Travel Dreaming is Like Hiking the Grand Canyon

This past weekend,  I made my first trip to the Grand Canyon. It took me six months of living near it to finally visit it. I brushed it off for awhile because I didn’t think it was a big deal. Plenty of other people I know have been to the Grand Canyon and while they liked it, they didn’t manage to convince me it was worth the trip.

So much for listening to what other people have to say because I loved it.

It’s billions of years in the making spread out of 1.2 million acres of perfectly painted peaks, valleys, plateaus and buttes which provide plenty of room for contemplating its creation – yours, too.

Hiking the Grand Canyon

With so much room to breath, awe and dream, I got to thinking how my weekend of camping, hiking and sightseeing at this natural wonder of the world is similar to my bigger travel dream overall. It’s not for the faint of heart.

You will . . . sweat.

See rattlesnakes.

Kill your knees.

Get nauseous from the altitude.

Want to quit.

But if you can plan for it and pace yourself, you’re in for the time of your life.

How Travel Dreaming is Like Hiking the Grand Canyon

1.  Dream big.

You have to make your dreams big enough to stay motivated enough to catch them. If you never aim for the moon, you never land among the stars, or worse, you never attempt the world’s greatest travel adventures.

Just remember, there’s no failing in travel dreaming, just detours, which can turn out to be the best part sometimes.

the colorado river going through the grand canyon2.  Have a map.

You need to plot out where you are going in travel and life. Without a vague idea, you’ll never take the first real step towards it. There are many routes to choose from, and distraction will win if you don’t pick a trail.

Know your starting point and pick the end destination. The journey in between can –and will–change. Nonetheless, having your map will keep you sane.

looking down at the grand canyon3.  Choose your views.

They actually say this on signs all over the Grand Canyon. In a playground this vast, you have many choices, but if you don’t choose a few, you will miss the experience. It’s impossible to do it all and see it all, so pick what really matters to you and what is actually doable.

I’m sure the view from the top of Mt. Everest is breathtaking, but I know I’ll never make it; I’m not world-class climber. So I’ll maximize my time with other views that are in my range.

grand canyon in the shade4.  Be prepared — if not — overprepare.

The Grand Canyon is no place to be cocky. Without adequate hydration, food, shade and rest, you will find yourself being helicoptered out by a rescue team. It happens quite often to some of the fittest people who enter.

Point being, danger awaits those who don’t wisely think about what they need before doing it. Travel can take us to challenging places. Read up beforehand, use common sense and have enough on hand to sustain you.

the sun on the grand canyon

5.  Enjoy the journey.

With all the preparation and caution signs, it’s also important to look past them to see the splendid Grand Canyon views. On 8 Women Dream we talk a lot about how the “your dream/life is what you make it” principle and how you choose your attitude with it.

While frustration can set in, take time to adjust your thinking and enjoy the sights that surround you.

Katie sitting on the edge of the grand canyon6.  The road to success is not often paved – or marked.

I must say the Grand Canyon main trails are expertly maintained and marked. However, there are lots of other trails that people do that you will not find on a gift shop map. At some point in time none of the main trails had names either, but someone had a vision to create them.

There will be times when your dream might not have a clear path. Maybe no one ever traveled down that road before? No one is going to travel it for you, you have to blaze that trail. You have to carve your own path for your travel dream. 8 Women Dream, and your support team, will help shine the light.

looking out over the grand canyonHiking the Grand Canyon has only been a recent dream of mine. Check it off the list and make room for the next travel dream.

Where will your travel dream take you next?

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  • Katie

    @Kathryn Thank you for your kind words! I’m really glad you enjoy! Where do you like to travel to?

  • Kathryn

    I love reading your travel stories. You have a wonderful way of expressing yourself through your travel photographs.

  • Katie

    @Remy-Hearing that YOU think my photos are good really means a lot! Thank you. I tend to keep the camera at bay more than I should. As you know, it’s so hard to capture a place in a photo sometimes. WOuld love to meet up in Cali sometime. When’s your photo retreat that you are running going to take place ;)

  • I’ve never been, and want to so badly. Maybe I’ll make some time to do that in the spring, your photos are beautiful! You know if you want to take a trip here to CA, Id be happy to tag along as your travel photographer. Just give me a heads up! xo Rem

  • Katie

    Thanks, Cath!
    I think the Southwest of America is so UNDERrated. The Grand Canyon is so amazing and I can’t stop thinking about it! I wish I had a week to spend there. It seems like a very significant place to you. I hope you can take your son there sometime.
    I’ve been fortunate enough to go to Sedona, Oak Creek, Painted Desert and Petrified Forest.
    I still need to check out some of those others. Thanks for the suggestions!!

  • Oh how I love the Grand Canyon. I have been to the south rim probably 8 times and the north rim twice. This majestic beauty is like part of our family.

    Standing on the south rim of the Grand Canyon for the very first time is life-changing. I tell everyone this. Standing in the midst of mother nature’s sculpturing ability, one is reminded of how small we humans really are.

    I am dying to take my son there.

    My ex-husband had never seen the Grand Canyon either and so we went there on our honeymoon. I will never forget his face as we walked up to the edge. He stood there completely silenced by its vast beauty.

    The canyon always makes me cry.

    I highly recommend The Painted Desert and another favorite of mine, Monument Valley. There’s also Canyon de Chelly, Sedona, Oak Creek Canyon, Petrified Forest National Park, Jerome, Walnut Canyon, Pueblo Canyon … and don’t get me started on Zion National Park in Utah.

    God how I love that region. You are going to love seeing all these places an dmore.

    I love this and the pictures are just great!

    Cath