L is for Love

We made it to the USA! A South African-born British citizen and an Australian (with no fixed address) driving a Mexican-plated car made it across the border to the land of the free.


What felt like a genuine conversation about what we have been up to these last few years may have been just that, or it may have been a well-played immigration interrogation, but either way, they let us in with a few head shakes, a handshake and a smile.

We got off to a rocky start when we managed to find the worst neighbourhood in Phoenix to spend the night. Our Travelodge motel became a scene reminiscent of the show ‘Cops’ when armed officers made a friendly visit to our neighbours in the middle of the night.

It definitely put my trust that I am always where I am meant to be to the test, but I have to say I passed, managing to get a few hours sleep in spite of my fear and the sinister noxious fumes of our room (thanks to a lot of prayer and a little lavender oil).

Our gratitude at surviving the night almost made it worth it and fueled our desire to immediately head North to the small town of Flagstaff.

We were hesitant to book more than a night’s accommodation after our bad experience, but we managed to hit the jackpot with the L Motel, an exceptionally clean, well located and reasonably priced little place on the iconic Route 66 which we have been very much at home at for the last few days.

L Hotel Route 66l

Despite our shaky start, we have been having a blast. Even our night at the crime scene of a motel has become fuel for our non-stop laughter since arriving here.

I’ve been convulsing in fits of giggles at Tyrhone’s dry humour which includes but is not limited to a one liner I am not likely to forget. After a failed shopping trip to Walmart for some cheap winter woolies, he declared without a hint of a smile that “Walmart is where decency goes to die.”

Marveling at the natural magnificence of Arizona’s Red Rocks and Grand Canyon has certainly injected some major wow-factor into our first week stateside.


red rocks smiles


The stunning Red Rocks of Sedona

sarah grand canyon

desert view grand canyon

on the edge

desert rain grand canyon

The grande, big, huge, humungous, gigantic, awe-inspiring, ancient, wondrous Grand Canyon

We have also been relishing the seemingly ‘simple things’ like Thai food, awesome burgers, sane roads, English and brushing our teeth with tap water.

I’m not sure if it’s the new beginning or overcoming the logistical challenges of driving ourselves and all of our possessions to another country, but we seem to be thriving as a team and I dare say, we haven’t been this happy together for a while.

trusty steedOur trusty steed at the GC

us grand canyon

Our mugs at the GC

As the beautiful fall leaves of historic Flagstaff signal the end of summer and the beginning of winter, our relationship seems to be entering a new season.

fallStill a clown…

fall leaves

While I am hesitant to burst our love bubble by blurting it out on the internet, it is kinda what I do and I would be remiss to only focus on the challenging times rather than the free and easy ones.

I’ve never made it a secret that our relationship has been far from perfect. But we have stuck it out through some pretty dark times and managed to sail into the light in a major way. I’m aware of how far we have come, now, more than ever.

I never had any healthy relationship role models or any clue as to what a real one entails. I failed miserably at it for a long time because I had no skills and it’s been a slow, painful process to heal the things in me which blocked me from experiencing real love (hint: it has everything to do with self-love).

I’m not talking about Hollywood-style romance or magazine-esque images, but real, raw love which is painful and confusing and uplifting and healing all at once.

I’m still no expert on love, far from it, just as I am no expert on travel or writing or recovery or anything for that matter. The only thing I can ever hope to be an expert in is my own journey, and I believe the same is true for any person on the planet.

It’s just that right now, I’m feeling more in love than I’ve ever been able to feel. I’ve been with this guy for eight years and we have fought hard (literally) to stay together through a lot of clenched teeth and buckets of heartbreak.

But right now, as we take yet another major plunge together, we are laughing and loving harder than we ever have.

For someone without a clue about Love, I seem to have been given a chance to find one. And it feels good.

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L is for Love — 32 Comments

  1. And breath…. It’s funny seeing how your journey parallels with mine and Kel’s (not just geographically). It feels so refreshing to be in the USA experiencing new things and feeling much lighter and happier!

    Glad you and Mr T are having giggles galore. We had a similar disappointing trip to Walmart and I could not agree with more with the witty one liner.

    Take care dudes x
    Rob recently posted..15 weird and wonderful things Mexico has taught meMy Profile

    • Hey Rob! So happy you guys are feeling it too. Fresh starts rule! Hope we get a chance to debrief our weird and funny experiences at some point. Enjoy Colorado!

  2. Lovely! Glad the USA is treating you right so far. We love the whole Red Rock area of the SW and hope you have a fantastic time. Certainly Monument Valley, and pretty much most of Utah qualifies as worth a stop as well. Oh, and Taos and Santa Fe and the coast of Oregon, and wine country and….lol.. lots to see!
    Rhonda recently posted..A Getaway with the ParentsMy Profile

    • Thanks Rhonda! Was thinking of you as we went to ‘Mike and Ronda’s’ diner here :-) Just saw on Tyrhone’s post that you were at Mormon Lake! Just went there yesterday and had a great pizza at the pizzeria. We will be in your neck of the woods over Christmas. Not sure if you will be there but we are house sitting in Vancouver, Washington from Dec 19 to 30. Hope to catch you at some point! xoxoxo

      • haha.. we’ve had that pizza! We will be around during the holidays…a few family functions and such but for the most part we’ll have plenty of time to get together. lol. I thought you were house sitting in Vancouver BC (one of our favorite cities) so very exciting it’s Vancouver Wa instead! I’ll keep the dates in mind and, as you get closer, get in touch and we’ll make a date. XOXO
        Rhonda recently posted..A Getaway with the ParentsMy Profile

  3. I’m so glad the US is making you so happy!

    I stepped off the plane in LA and literally felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. This may have been due to the fact that I found a quinoa salad. I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to be able to eat it again!
    Kellie recently posted..A NEW BEGINNINGMy Profile

    • Thank you Kell! I am so relieved for you that you are feeling better and have such a variety of food you can eat (besides guacamole!). Enjoy those lemons! Xxx

  4. Way to go Sarah and Tyrhone! And I love the comment about WalMart. I refuse to shop there. Relationships are never easy, we are at year 38 (36 married) and we still work at it every day. You do it because it’s worth it. And anything worth having/loving is worth the effort. It’s a constant work in progress but you hold hands and walk through it together. And, it probably doesn’t hurt that you are seeing some of the most majestic country the U.S. has to offer. We’ve traveled extensively through the area, and it’s fun for me to see your photos and relive some memories. Safe travels.
    Patti recently posted..The Road East: Day 7My Profile

    • Thank you so much Patti, wow, that is AMAZING!! And even better that you are still living the life of your dreams together! We went to Walnut Canyon on your advice today. Beautiful place! We are off to Page tomorrow if you have any other recommendations. Happy trails sweet friend xoxox

  5. Awwwww, you guys are so cute! I’m really happy for you Sarah.

    And I wouldn’t worry too much about bursting your bubble by talking about it on the internet, I don’t think you can jinx what you have. :) Just enjoy the feeling. You have gone through so many shadows, enjoy the light times.
    Karyn @ Not Done Travelling recently posted..No York, No YorkMy Profile

  6. Your adventures of seeing the world and self-discovery are amazing! I’m sorry about your first night in Phoenix as this is where I live (almost 60 years) and love, but also love so many other places. Glad you went to Walnut Canyon and hope you hiked the trails. If you haven’t yet, take the ski lift ride at SnowBowl. There are discounts also available online..simply beautiful and peaceful. ENJOY!!

    • Thank you Nancy. How funny we have swapped places!! I am sure we found the worst part of Phoenix. Not enough planning on our part!! We enjoyed Walnut Canyon and headed up to Page today. Horseshoe bend: Wow! But everyone standing on the edge gave me a heart attack!! Enjoy the rest of your Mexican adventure and thank you so much for your kind words xxx

  7. Hi Sarah,

    It made me so happy to read about you and Tyrhone. Stay happy! Solano and I are more in love than I ever knew people could love each other. Loving soneone and being happy with them is one amazing journey!May we both continue this love journey as we continue our life journey.


    Solano and I both are sending you and Tyrhone many hugs!

    • Hi Michele! I am so happy to hear that. Miss you both HEAPS, sorry I have been behind on my emails as we have been moving around so much, but I will be in touch soon xoxox Lots of love to you both xoxox

      • Sarah, discovered your blog researching our impending trip to the Yucatan.
        We live in N Utah… If you need tips/hints for our part of the world (especially the amazing National Parks) please drop us a line. Perhaps we’d meet for a bite/drink and swap tips?

        • Oh awesome! I am sure you will love it! Thank you so much, we have moved on from that part of the world for now, unfortunately we didn’t have much time in Utah but it is definitely on our list of places we would love to return :-)