6 Day Trip to Arizona in May 2016

6 Day Trip to Arizona in May 2016 Part 1 (Preparations and departure) It has long been my dream to visit the Grand Canyon and Sedona. I saw the pictures of the Grand Canyon and was impressed by its views and its huge scale. I heard about the spiritually charged vortexes in Sedona from some of my friends. I wanted to experience this first hand. I have been putting off the trip for a few years. There were a few reasons for that. First, ever since my family moved to New York in the early 2000’s, I have only done a few independent flights to Toronto, Canada as well as a bus tour to Boston, Massachusetts. Both of these were relatively local. The idea of traveling was still rather foreign and scary to me. I didn’t exactly know how to plan, or how much of the actual trip would go according to my plan. The perspective of hopping on a plane and traveling 2000+ miles was almost like jumping into an abyss and hoping that there would be a net on the bottom. Second, I am usually busy with my work, and it never seemed like the right time to go. Even though I am a freelancer, it seemed that if I let my work slide, it would somehow be hard to get back on track again. The stars have aligned for me recently in a way that created a once in a lifetime opportunity to finally go on this trip. One the one hand, I have recently completed a contract, and have not gotten a new one yet. On the other, a good friend of mine, whose name is Alexandra, and who has recently been traveling all over the states, kept nagging me to come visit her at whichever places she was at the time. Recently, she came to Arizona, and the pictures she posted of the places she’s been to made me extremely jealous. She told me that she was about to leave Arizona, but would stay a bit longer if I came to visit. On April 30th, we’ve had a discussion about how it is the right time to go, since I am in between contracts, and she’s there. I had only a week to prepare. I had to go through tremendous stress during that week, and buy a whole bunch of items that I didn’t have and that I would need for my travels. I wanted to pack only one bag, and I chose an REI Lookout 40 Pack, which did an excellent job. The rest of the time was spent booking accommodations and picking places to visit. On May 8, I was ready. I grabbed my things and stepped outside. The moment I did that, my anxiety was gone, and a sense of adventure set in. I was on my way to Phoenix. Part 2 (Arrival in Arizona, Day 1) About 8 hours after my departure from New York, I stepped out of the plane at the Phoenix Sky Harbor Int’l Airport. I went out of the terminal and they told me to take a shuttle to the rental car area so that I could pick up the car that I rented online. My friend Alexandra met me there. We were happy to see each other. She said also that she was happy to finally be leaving Phoenix because she felt like the energy there was very dense and negatively charged. I didn’t have a chance to verify that on the spot. It wasn’t until I came back to Phoenix at the end of my stay in Arizona that I experienced this and determined that she was right. The car I rented was different than what was displayed on the picture. It was an economy car as opposed to a regular one. It was smaller, and it had an old control panel and weak headlights. The guy at the front desk offered to upgrade the car for $10 a day, but we were in a hurry, so I refused and took what was given. Our first stop was going to be a couchsurfing host in Sedona. His name was Peter, and he was located two hours due north. I entered the address into my GPS, and carefully made the way out of the rental parking lot. I only drove up to 40 minutes at a time in the past, but the two hours that we drove went by like a breeze because Alexandra was super fun. Due to the confusion with the car, we were late to Peter by about 30 minutes. I dropped off Alexandra, who was going to be camping overnight in a nearby area, and parked my car near Peter’s house. I called and apologized for being late. He was understanding and forgiving, and he let me in. He gave me a tour of his apartment. Then he retreated into his room. As a condition of being hosted by Peter, I had to agree to go to the Top of Bell Rock with him the next morning. The host made it a condition because it is his goal to bring 2,222 people to the Top of Bell Rock by a certain date. He calls it the Top of Bell Rock club. We were scheduled to leave at 6 am, so I took a shower and went to sleep. I couldn’t really fall asleep, so I got dressed and went for a walk. The sky was bright with stars, the air was permeated with energy, and the night was warm. I walked to the spot where I dropped off my friend. It was in the corner of the plaza, and there was a big tree there. I went past it and out of the plaza, and started walking along the road. It was very dark, but there was a shoulder filled with sand, and only a few cars. I walked down the street for a few minutes, and then turned back. I stopped by the tree again. I sat on the stone barrier around the corner, and meditated for a bit. I envisioned how I am going to meet my friend the next day, and how we are going to have the time of our lives. I got my fresh air and started feeling tired. I made my way back to the apartment and fell asleep. Part 3 (Top of Bell Rock and Long Side of Cathedral Rock, Day 2) The morning after my arrival in Sedona, I got up at 5 am. Peter was already up. He gave me another tour of his apartment and showed me his extensive collection of Bell Rock art. He had photos, paintings and sculptures of the rock. He also had a table with various crystal and stones that the Top of Bell Rock club members left him when visiting. I just so happened to pack a Selenite tower as a gift for him, and it was a great fit to the collection. There were two other guests in the apartment at the same time as me. They got up soon after me. Peter was so generous that he let me eat one of his organic bananas, and rejected the offer to go to the market and replace it. He also let me borrow his daypack for the week, asking only that I return it when I drive past his house at the end of my stay in Arizona. The other two guests ate cereal with milk that they brought. By 6, we were all ready, so we hopped into Peter’s car and left. The front door was left open. Peter said that the area is so safe that there is no need to close it. 2016-05-09 06.16.42 The climb to the top of Bell Rock was pretty tough and scary, but Peter just walked up the rocks like it was a flat surface. We all reached the top and took many pictures, individual and group. One of the other two guys was wearing a GoPro HERO4 Silver camera that was waterproof and capable of taking automatic shots every few seconds. It could also be attached to one’s head so that the hands remain free. I am probably going to be getting one as well in the near future. 2016-05-09 07.31.24 At the top, there was a box with paper pads in which people wrote their prayers if they felt like it. I wrote something in one of the paper pads, and so did the other two people. When we reached the top, Alexandra messaged me and said that she is waiting for me at the Blue Moon Cafe on a plaza near Peter’s house. I wanted to hang out with her, and she said that she will wait as long as it takes, and for me to take my time. I accepted. We stayed at the top for a bit, and Peter gave us riddles to solve. Then we made our way down. Back at Peter’s place, he went through the pictures and let us pick which ones to post. I ate cereal with milk, for which Peter again rejected the offer of replacement, and made preparations to go to the Cathedral Rock. Peter gave me directions. The rock had two ways that one could get to it. One was the long way, and brought one to a green area where one could just walk along the river, and the other was the short way, which brought one directly to the rock, which could then be climbed. I chose the long way for the day. I picked up Alexandra at the Blue Moon Cafe, and we departed to our destination. The long way to the Cathedral Rock took us 5 miles down a road, 2 of which were a dirt road. We reached the parking area on the left, crossed the road, and entered the trail. It was beautiful there. Lots of green trees, bushes, and grass. There was also a stream nearby. We made our way to the stream and walked along it until we reached a shaded area with a big tree that had three trunks and a place to sit in the middle. We sat under the tree and chatted, and then Alexandra took a nap in the center of tree, while I sat nearby, soaked in the environment, and attempted to enter a meditative state. A few minutes later, Alexandra woke up, and led the way to another area, where there were flat rocks in the middle of the stream. We took off our shoes and coats and walked in the stream a bit. We washed our faces with the water from the stream. We lay on the rocks and caught some sun while looking up at the sky or down at the stream. We listened to music, chatted more, and had overall a great time. IMG-20160509-WA0002 Alexandra said she was hungry, and we didn’t have much food, so we began making our way out of the park. I had only a protein meal bar that I gave to her, and she was delighted. We arrived at the car, and Alexandra directed me to a local Safeway grocery store on Hwy 89A. She didn’t have much money, and was looking for items that were really cheap. She was only going to buy bananas, but I offered to buy grapes as well. She accepted under the condition that we would share, and then gave me a discount card that actually halved the price for the entire purchase. We then went to a vegetarian place called ChocolaTree on Hwy 89A. We sat outside in the cafe’s yard. The ambience was beautiful and very peaceful. There was a hammock there as well, and there was a guy in it. Alexandra didn’t seem to want to eat much anymore, so we ordered chips for each of us. The chips seemed like they were burned, but she said she liked them. I let her eat mine, too, and only ate the salad that came with the chips. Once we were done with the chips and the check, we moved to the outside yard. There were no people there, so we listened to music. I showed her a song by Lesiem (“Patientia”), and it fit the ambience nicely. She said she liked the song. We ate some of the grapes while listening to music, and then left. We made our way back to Peter’s plaza. Alexandra didn’t want to camp that night because it was going to be too cold, but she also had nowhere to go. We parked, and I let her sleep in the car. I headed upstairs to Peter’s apartment, and went to sleep as well. Part 4 (Short Side of Cathedral Rock and Unity of Sedona, Day 3) When I woke up in the morning, I ate a banana and some more cereal with milk. I got dressed, took my things, said goodbye to Peter, and headed outside. Alexandra was waiting for me in the car. We took the short route to the Cathedral Rock this time so that we could actually climb it. We parked in the parking lot. Alexandra ate a few bananas from the grocery store, and left the skins at the entrance to the park with the intention to pick them up on the way out. The Bell Rock was a very tough climb where one needed to possess a lot of courage and forward momentum both on the way up and on the way down. It had a very masculine energy to it. The Cathedral Rock, on the other hand, had a very easy climb that was mostly a path that was circling up around the rock. Its energy was more feminine. And it had a few power spots. The first one was a cliff that overlooked the area below the rock. It was so expansive that I got dizzy and scared that I might fall down. Yet I sat on the cliff and let myself fully feel the sensation. I let the energy of the rock run through me. I entered the state of total surrender, and realized that even in the worst case scenario, if I were to fall down, then I would immediately die, and my spirit would be released. There would be no tragedy. I accepted the energy of the rock, and my fear was gone. I was in awe from the amount of space that was there, but I was no longer in fear of it. In the meantime, Alexandra was making a video for her v-log. She later apologized for taking a lot of time, but I thanked her for providing me the opportunity to fully merge with the energy of the rock. The next power spot was a high point in the middle between two cliffs. She went there alone while I took pictures. Then she came back and it was my turn to climb. When I reached the top, there was only a small area to stand on, and an abyss below. The energy of the rock was already in me, and I wasn’t afraid. So I stood there and let myself feel the vast open space around me. I asked the space to accept me and I prayed for myself, my family, and my friends to find their paths in their lives. The wind blew, and I took it as a sign that my prayers were heard. Cathedral Rock When I came back, Alexandra wasn’t there. I got a bit nervous, but then the spirit led me back to her. She was sitting nearby on an incline between two large rocks. I joined her there. She went to climb the high point again. Then she came back, we chatted, and she went to climb it the third time. She stood at the top of the high point for a few minutes, looking like a statue. A group of people passed by and said that my friend looks like she knows what she’s doing. I said that she definitely does. They said that my friend is crazy, and I said that we both are. They laughed and continued their climb. When Alexandra came back, she felt like singing. There was a strong echo on this mountain, and her voice sounded great. We climbed a bit higher, and there, at the top of Cathedral Rock, she gave me a Reiki session and inspired me with blessings of courage and self-determination. Once she was done, her singing became 10 times louder and more beautiful. She said she didn’t know she could sing like this, and that she thinks she received a gift of singing from the mountain. She asked me to stay in that spot for a bit, while she herself ran off to wander around the area a bit and sing. I could hear her from where I was. It was beautiful, and it was mesmerizing. I kept standing in my spot and meditating until she came back. I told her about how much I liked her singing. I told her it was like the singing of Esmeralda from Notre Dame de Paris. Cathedral Rock As we started to make our way down, we found an area where there was a cliff with a plateau at the end. To get there, one had to sit and crawl sideways. She went there first, and I took pictures. On the way back, she bumped into a guy who was about to be hosted by the same host that I just stayed with. He said he will pass the word that he saw us and that he is excited to have the opportunity to climb to the Top of Bell Rock. Then it was my turn to climb over the edge. I didn’t find it too scary, but then I already defeated my fear in an area that was much more fear-inspiring. I made it to the plateau and back. Cathedral Rock At some point, Alexandra fell onto a cactus, and got spikes in her back. I had to take them out, but it didn’t take long. We continued our way down the mountain, and eventually reached the exit. The banana skins were still there. Alexandra picked them up. We sat in the car and headed into uptown Sedona. We stopped by the Canyon Breeze cafe and ordered smoothies. We sat outside and drank them. The smoothies were high quality and very yummy, and the balcony on which we sat had a great view overlooking the city and the mountains. Once we were done with the smoothies, we stopped by the Unity of Sedona. It was closed, but the surrounding yard was beautiful. There was a pond with a small fountain, a labyrinth, wind chimes, benches, and more. The day was nearing the evening, so we hopped into the car and headed towards Flagstaff, which was 50 minutes due north. We were going to be staying at the Grand Canyon International Hostel the next two nights. I never stayed at hostels before, and the idea seemed rather uncomfortable to me at first. However, Alexandra said that it’s a great hostel, and very safe. She convinced me to stay there, so I booked rooms for both of us before I left New York. Flagstaff, AZ When we arrived there, I was amazed at how cozy and friendly the hostel seemed. We were greeted by the lady who was working at the front desk. The lady checked us in and gave us room keys. I had a lot of questions, and she patiently answered all of them with a warm smile on her face. I went to my room, where I would be staying with four other guys. There was only one guy there, and he seemed pretty cool. He said that he is staying at the hostel because he was originally going to camp at the Grand Canyon for two weeks, but that his tent broke, so he had to stay in Flagstaff to get another tent. He was only going to be staying one or two nights though. I also met the other two roommates, and they seemed super cool as well. One of them invited me to watch a movie. I thanked but refused because Alexandra and I were going to be heading into the Grand Canyon early next morning. I showered, said goodnight to Alexandra, did the laundry, and then finally went to sleep. Part 5 (Surviving the South Kaibab Trail, Day 4) Early in the morning, I meditated, performed a Reiki self-healing session, showered, and ate breakfast. Alexandra got up after me, and ate breakfast as well. Then we gathered our things and departed towards the Grand Canyon, which was an hour and fifteen minutes due north from Flagstaff. As we were passing the entrance gate, the clerk at the booth handed me a map and said that I can give it to my “wife” so that she can look at it. That was one hell of an assumption, since the person beside me was only my friend. I mean, I wouldn’t mind if she was my wife, but that’s beside the point. The entrance cost $30, for a 7 day parking pass. We parked at the Grand Canyon Visitor Center and took a free shuttle towards the South Kaibab trail. Before we embarked upon the trail, we sat at a cliff near the trail entrance. The overlook presented a vast expanse, but I wasn’t scared. I already beat my fear when we were at the Cathedral Rock. I sat there with Alexandra and simply absorbed the energy of the space. Then at some point we were ready. We got up and began descending into the canyon. The Grand Canyon According to official information, there are up to three markers that could be reached on this trail during a day hike. The Ooh-Aah point is .9 miles away from the entrance. The Cedar Ridge point is 1.5 miles away from the entrance. And the Skeleton Point is 3 miles away from the entrance. It is strongly suggested that one should not go past the Skeleton Point as a day hike. The next point is the Tip Off, which is approximately 1.2 miles away from the Skeleton Point. I was not planning on going past the Skeleton Point, but Alexandra convinced me that it’s possible to make it all the way to the Colorado River and back. So we reached the Tip Off point, which was a large plateau overlooking the river. We didn’t go all the way down to the river because I thought that I couldn’t make it back. We sat on the Tip Off plateau for a while. Then we turned around and began our return. Tip Off Point The return was the most hellish hike of my entire life. We almost ran out of food and water. The sun was super strong, and it was burning my neck and scalp. Even though I was using sunscreen, I had to put my shirt over my head and neck to cover them up and protect them against the sun. It worked, but it was still extremely tough to go against gravity and ascend back to the top of the canyon. I felt so tired that I thought I would never make it back. I told Alexandra about it, and she told me to stay focused and concentrate on making one step after another. She told me we would make it back. It didn’t really settle. I thought I was going to die somewhere in the path, and then people would find my dead body the next day. I was ok with that because I knew that Alexandra would make it back as it wasn’t her first time doing this hike. At some point, Alexandra and I stopped to sit in a shade. I felt I was done, and would not be able to walk any further. And then it dawned upon me. The words of my friend grew strong in my mind, and took a shape of their own. When traveling, trust the road. If it is difficult, keep thinking positive thoughts and taking one step after the other. If you die in the process, it really doesn't matter if you go or not. Might as well go. And focus on the positive. That way you stay connected to the energy of the source and increase your chances of getting to the end. I got up and we continued walking. Then I tripled my speed, and walked that way for a bit. Alexandra asked if it’s ok to rest. We sat down in a shade. Then we got up again and, before I knew it, we were back at the top of the canyon near a source of water. We were delighted, and gave each other a hug. We filled our water bottles. We were safe. We waited for the shuttle and hopped on. On the shuttle, I started feeling nauseous. I didn’t eat much, but I felt like I was going to throw up. I asked Alexandra to get off at the nearest bus stop, and wait for the next bus. We did that, and sat on a stone barrier near the bus stop. I was still feeling sick. Alexandra put her hands on me and gave me a long hug. She stayed in that position for about five minutes. I quickly started feeling better. I was no longer nauseous. We caught the next bus and made our way back to the Grand Canyon Visitor Center. There, we stopped at a small store where I got a smoothie and a protein meal bar. I drank the smoothie, and ate part of the bar, and then we got into the car and left the canyon. We soon stopped to get pizza at the We Cook Pizza & Pasta place on N State Route 64. I ordered pizza for the two of us. It was pretty good, but not awesome. I would give it 4 out of 5 stars. We ate half of it, and wrapped the rest. We began driving back to the hostel, but I soon started feeling sleepy. Alexandra put on music, but that didn’t help. I parked the car on the shoulder of the highway, and got out to make some jump-n-jacks and jumping squats. It seemed to have helped for a few minutes. Then I started falling asleep again. I parked on the shoulder again, and both of us took a ten minute nap. That saved us. After we were done with the nap, I was no longer sleepy, so we were able to reach the hostel. At the hostel, we split for the night because I was extremely tired. I went to sleep at 10 pm, and slept until midnight. I got up to get some water, then went back to sleep. I was waking up every two hours. It seemed like the night went on forever. I felt sick and as if my body was failing. By the morning, though, I was back to normal and happy to face the day. Part 6 (Leaving My Friend and Heading Back to Phoenix, Day 5) In the morning, I woke up expecting to have sore legs. I was surprised to find that not only my legs were not sore, but that they also had a lot more energy in them than the day before. This was the day that I would have to head back to Phoenix for a return flight back to New York the following morning. Alexandra, however, was going to be staying in Flagstaff so that she could find her way through Las Vegas to an organic farm in California. We ate breakfast, and she collected her things from my car. Then we exchanged pictures and rated our past three days. It was a 10 out of 10 for both of us. I said goodbye to her, and checked out of the hostel. I still had a few hours before I had to get on the road, so I explored the city around the hostel for a bit. There were a few cool shops there, including ones with stones and incense. I ended up buying a few small stones.at the Crystal Magic store. It was becoming too hot, so I returned to the hostel and departed towards Sedona. I still had to return the daypack that Peter loaned to me, so Sedona was going to be my first stop. When I got there, his door was open, and he himself was home. We chatted for a bit, then I wished him well, and expressed that I’d be happy to go to the Top of Bell Rock with him again at some point in the future. He said it would be his pleasure to lead me there again. I left the plaza and parked my car at the Blue Moon Cafe. I entered the cafe, and intentionally sat at the spot where Alexandra was waiting for me a few days ago. I ordered pizza and began eating it. The pizza was high quality and very tasty, despite the mediocre reviews that the place currently has. I ate it slowly while reflecting on my experience. I concluded that the trip was the best trip ever, and that the past three days were the best three days of my life. I sat there for quite a while because I had nowhere to rush. Eventually I got the rest of my pizza wrapped up and exited the cafe to continue my way down to Phoenix. When I got to my car, I saw that it was blocked by a truck. Fortunately, because it was an economy car, I was able to squeeze it through the remaining space and leave the parking lot without waiting for the truck. On my way to Phoenix, I stopped at a grocery store that was in a remote area in the middle of nowhere. There was also a motel near it. The people who worked there had a very southern accent, and I liked it a lot. The computer at checkout was ancient, and it was running a very old version of Windows. They even asked me if I want a receipt. Evidently because it wasn’t customary to give one by default. I got my items and continued onward. I didn’t see any police during my stay in Arizona, but at some point there was a whole squad of motorcycle cops behind me. I moved to the right lane, and they all went past me. As I was entering Phoenix, the dense and negative feeling that Alexandra was talking about descended upon me. There was terrible traffic in the city, much worse than in New York. It was very difficult to make turns because the streets were flooded with cars. I found the gate to the place that I booked using Airbnb and in which I would be staying overnight but it seemed to be broken because the access code didn’t work. I went around in a circle and another car seemed to be able to enter its code into the gate because the gate opened. I went after that car and past the gate before it had a chance to close. When I parked near the specified building, some woman peeked out of her window and yelled at me that I can’t park there. She said it is up to me whether to park there, but that if I’m not a resident, I might get a nasty picture drawn on my car. I thanked her, and double checked my parking instructions. The woman was right. So I moved the car to another area nearby. I took the key that was waiting for me and entered the apartment. There were a few cats there, and they greeted me. I continued to my room. There was cat hair everywhere. The air conditioner seemed to be misconfigured, as it was not maintaining the right temperature. I wanted to take a shower, but the bathroom was dirtier than at the hostel that I stayed at in Flagstaff. I sat on the air bed to rest, and noticed it wasn’t fully inflated. I was running out of water, so I had to use the water filter in the kitchen to fill my bottle. The water tasted like crap. I had to use Reiki to improve it a little bit. I rested some more, then decided to walk to the gas station because it had a K Mart and I could buy some bananas, apples, and a new bottle of water. When I was buying these items, the clerk at the desk was not making any eye contact, and she was speaking in a rude manner. That did not change even when I wished her to have a nice day. I exited the store and went back to the apartment complex where my Airbnb host was located. As I was walking to the building, a mad man walked past me. He was laughing repetitively in the same manner and seemingly at nothing in particular. I entered my host’s apartment, and went to my room. Suddenly, I saw a huge spider crawling across it. That was the last straw. I collected my things, returned the key, and left the area. I thought I would park at the gas station and sleep there in my car, but the gas station didn’t seem safe to me because there were weird people there. I found an empty parking lot and parked there, but didn’t like the feel of it. Finally, I decided to head straight to the airport even though it was still close to midnight, and my flight wasn’t going to be until around 10 in the morning. My decision was final, though. I returned the rental car, took my hiking pack, and used the shuttle to get to the airport. There, I found a comfortable seat, and slept there until the morning. Part 7 (Coming Back to New York, Day 6) I couldn’t fully fall into deep sleep that night for the fear of having my things stolen, so I felt slow and drowsy in the morning. I made my way through check in and security and onto the airplane. The trip back was unremarkable except that the airplanes were over packed with passengers, so the clerks kept offering to check in bags and get a seat ahead of the line. I didn’t take that option, and I got lucky each time because I got a seat long before most other people did. I slept throughout the majority of the time on both of the airplanes. By the end, I felt rested, and began conversing with the passengers next to me. On the first airplane, there was a father with a little girl who kept leaning on me until I asked her to stop. Then she shared that her mother is gone and that she is coming to Minneapolis to see her grandma. It was pretty sad. On the second airplane, there was a woman whose sole purpose in coming from Minnesota to New York was to go shopping for bags and apparel. That was ridiculous to me, but I told her that it’s a good way to spend time. As the plane to New York was descending, it had to go through five layers of thick clouds before I could see the earth. It was bad, but not surprising. New York is known for its humidity in the summer time. And when I exited the plane, the humidity was indeed there. It was approximately 92%. There were small particles of water in the air, and it was difficult to see. I hopped on the train, and it took me to my local train station. I then took a taxi that was waiting for people at the station, and the man in the taxi drove me home. I couldn’t recognize the route that the driver was taking due to the humidity and because I was away for so long. It was the strangest sensation. I started to recognize the landscape when we were very close to my street. The driver missed it, so I had to tell him where to go from there. About two minutes later, I was finally home. Part 8 (Reflections) What stood out to me during my trip to Arizona was the difference between the people in each of the areas I visited. The people in Sedona and Flagstaff were very laid back, authentic, open and trusting. They dressed simply, and there were no uniforms even at the local restaurants. They talked to each other on the streets, and it felt very natural. At the hostel, nobody was on their cell phone unless they were alone in the room. People conversed with each other, and I did the same. Surprisingly, it was easy for me. I found out from a lady in the lunchroom that it’s possible to work 15 hours per week at the hostel, and get free stay and breakfast in return. I thought it was a cool arrangement. Most of the people I saw in Phoenix seemed to be borderline psychotic and very hard to talk to. With the exception of my host, who seemed to be ok, but even he didn’t seem to want to socialize much. When I came to Minneapolis for the transfer to a different plane, I noticed that every single person in the waiting room was playing with their cellphone. Nobody was talking to anyone else who was in the room with them. And when I came back to New York, I noticed a wave of snobbery and superiority that seemingly emanated from all the people in the suits. I could almost hear them saying something along these lines. I am a busy man. I am coming back from work. See, I’m dressed in this suit and I have this laptop bag. I did a lot of work today. I’m tired. I don’t care about you. I am in important man and I have to rest tonight so that I could do more work tomorrow. Please leave me alone. And, of course, a lot of people were also on their cellphones. It was an odd sensation, coming back to New York from Arizona. It was like coming to a different country or a different world altogether. It was surreal. Nevertheless, as I was exiting the airport, I wasn’t sure where to go, so I requested directions loudly so that everyone could hear. There was a person nearby who answered, and I was grateful. Another major thing was the comparative driving experience. In New York, everybody is in a rush. Everybody wants to go first. The allowed maximum speed on a highway is 55, but everyone is going 70, and it seems way too fast for the amount of space that is there. It is often difficult to change lanes because of the traffic. In Arizona, the allowed maximum speed on a rural freeway is 75, and everybody is going 80. The 80 mph speed seems slow and relaxed. There are very few cars and virtually no police. Trucks are only allowed in the right lane. If you’re going slowly, the cars behind you will follow you but will not honk. If you’re going too slowly, they will pass you, but still won’t honk. If you want to change lanes, they will let you in. You can even make a U-turn in the middle of a freeway because of how few cars there are. It is much easier to drive in Arizona than it is in New York. The final thing that was noticeable was the quality of water. In Sedona and Flagstaff, tap water was very pure. It tasted awesome. In Phoenix, tap water tasted like crap. If you ever go to Phoenix, make sure to get lots of bottled water so that you don’t run out. Or you can always go to a K Mart and buy more. In New York, tap water is dirty but it still tastes better than the water in Phoenix. My friends who have been to Sedona and the Grand Canyon had talked about how the places have spiritually charged vortices. I was finally able to feel this on my own. I now know what they are talking about, and it’s worth experiencing at least once in a lifetime. I’m glad I took this trip, and I now know that traveling is not as hard as it sounds. It is my intention to be traveling more in the future, especially since I want to eventually get out of New York and find another place to live. As for Alexandra, she was super cool and fun. It saddens me that we had to part, but I’m sure that we will meet again. As she says, when there is a will, there is a way. In the meantime, we are connected spiritually because on that level, there is no separation. We are all one.