Where I was supposed to be: How a cancelled Dubai trip turned into a Grand Canyon road trip

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Can you believe it?  I was finally was headed to Dubai; I purchased it through a group package from a sorority.  And although, I have always planned my own trips I thought this being in a Muslim country with fairly strict rules, somehow warranted the need to be extra careful.

The trip was planned for January of 2018. I purchased my hijab and abaya for the mosque and for traveling throughout some of the more traditional parts of Dubai. Read up extensively on the cultural, and as the travel guru I am, set up a meeting with the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding.  A sistah was READY!

Alas…I was informed just days before a well planned trip that there was some difficulty with the plane…curious??? But shit happens and I took it on the chin.  We were rescheduled in April, again I made all the necessary arrangements: kids (check), job (check), friends and family (check). Two days before the trip, I find out this African American tour company run by women for women had taken my money and never set up the hotel or air.

I, along with 23 other women was devastated! DEV—A—STATED. As I mulled over my legal course of action, this is what I knew: I had six days off. Do I do what I did in January, when the trip was cancelled and sadly dragged myself to work, explained to my social media of over 11,000 followers I wasn’t going?…yet again.  I just couldn’t, I had so many expectations.

Instead, I looked at my travel list (not a bucket list, cause I’m not going anywhere no time soon).  And in the midst of tears and disappointment I saw something beautifully magical calling me back to Arizona.  But this time, the sights of Antelope Canyon and the Grand Canyon were calling. The two canyons were more than a travel destination but a need to heal from loss and expectations.  I booked immediately, and headed out the next day.

To save money I stayed in Flagstaff, definitely less expensive than staying in Sedona (and I have traveled and stayed in Sedona so no biggie).  Somehow the travel gods blessed it to be on the day I was arriving, April 22nd the Grand Canyon was free (Earth Day)!

Did I also mention April is the best time to go the canyons because of the tempered and comfortable weather?  Well it is! I did almost everything in the canyon that could be done, except walk all the way down the narrow path of the Grand. I ventured to my comfortability, leaned up against the rock wall, quieted myself, and saw how my travel problems were nothing in comparison to what was in front of me right now.

What I really saw was acceptance of what is, and the beauty of that moment…mine came in the form of a canyon 277 miles long, up to 18 miles wide and a depth of over 6,093 feet.

Next day I chilled in Sedona, enjoyed the spas, the excellent food and re-examined what about travel I enjoyed. Traveling is never about just the destination, because the more you travel, you realize so many beautiful places, all with their own style and reverence.

Traveling for me…is about how I manifest another level of existence on this earth, that propels me from my human experience right to my spiritual experience.   This trip taught me how to make lemons into lemonade, and let go, and I did.

Next day, I arranged a tour to head to the Horseshoe Bend, and go to one of the most beautiful places to me, the Lower Antelope Canyon.  The Antelope Canyon is on Navajo land, it is a sandstone slot canyon, formed by erosion…imagine that. I’ll just that sit with you a moment.

The trek getting down to the canyon not for the faint of heart, I watched many people look down the steep ladder going into the canyon, and turn back.  I even thought I wouldn’t be able to do it a few times, but I paid…so I got over it quick.

You definitely feel cooler finally entering the floor of the canyon.  But you are instantly hit with a beauty that words I have not found yet, able to describe. The red rocks/sand are like waves stopped in motion, the lighting and colors dance upon your senses and you are trapped in the spell of nature’s artistry.

After about an hour or more, I came crawling out of a slit towards the top of canyon, almost like a birth. I realized then, I didn’t miss out on traveling to Dubai, because I was where I was supposed to be at the time. And I can assure you, no better time than the present.

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