My enduring impression of Phoenix, Arizona, on my first visit in February 2011, was how much like the 1937 movie, Lost Horizon, it felt. Like my plane had crashed in the snowy Himalayan Mountains, that I had climbed through treacherous peaks to discover an open valley beyond with endless sunshine and happy, welcoming natives. Was it real or did I imagine that each and every person that I encountered expressed to me … “Ah. So you finally figured it out, huh. This is Paradise. Welcome“. Or was it simply an imagined, knowing glint in their eyes that I had journeyed hard and finally found Shangri-la?
But, what they really did express to me in various forms was, “oh, you will love it here” and “you will love the weather” and “there is opportunity here“. From the airport, rental car bus driver, supermarket check-out clerk through to the various apartment rental agents. I was waiting for someone to say “Phoenix happened twenty years ago” and ” wait until it’s 110 degrees” and “there is no such thing as comfortable, dry heat” and “there are no opportunities here“. That never happened.
I realized that one should never underestimate 300 days of guaranteed sunshine. There is nothing like blue skies to color your mood and your day, after day, after day. No weather drama. No harsh wind sweeping in grey and damp and wet. A sudden Phoenix rain shower that poured on a grateful desert, sun shining all the while and leaving in minutes. No watery skies so typical of East Coast Winters. Just clear, crisp and wonderful. Palm trees and bird song.
And all those desert colors from face powder beige in Southern Ahwatukee, to pink and rose in mid Phoenix to bitter chocolate brown as you climb towards Sedona out of North Phoenix. Rocks and mountains all around.
This is my first blog. This is about my cliched journey. Both life journey into my next life transition, but also my actual journey from Southern, New Jersey and my past to my future and new life in Phoenix, Arizona. And whatever that brings. I hope to be able to post impressions, images and videos of the two week long trip. Please come along for the ride with me and my good friend Dee. Except your trip will be virtual.