Our Roadtrip of a Lifetime in the Southwest

Our trip to Southern Utah and Northern AZ has gone down as one of our top lifetime travel highlights. It’s a National Park HEAVEN. It was on our bucket list to visit, and now I want to visit again and again as there is just SO much to see. You just drive and drive and drive with your jaw dropped nearly the entire time. 
Here are a few tips…
1. Find hotels in little towns with hot tubs under the Milky Way!!! You will be impressed with those stars above the vast desert. And, hello, talk about romantic. 🙂 
2. Eat a Navajo Taco in Monument Valley. These are legendary in my family and we made them at every family get together. 
3. Stop at all the Indian jewelry road stops on the highway and enjoy speaking with the Navajos. (Their accent is so nostalgic for me as my uncles and Dad grew up on the Navajo Reservation.)
4. If you want to buy very, very nice turquoise jewelry, the gift shop at Monument Valley is off-the-charts. Bring a lot of money! I have a few pieces on a wish list in honor of my Grandmother, whose wrists and hands were covered in turquoise jewelry. 
5. Give in to all the red dust…it will cover everything and remind you how nice it is to be dirty. Hiking boots are recommended. I finally replaced my boots that I’ve been wearing since I was 19 years old. I got these from REI and I’m loving them!
6. Listen to On-Being podcasts by NPR – often about spirituality. It’s the perfect setting to do so. Here are some excellent ones we listened to on the scenic drives: James Doty – The Magic Shop of the Brain; BJ Miller – Reframing Our Relationship to That We Don’t Control; Adam Grant – Successful Givers, Toxic Takers, and the Life We Spend at Work.
7. Do.Not.Miss: Zion National Park, Monument Valley, Bryce Canyon, the scenic Route 12, and the Grand Canyon. Of course, there are just loads and loads of parks and canyons and hikes in between, but these are must-sees for sure. Moab and the Arches National Park are also spectacular. 
8. Take loads of road trip snacks and picnic food. Our favorites: Mixed nuts, rice crackers, hummus, baby carrots, homemade peanut butter balls, dried fruit, bananas, clementines, jerky, hard boiled eggs, smoothies in a thermos. There are also plenty of old school road stop cafes.
9. Do a River Ceremony if you find a river or stream. 
10. Cherish every second of this beautiful planet.

And now for a little something that still has us smiling from ear to ear…

On one of the hiking trails in Zion, we passed a group of hikers and then one of them called out: “Are you from A Blog About Love?” YES! “I attended your event in Norway!” she said. “You changed my life! I think of you all the time!”

ahh…we couldn’t believe it. Such a miracle we crossed paths.

This life is too beautiful.


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  1. Anonymous April 6, 2016 at 8:21 pm - Reply

    How lovely! Your trip and meeting a "fan" who attended an event! Lovely!!! I am so happy for you guys! Please don't go missing in action on this blog…for those of us who cannot go to your events yet…

    • danny April 6, 2016 at 9:32 pm - Reply

      We do occasionally go missing while doing all the travel and planning for retreats, sorry about that. 🙂

      Maybe we need to do some video things when we are away working like that. Mara and I are always having these great conversations while listening to podcasts or talking about principles, and we think "ooh….we should write about that"…but just get to busy.

      Thanks for your support.

  2. Katy DeBardelaben April 6, 2016 at 9:21 pm - Reply

    That is AMAZING! I can't believe you ran in to someone from one of your events!! And your pictures are breathtaking. Totally motivating me to plan a trip.

    • danny April 6, 2016 at 9:35 pm - Reply

      You know, after touring some amazing sites down here in South America, and seeing some breathtaking stuff in Bolivia (which we've yet to post), I said to Mara "you know stuff like this is all over the place in my own "backyard" in Utah? When we go next, maybe we can figure out how to visit some."

      Having business and design partners to work with in SLC, then a retreat in Vegas, and another in SLC after, made for the perfect excuse to take a longer drive down and back up.

      And let me tell you…you don't need to go half way around the world to see some of the most amazing things you'll ever see. Mara and I were blown away driving through the national parks in Utah. I could have spent 2 weeks doing that, and going on more hikes and camping instead of shuffling from one place to the next.

      Hope you get to see something amazing too in the near future!

  3. Wondering Helen April 6, 2016 at 10:24 pm - Reply

    We were just at the Grand Canyon (and before that, Petrified Forest & Painted Desert)! We're on our honeymoon, but we're full-timing in the RV anyway, so it all feels like a honeymoon. 😉

    • mara April 6, 2016 at 10:57 pm - Reply

      Oh my, the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert…so amazing.
      I went there as a child but would LOVE to go again. I need to add that to our next trip in that area. We definitely hope to go back.

      Also, your life sounds awesome!!

  4. mset510 April 6, 2016 at 10:25 pm - Reply

    I'm glad I got to meet you guys in Vegas and listen to you speak. THANKS for opening my heart and making it SMILE! *by the way, there's no "s" in Zion. Just so you know. Thanks.

    • mara April 6, 2016 at 10:56 pm - Reply

      thanks for the correction! I always do that.. argh.
      I did fix it. thanks.

  5. Miggy April 8, 2016 at 2:29 am - Reply

    When I see pictures like this I kick myself so hard for not spending more time in Southern Utah when I lived so close! But this is definitely on our must do list…looks amazing.

    • mara April 8, 2016 at 2:39 am - Reply

      Ah, I hear you…
      It took us this long to go there and I grew up in AZ and Danny grew up in UT! Soooo…we basically suck at seeing our own state. It was super awesome, though, to drive those roads and visit all the vintage gas stations and hotel or restaurant gift shops and what not. Talk about taking me back to my childhood of arrowheads, rock collections, turquoise jewelry, and cactus candy. It was a dream. haha.

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