I work as an Education Programs Coordinator for an environmental nonprofit that promotes the education and conservation of birds. I never ever expected to be working in the job that I am, never expected to become passionate about birds (before this I was more of a mammals person – but I think that’s how many people in the wildlife field start out lol), and never expected what it’d actually be like to work at an environmental nonprofit.
I really really enjoy it (for the most part). But – before I get into what it’s like in the next article, here’s some background info to ~set the scene~
I thought it would be super fun to pick some pretty/epic looking (or just lame but maybe I have good stories ok??) travel photos and tell you the honest truth behind what was actually happening behind the scenes.
Because we all know that with Instagram and all those other social media platforms that are full of lies, it can be kinda disheartening sometimes.
So let’s do a real quick #tbt to two summers ago (ugh was it really that long ago, brb, gonna go cry my eyes out and maybe teleport there real quick…), when I was gallivanting through Ireland and just basking in the Irish-ness of it all.
I’d thought about hitchhiking (seemed like a cool way to meet people and have some unique experiences) but I was like ahhhhh I’m a solo female traveler and that. Is. SCARY.
Upper Antelope Canyon was absolutely beautiful – I’d even argue breathtaking. Like I literally had to remind myself to breathe again because I was too busy staring at the gorgeous canyon walls, mouth agape, which let in a horde of flies causing me to choke on my own spit.
And Rattlesnake Canyon – we added this onto our tour before going to Upper Antelope – was amazing! I liked that so much more than Antelope. I’ll go more into why below.
Okay, so I wouldn’t describe my recent trip to Arizona a shit fest per say, but. There were definitely some hiccups. And hiccups that I couldn’t just scare away ya know.
So, to start off, getting to and from AZ was A MISSION. Just LET ME TELL YOU.
So, we left at like 2PM meaning we drove almost all damn night and didn’t arrive until 3:30AM.
SO FUN RIGHT.
Lots of gas station stops and some casual peeing-on-the-side-of-the-road stuff too. Because we gotta keep it classy AF up in here.
And then we slept in the parking lot of Horseshoe Bend until sunrise. Ok well – a little after because we were so so damn sleepy.
* I do want to take a moment to acknowledge the native land we explored during this trip – that of the Hopi, Diné (Navajo), Southern Paiute, Ute, Hualapai, and Havasupai people. If I am incorrect please let me know! I am learning and want to acknowledge land properly and be as respectful as possible. If you’d like to see what native land you’re exploring or live on, click here.
Health problems in general suck, but having them while traveling is THE WORST. I’ve had a bad cold in Ireland, a UTI in England (and had to be on a 2 hour bus ride with no bathroom…NOT FUN, I legit was about to pee my pants in front of my whole class), and a shit ton (lol) of stomach issues (although not food poisoning, thankfully!). Sometimes, getting sick or having health issues is unavoidable, but often, very preventable! Here’s my game plan next time I travel:
What to do when you’re down to travel, but you’re an introvert? When you’re on a budget, and have to stay in hostels, but need to balance time with meeting people and recharging? When you’re easily overwhelmed by busy situations?
However, it was nice to be able to CHOOSE when I could make those friends, ya know? Like I could be like, mmmk, today it’s just gonna be me and my DSLR and RBF (resting bitch face), and the next day I could put on the RNF (resting nice face) instead and try to not look so pained in social situations. (And somehow that worked, although I’m sure I looked constipated at times).
Because as much as I love fall, I also have a weird obsession with summer. And so, what do you do when you have a weird obsession with something? You make a list! A fucking bucket list, at that. Feel free to take my bucket list and use it for your own! I won’t be mad, I promise. I’ll also let you steal my Fall Bucket List!
In my humble (aka always right) opinion, Arizona is such an underrated state and vastly misunderstood. (At least it was by me?)
[Look at all those lush desert plants! And that beautiful red desert rock! And that kinda sorta desert sunset! Side notes: Desert sunsets really are some of the most beautiful! This was near Saguaro National Park]
Like, did you know that not all of Arizona is desert (which is what I originally assumed #dontassume) and that it actually SNOWS in some parts? Like what.