I’m sitting here in my bedroom, readying myself to write this article about a short stay in Las Vegas, a trip to the Hoover Dam and what it meant to me to finally gaze across the Grand Canyon.
My head is just beginning to get around the fact that although on one level, life remains the same, on a completely different level, everything I have been working towards is coming to a stand still. The fundamentals are important – a roof over your head, food in your belly and toilet paper in the bathroom it seems.
I think of Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and the moments in which I experienced self actualisation as I travelled across the globe. I think about what I’ve learnt about the flow state – both experientially whilst feeling like a floating bubble gliding an inch above the ground and the interest I’ve then had in learning about positive psychology. The experiential coming before the psychological – how its informed my practice as a Humanistic Therapist, driven me to explore being a Wellbeing Consultant and through everything I’ve done, learnt and experienced, become an Accountability Partner for those wishing to create change.
Yet change is happening in an unprecedented way at the moment and the growth is not a form I am comfortable with – or would choose to engage in. It’s discombobulating. Yet here I am and here we are. Standing on the edge of a precipice altogether. Waiting for the signal to leap. Yet unsure if that leap means we stay static. Frozen in a moment within our own worlds – oh how this makes me long for travel.
I stood at the edge of the Grand Canyon and for a moment connected with my mum. Felt the tears roll down my cheeks as I sensed this was a place I was visiting for her. Once again, fulfilling her desires in a way. Providing her with the freedom she always wanted but didn’t have the courage, means, or necessity to fight for and yet as I write, realising my physical freedom is being curtailed with every passing moment as Covid 19 affects us globally. Yet I can also laugh at Vince’s reaction when a woman approached us and said, “You both look so cute in your matching tops.” Something which had me laughing and Vince cringingly putting on his jumper to create change and a distinction between us.
The Grand Canyon taught me about making mistakes and dealing with the outcome. As when I asked the Ranger where the Skybridge was – he directed me to the west rim of the canyon. Near to Las Vegas. A place I had enjoyed for the single night we were there. Not for the drinking or the partying but for the sheer joy of being around others having fun, the bright lights of a never sleeping city and an unexpected concert watch of Zowie Bowie singing and sounding a little like his late father David.
I loved the idiosynchronicity of the city, as we cruised the streets, checking out the diners, taking in the neon signs with wide eyes and simply enjoying the ride. I remembered the desire in my early twenties to be married to my husband here, in a drive in chapel with an Elvis Impersonator delivering our wedding vows. Oh the fun we would have had, just the two of us. My desire to visit the mob museum, helpfully situated 5 minutes from our hotel in downtown LV.
I had wondered how they made it this far on a day trip. We had driven for hours. But I was on the south rim and here we stayed, enjoying the serenity the canyon offered when alone or a track, in the quiet. Observing the elks as they passed as by and thinking about the anomaly which my thinking and reality were providing. The park wasn’t how I thought it would be, although the views were lovely. It was more, do I hesitate to say commercialised. I was slightly disappointed. Not by nature but by man.
Although at the Hoover Dam – as I stood in front of the Memorial Bridge, I looked on in wonder at the ability of man to build something as magnificent and awe inspiring. The concrete structures were definitely a thing of beauty and I learnt that the american s really can hold a grudge as I learnt about the dog which was run over on site. I love these human stories. I like getting to know a race of people and I adore experiencing and discovering for myself those places I’ve read about and seen pictures of in books. Walking the Hoover Dam and Bridge the highlight of my trip out this way. Leaving me with a desire to come back, do more – see more, even through my travels become more.
America sure causes some consternation within me regarding the complexity of its nature when there, to the front I get to see when abroad.
It throws up something different each time I visit.
One thing it never does though is disappoint!