Have you ever heard that saying, "Getting there is half the fun"?
Back in the mid 90's my best friend Brent and I were on a vacation in Las Vegas and we decided to take a side-trip to the Grand Canyon. We both had always wanted to visit the Grand Canyon and since we were relatively close, we thought that it was the perfect opportunity and it would be a fun day-trip.
We rented a car and this was in the days way before GPS, so we bought a map - remember those? We headed out of Las Vegas bright and early, figuring it would be a couple of hours drive to get there and then we could spend the majority of the day exploring the Grand Canyon. Fun!!
Well, we didn't realize how severely off course we were until we passed a highway sign welcoming us to Utah. What? Utah?? We were expecting a sign welcoming us to Arizona!! We knew something was terribly askew, so we pulled the car over and tried to figure out how we ended up in a totally wrong state. We had taken turns driving so we really have never been able to figure out who exactly made the major error in navigation, but I do believe it was Brent's fault but he always insists I was to blame. Typical. I guess we'll never know, but for the sake of argument, let's just say it was Brent's fault.
After some "discussing" we decided it would be best to get off the interstate and take a secondary road as a short-cut. Soon we were really lost. For hours we aimlessly drove the back-roads of Utah until suddenly we realized that we were surrounded by the most amazingly jaw-dropping landscape we had ever seen.
We found out afterwards we had stumbled into Zion National Park, which we had never even heard of before. It was a total fluke. It was absolutely gorgeous. We were in awe of the colour of the soil and the incredible formation of the rocks. We stopped every few minutes to take pictures and to just enjoy the amazing scenery. It really was a truly remarkable experience.
We did eventually make it to the Grand Canyon that day...about 15-minutes before sunset. I remember us laughing in the car on our drive back to Vegas, because it took us over 10-hours to get to the Grand Canyon and we only got 15-minutes to enjoy it before it disappeared into darkness.
Now here we are twenty years later and the memory of that day is something I treasure deeply. The memory I'm treasuring isn't the Grand Canyon itself, but instead of our journey together trying to get to the Grand Canyon, but the quality time I got to spend with my best friend on our little unexpected adventure we shared together that day.
I try to remember that to this day when I'm travelling, although it's not always easy. If something goes wrong or not as planned, which can happen, I try to not get too stressed out about it. I have to remind myself to relax and enjoy the journey because the journey might be what I remember the most 20 years from now.