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.
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.
The stunning Red Rocks of Sedona
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.
Our trusty steed at the GC
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.
Still a clown…
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.