A Change of Scenery. My Trip Essay Example
I sit at a table at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, Nevada, anxiously waiting for my cell phone to ring. I have spent the past few weeks second guessing my decision to take a semester off college for this moment. The server at the Mexican restaurant I am in brings me the Stella Artious I ordered five minutes earlier. I take a sip of the beer as I examine the travelers walking and jogging through the airport. Most of them are dressed in a suit and tie traveling for work while others are obviously here for vacation. I feel out of place.
I am wearing hiking boots, thick khaki pants, a large sunhat, and an overstuffed hiking backpack with a tent strapped to its side. Before I take a second sip, my cell phone rings; it’s Christine, the host of the organic farm I will be staying at. I answer the phone and Christine gives me verbal directions to the parking lot she is at. I chug the nearly full draft then meander through the hectic airport towards the parking garage. Christine stands by the bed of her beat down GMC pickup truck waving her hands in the air to get my attention. Her smiling face comes into focus and my anxiety vanishes; I have made the right decision.
The two hour drive to Meadview, Arizona happens timelessly. Christine and I have in-depth conversations about a wide variety of topics. She has a humble heart and is extremely intelligent. The sun sets and colors the desert sky in a hue of pink as we pull into the farm. The farm is littered with piles of scrap metal, furniture, and campers. Christine guides me into her small adobe home where I meet the two other volunteers I will be staying with: Flo and Brian. Flo presents me with a bowl of homemade bison stew. The four of us eat at a small table where we talk and laugh. Each of us come from different backgrounds. Christine is a German immigrant and activist in her community. Flo is a recent college graduate from Canada who has decided to travel across North America in his van. Brian is a middle aged ex-drug addict from Minnesota trying to figure his life out. The diversity of these people and the kindness in their hearts make me optimistic about the thirty days I will be staying here.
Each night after dinner, I walk through the property to a 1990’s camper Christine has allowed me to sleep in. I can see the light pollution emitted from Las Vegas to the west from nearly 70 miles away. The sky over the Grand Canyon to the east is pitch black sprinkled with stars. Seeing Las Vegas light up the sky made me appreciate being in the middle of nowhere. Being in a chaotic city was the last thing I wanted. I embarked on this journey to find peace and I have it here on this little farm. The camper is my own private space where I can reflect on my journey as I fall asleep.
Each morning, the desert sun shines through the thin curtains of the camper. I leave the camper and walk through the brisk February air into the house. I make oatmeal for myself and wait for the sun to warm up the desert before I start my workday. I spend the majority of my time making hydroponic systems out of plastic storage containers, sowing seeds, transferring seedlings, and harvesting produce. We mostly grow lettuce, kale, and tomatoes. I gain a new appreciation for farmwork as I witness the long journey of a seed become a component of a fresh salad.
On the weekends, we usually don’t work. Christine loves taking her volunteers sightseeing. We load up her pickup truck with food, beer, and chairs and drive to the Colorado River or Lake Mead. I ride in the bed with Flo and Christine’s two dogs Andy and Rielly. The canyon scenery along the drive is breathtaking; unlike anything I have seen before. Sometimes I take day-long solo hikes up the west rim of the Grand Canyon. As I increase in elevation I can see the entire city of Meadview below me; I am miles from anybody. Being alone makes me concerned about my safety, but the peace and beauty trumps the fear.
The entire trip gives me a sense of peace that was absent during my first semester of college. I remember sitting in my dorm room feeling unsure about my future. I came to Meadview to give my mind the clarity it deserved. My family and friends were puzzled by my decision to drop everything and come to Meadview. I wasn’t certain about my decision either, however, my inner motives pleaded with me to pull the trigger. There’s no telling how my life would be today had I not gone to Meadview. I learned more during one month in Meadview than I did during my first semester of college. I continue to reflect on the experience over a year and a half later. Always trust your instincts, they are never wrong.