Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Picture of the Week: The grand view

Just so you don't think that I was totally unimpressed by the Grand Canyon, I thought I'd share this picture that I took as the sun was setting on the canyon's Southern Rim. I have to admit, it really is an awe-inspiring sight. (Mind you, I still favour Monument Valley!).
All images copyright Kim Wildman

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Of monuments and men: Searching for the "Duke"

When it comes to iconic American landscapes, in my opinion Monument Valley beats the Grand Canyon hands down. Located on the border between southern Utah and northern Arizona, the towering flame-red rocks have served as the backdrop for more than 50 Hollywood films, including Easy Rider and Back to the Future III, not to mention dozens of video film clips and television advertisements. Though it is perhaps most famous as the techniclor cinematic setting for director John Ford's classic American westerns such as Stage Coach and The Searchers starring the "Duke", John Wayne. It would be an understatement to say that my father - the greatest John Wayne fan ever - was more than a little impressed. But then again, so was I. Here are just a sample of the more than 200 odd photographs I took.

All images copyright Kim Wildman

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The truth is out there...or is it?

Today we visited Roswell in New Mexico. I have to admit that in spite of my expectations, I was really disappointed. Perhaps it was because I had built up the town in my mind over the years – I was totally engrossed by the late 90s TV show, Roswell, and watched every episode of the X-Files – but it really was one of the biggest let-downs of any town I've ever visited. For the uninitiated of you, Roswell's greatest claim to fame is that a UFO reportedly crashed in a field near the town in 1947. While investigating officials originally reported that they'd discovered a "flying disk" at the scene, within hours they'd changed their story claiming that it was in fact a weather balloon not a UFO. This of course led to claims of a government cover-up and so until this day the mystery surrounding the Roswell "incident" continues to be debated. In my opinion, the real mystery is why anyone would ever come here. It truly is the most boring, uninteresting and lifeless town I've ever visited... I think the aliens sucked all the life out of the town when they left!

Monday, October 20, 2008

On the road - again!

Hi everyone! Sorry it has been a little while since I last posted. Things have been a little hectic to say the least. Mostly with work, but I've also just hit the road again. In fact, I'm currently in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where I've just spent the weekend hanging with two of my dear travel writing friends, Becca and Aaron, attending their wedding as a bridesmaid. The weekend has been fabulous – in my opinion Santa Fe has to be one the US's most unique and interesting towns – though I'm really looking forward to taking off tomorrow for a 10 day cross-country road trip across Southwest USA. Oddly enough, after all my taking up of joys of travelling solo, I'm actually being accompanied on this trip by my parents (they were also invited to the wedding). Since I haven't travelled anywhere with them since I was eight years old, we could be in for one heck of a wild ride - I'm crossing my fingers that my mother and I don't end up driving each other off the edge of the Grand Canyon Thelma-and-Louise-style!

Wish me luck!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Five reasons to travel solo: #5 Personal growth

Finally, here is my top reason why you should consider travelling solo. As Leyla from Women on the Road pointed out in her comment on my first post, the greatest benefit of travelling solo is that it boosts your confidence and helps you grow. Travelling solo is when you really find out what you're made of. With no one else to rely on, you must learn to trust your own instincts and make your own decisions. Things of course will go wrong – remember I wound up in hospital on my last solo trip – but it's these very challenges that'll make you stronger. And with every new hurdle you conquer, your confidence will grow as you discover that you're far more capable than you ever imagined you could be.

Happy travelling!