Why I Loved Growing Up In Arizona

Why I Loved Growing Up In Arizona

Thank you Arizona for an unforgettable childhood.

Growing up in Arizona has been an experience like no other. I recognize that it does not have many national treasures or popular tourist destinations. However, it is equally as special.

During my childhood, I constantly wished that I lived in a much more exciting and lively place like California. I always complained that Phoenix was not as exhilarating as cities such as New York City or Boston. I used to want to trade the desert landscape for the beach setting. After living in Arizona for over fifteen years, I finally learned how to appreciate its natural beauty.

I love Arizona’s wonderful weather. Despite a few 120 degree days and a couple of dust storms here and there, the weather has never been a problem. I have never had to experience dealing with snow blocking the driveway or six-inch rain. These are luxuries that people in the east coast cannot enjoy. One of my favorite past times is to hang out poolside and admire the sunset.

In order to beat the triple digit heat, my friends and I have learned how to be creative and come up with activities that do not involve the outdoors. Going to brunch, exploring Butterfly Wonderland and Odysea Aquarium, and go-kart racing are just some of favorites. From this, I have learned how to make the best out of every situation.

Living in Arizona has taught me how to be grateful for the little things. I have learned how to treasure the small distinct features that make it unique. Besides the famous Grand Canyon, it has other underappreciated gems such as the jaw-dropping Antelope Canyon, the majestic Havasu Falls, and picturesque Sedona. These destinations are great road trip destinations and only a few hours away. No matter how many times I go, I never get sick of the views.

Besides the weather, the people that live in Arizona have heavily influenced my experience. Everyone that I have talked to, whether they were born in Arizona or just live here, are not immune to its charm. Their pride and love for their state are admirable.

Arizona has given me a lifetime of memories. I will always remember jumping in the pool in the summer to cool off, wearing shorts in the winter, driving two hours north to see a patch of snow, and waking up at 5 a.m. to go hiking. It has taught me so much about myself. Learning how to make the best of every situation and valuing the little things are lessons that I am able to apply in my everyday life.

I am so thankful for the opportunity to grow up in this desert environment. As I begin to prepare to leave for college, I know that I will miss it so much. No matter where I go, it will always hold a special place in my heart. It is my home. Thank you, Arizona for an unforgettable childhood.

Cover Image Credit: Jad Limcaco

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5 Places To Stay Near Ohio University

Graduation is approaching, book your hotels now!

As graduation approaches, many will be traveling to Athens, Ohio to see their favorite Bobcat receive their diploma. There are plenty of options for the celebration following the ceremony, from mom-and-pop diners to the famous bar stretch. Find the perfect place to relax and refresh using this guide!

Here are the five best places to stay in Athens, Ohio:

As graduation approaches, many will be traveling to Athens, Ohio to see their favorite Bobcat receive their diploma. There are plenty of options for the celebration following the ceremony, from mom-and-pop diners to the famous bar stretch.Here are the five best places to stay in Athens, Ohio:

1. Hampton Inn

12 minutes away from the university, the Hampton Inn has free breakfast and a pool.

2. Ohio University Inn and Conference Center

The OU Inn is located on campus and offers pet-friendly rooms. There are two restaurants inside.

3. Baymont Inn & Suites

A great value, Baymont is an AAA-approved hotel with free breakfast and pool and is only 7 minutes away from downtown Athens. Cribs are available upon request.

4. Holiday Inn Express

The Holiday Inn offers a pool, fitness room, free breakfast, and is 9 minutes away from OU.

5. Fairfield Inn & Suites Marriott

11 minutes away from the university, Fairfield Inn has an exercise room, pool, outdoor patio, and free breakfast. Seniors over 62 years and older can save up to 15% on their stay.

Regardless of where you spend your downtime, Athens, Ohio is a great place to be. Enjoy celebrating with your favorite Bobcat!

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

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11 Places My Fiancé And I Can't Wait To Visit

We decided to make a list of places to visit that'll satisfy both of our cravings for travel.​

I have always loved the idea of traveling. I’ve been to Peru, Germany, and Austria. I haven’t been to many places in the U.S. My fiancé, on the other hand, has traveled to various states in the U.S., but has never traveled outside the country. We decided to make a list of places to visit that'll satisfy both of our cravings for travel.

I grew up in Naples, Florida and I’ve only traveled a few times in my life. I always loved long drives and trips to places I’d never seen before. About two years ago, I was given the opportunity to travel to Austria and Germany with FGCU professors and students. It was the best experience of my life. That trip only fueled my ambition even more to travel. Once Tyler and I met, we found that we both had the same attitude about traveling. We have made a few road trips to places in and around Florida, but we’re really hoping to travel further over the next few years.

The U.S.

1. Manhattan, New York

I know, I know, it’s a bit of a cliché, but I was born here. I believe everyone should visit New York at least once in their life. There’s a certain energy in New York that is unlike any other.

2. Long Beach, California

Along with our love of travel, we also have an interest in paranormal and eerie ghost stories. The Queen Mary is a haunted hotel ship that is located in Long Beach that has a reputation for being particularly paranormally active. Why wouldn’t we want to experience some scary stuff in our hotel room, right?

3. Essex, Vermont

This beautiful northeast city is home to The Essex, Vermont Culinary Resort. A cozy little lodge full of fresh air, beautiful room, and breathtaking scenery. Did I mention we’re also obsessed with staying in hotels?

4. Seattle, Washington

We hope to live here one day, so visiting the rainy city would probably be a good idea. Dale Chihuly, a world-renowned blown-glass artist, has an unimaginable talent that he showcases at the Chihuly Garden and Glass. The museum is full of his artwork that can also be found at Artis Naples. A great little piece of home to take with me.

5. Salem, Massachusetts

Another spooky addition to the list, Salem is known for the Salem Witch Trials of the 17th century. It’s also full of beautiful landscapes and gorgeous changing leaves in the fall.

6. Portland, Oregon

Rumored to be one of the friendliest cities in the world, Portland is an art-filled gem with hole-in-the-wall restaurants, coffeehouses, and microbreweries. Needless to say, it’s a traveling must.


7. Leipzig, Germany

A smaller version of Berlin, this quaint city has the perfect combination of history and modernity. The nightlife is sophisticated and perfect if you’re looking for a quiet outing.

8. Gothenburg, Sweden

Full of art and history museums, Gothenburg is a beautiful Swedish state that can be a great alternative to the tourist-heavy Stockholm.

9. London, England

This is another cliché, but it’s London. Arguably the most popular tourist attraction in England, London contains Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, and the River Thames. Beautiful places to visit while on vacation, or "on holiday" as they would say.

10. Bruges, Belgium

This adorable medieval town in Belgium contains gorgeous religious structures that have stood the test of time. Though it's small, it is full of European history!

11. Salzburg, Austria

The hills are alive! Salzburg, Austria is full of history, starting with the Hohensalzburg Castle (pictured above). This 11th-century fortress sits on a large hill that overlooks the snow-capped Alps and the entire town. This is a worthy vacation spot that will leave anyone mesmerized.

Take some time to make your own list. Travel to the first place that pops into your head. Why not? Every new discovery contributes to a chapter in your life. Be ambitious!

Cover Image Credit: Carla Viera

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