wow” so many times between Valley of Fire State Park, the Hoover Dam, Seven Magic Mountains, all in Nevada, and then Tempe, Sedona and the Grand Canyon in Arizona just bowled me right over. I can’t wait to go back – preferably in cooler temps.
I HEART ELVIS
I realize that I’m about 75 years late to the Elvis party, but after visiting Tupelo and really learning about his life story, I am now one of those screaming Elvis fans on the front row. My Elvis Pandora station has been getting almost all my airtime, and Rick and I even listened to Elvis during our road trip on the outskirts of Vegas.
HELL ON EARTH
Ok, that’s a dramatic title for this section. But it was just about as hot as Hades during my whole visit to the West. And I know, some of that is on me. Who goes to the desert in June?!
If I heard “Oh, but it’s a dry heat,” once, I heard it 1,000 times. When it’s 115+, it doesn’t matter if it’s dry or wet, you’re baking like a double choco chunk cookie in the oven. Thank the Lord for cars with A/C, outdoor misters, swimming pools and Pedialyte.
I almost came home a few days early because of the wildfires burning all around Arizona. I really wasn’t sure if it was safe to drive from Phoenix to the Grand Canyon, but I decided to go for it and I’m really glad I did. Thank the Lord also for the firefighters pouring in from all over the place working to contain the fires and prevent loss of property and lives.
Apparently I’m on a Hell imagery kick today – apologies! While I languish in wait for book publishing news, I will confess here just to my closest friends that patience has not been my strong suit in this experience. I’m so used to sitting down at the computer, writing, editing and publishing in rapid succession, so this whole multiple years-long process of book publishing feels like endless torture. Dramatic? I mean, what else would you expect from me? I just want to have my book in my hands – and better yet, in your hands!
And yet, I wait like a sad and lonely old maid by my inbox for the next step… sigh. I hope by the next RftR to have big news for you!
This is not a huge deal but I slipped and fell in the shower when I was at the Grand Canyon and smashed my back on the ceramic soap dish. Nice one, Ange! When I was lying in the tub butt-naked with my feet in the air I thought, “I really don’t want the paramedics to see me like this.” It could’ve been so much worse – I very nearly hit the back of my head. But once I recovered I was able to climb my rickety elderly body out of the tub and ice my back for the rest of the trip. I guess I’m getting to be that age where I need to where a Life Alert necklace just in case.
OH SO SWEET
Every place I’ve been since the pandemic grounded me for over a year has been my new favorite destination. I feel a fresh passion for travel and destinations and writing that had gone a bit sideways for a while, if I’m honest. I can’t tell you how happy I was to visit Tupelo, Tempe and Las Vegas for work projects over the past few weeks. And making videos and writing guides to each destination have been fun again. Every meal is amazing. Every experience is sweet. Even losing money at the casino was a joy. I will never take our freedoms or health for granted again.
IT’S ALWAYS SOMETHING
Things really never really get easier – you just learn how to roll with the punches. I spent a lot of time in my younger years waiting for all the pieces to fall into place. The reality is, there’s always something off in some spot. You can’t have it all at the same time. I can’t remember a time when everything has been absolutely ideal and every single project, relationships, home improvement plan, Airbnb guest, health, etc., has been just right. (And if you’re an empath – magnify that because even if things are perfect for YOU, if someone else is having a bad day, you’re going through it with them as if it were happening to you.)
Things go much more smoothly if you anticipate the bumps vs. constantly striving for perfection. It’s only taken me my whole life to accept that! Did you already know?
We can make our plans but God determines our steps. Proverbs 16:9
We’re closer than we’ve ever been. For real! I’ve been trying to cram in as many paying projects as I can before I have to stay put for a bit once the kid(dos) arrive. We’ve had our health department inspection and home visit, all our safety stuff is in place and the kids’ room are clutter free and ready for little visitors. Now we just have to be home long enough to welcome them. Soon, soon, soon.
WORKING MOM LIFE
Um what. I have no idea how to balance what’s coming at me like a freight train. I mean, I travel for a living, I work from home, I love silence and being alone, so basically all that is about to change as we become foster parents. It’s going to be an earthquake in my life.
What I know is this, God doesn’t call the equipped, he equips the called. So we are stepping out in faith and knowing that our Creator is going to make the path clear. I’m probably making it sound way easier than it is, but I have to otherwise I’ll talk myself right out of our calling.
In the meantime, I’ll be sharing all the content from recent trips to Mississippi, Nevada and Arizona, so keep an eye on Instagram, TikTok and for subscribers, your inbox. As always, thank you for reading our posts and watching our videos. Every single view, like and share helps us to continue making free resources for travelers like you.
How are you feeling out there, Internet amigos? Have you ventured out into the world lately? We’d love to hear from you.
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