In this time of limited travel, once a month we're going to pull shots from our destination theme weeks on Instagram that provide a very different view of a destination than we share in our regular posts.
On Instagram I can meander a bit off topic and onto a theme. It's a very different kind of writing that can be quite fun.
Join us on Instagram. Each Saturday I propose two destinations for the following week's theme and let you vote on which I'll feature.
Enjoy this month's featured destination: the American Southwest.
For more great photos of the American landscape, see Solo Travel in the United States: Photos by Readers.
For more road trip inspiration and itineraries, check out our Road Trip Category.
Monument Valley, Utah. Route 163 goes right through Monument Valley. On one side of the main crossroad, Monument Valley Road, is Goulding's Lodge. On the other side is a Navajo market and, further up the road, Monument Valley Tribal Park run by the Diné (commonly called the Navajo, but they refer to themselves as Diné.) The Monument Valley Tribal Park museum expands on the history of the Diné in terms of social values, legal structure, governmental organization, and more, none of which were represented in the western films by John Ford and others. To this day, the tribe works to correct the misunderstandings of their culture perpetuated in film.
Driving the American Southwest
I LOVE a road trip! I love driving. I love moving from town to town, from city to countryside, listening to local radio and seeing the landscape change along the way.
It was the same on my trip through Arizona, Utah, and Colorado. The stunning red mountains, buttes, mesas, canyons, and cliffs, and the gorgeous desert and tumbleweed (tumbleweed!) tumbling was all so novel for me. It was dramatic, stunning! The landscape was like nothing I had ever seen before.
It was just me, the open road, and the big-sky landscapes of the American Southwest. But when I felt my emotional response to the Kaibab Forest, I wondered: what is it about a landscape? How much is the landscape of central Canada part of who I am. Can one change their landscape as easily as changing a city? Does one ultimately find a new landscape relaxing? How long does it take?
People who immigrate must face this issue. They travel to a new country, often with a very different landscape. But, unlike travelers, they may not have the opportunity to go home to the familiar. I have always admired people who take the brave decision to emigrate and that admiration was amplified on this trip.