My Trek America Experience.

Monday, June 01, 2015

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I am not an adventurous person. In fact, I find going to Waitrose rather than my regular Sainsbury's adventurous. Sad but true. So some of you may have been surprised when I announced a couple of weeks ago that I was leaving England for ten days in America with 9 other bloggers and YouTubers. I stepped well and truly out of my comfort zone, so much so that I did burst into tears every ten minutes in the 48 hours in the lead up to stepping on the plane. But I did it.  I'm back now to tell the tale and guess what? I loved every minute.

So here's the story from A-Z, you wanna get with me you better listen carefully I went away with Trek America, a travel group who specialise in tours around America for people aged 18-38. They do loads of different tours across America, and this year they decided to take a group of blogger and YouTubers on a special customised trip. #brave.  I was bemused to be asked and I still don't really know how I got chosen to be on the trip, but I feel incredibly lucky to have been asked to go.

We were in the US for ten days, and we started off in Vegas, before heading to Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon, Moab, Monument Valley, The Grand Canyon before finishing back in Vegas.

Now let's just clear things up, I am not really an outdoors person. I walk Frank in the park and that's about as far as things go. I am not a camping enthusiast. I once camped for T4 On The Beach, it rained the whole time. We forgot a torch so I couldn't see a thing in the tent, and then even at the concert, I was so small I couldn't even see JLS. It was a terrible two days.

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So the thought of five nights camping, gave me the heee bee jeebies. Just how would I cope without a private bathroom, a bed and most importantly electricity and wifi? Well first things first, I did cope. We started camping in Zion and our first night was SO COLD. Yes the capitals emphasise how cold it was. I think barely any of us slept we were so cold (yes we weren't the best prepared bunch) but the rest of the nights weren't as cold and I found myself almost enjoying camp life. Our first campsite was super nice, it had two heated pools and a slide. That's right A SLIDE. You'd never know how happy this slide made a bunch of 20 something youtubers. Sad but true. The showers were okay, and the toilets were spotless and most importantly heated! I mean once you got over the whole doing a poo with people in the room, it was a breeze.

I loved chilling at night at camp, we cooked spaghetti Bolognese one night and Fajitas the next.  We also had other delights such as pizza and Jambalaya on the last night at the Grand Canyon. We would all tend to sit round the campfire loling about random stuff, making smores and having a couple of drinks. I'm going to be doing a camping essentials post so keep your eyes peeled for that, but for now I'll say take layers, we all put on all our clothes on at night to wear, literally was like The Michelin Man. Also take a good quality sleeping bag, good socks and a sleeping bag liner, oh and pick up a pillow from Walmart. It'll make sleeping so much comfier!

When we stayed in hotels they tended to be motels, but they were all fine. Warm with double beds and showers, we all thought we were in heaven. One motel particularly reminded me of PLL and I genuinely thought A was going to appear in the night. Thankfully they didn't. We would share rooms in pairs, I was with Lily and we would spend our times getting ready talking about make up, blogging and gossiping.

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On our trip we went round some of the most breathtaking national parks. We saw Zion where we hiked up Emerald Pools and then Angels Landing. Which the latter is one of the most challenging things I've ever done. Have I mentioned I'm scared of heights? Sometimes standing on a stool makes me feel a bit woozy so claiming a 5000ft mountain? Yeah kinda scary. Some of the inclines had edges which were just steep drop offs. I did have a wobble here and there but I was determined to make it up the most of the climb. I made it to Scout's Landing which was just 1/4 mile from the top of Angel's Landing but seeing the last bit of the climb was manoeuvring over rocks with a chain at 5000 feet, I knew I had pushed myself enough. So I chilled with a little chipmunk (true story) whilst the others went to the top. I felt proud of myself to get to where I did, considering that I'm the girl who cried on Splash Mountain at Disney World.

That hike was the hardest physically and mentally, but the views were amazing. We then ventured to Bryce Canyon where we went on a horseback ride. Little old me thought I'd be like Jessie the Cowgirl, but I didn't realise we'd be riding horses down the canyon down steep ledges and of course for bants the horses liked to walk near the edge. My heart was in my mouth, but it was an incredible experience although I did feel Mouse, my horse did want to lead me to my death. Maybe he doesn't like my blog? Bryce Canyon was probably my favourite national park, it was so colourful and completely different to the others we saw.

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We then ventured to Moab, an epic 7 hour road trip away. We all travelled by bus, which was pretty tiny. But these long road trips meant that we all got to know each other pretty well. Our wifi tended to not work for hours on these trips, so we'd have to entertain ourselves playing games such as Two Lies One Truth, 20 Questions and I Spy. These road trips meant that we all learnt a bit too much about one another, but in return it meant that soon these 9 other YouTubers and Bloggers became close friends, and we became a little family by the time the ten days were up.

In Moab we had one of my favourite nights, we went to Delicate Arch for a sunset picnic, before heading back to the motel for a few drinks. I say a 'few'. This was a funny night, with highlights such as; running round Moab looking for a club/more alcohol, eating Mexican food at 2 am and trying to get an Uber to Vegas at 3am. None of us were too chipper the next morning mind you.

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The crew; 
Hannah, Hannah, Steve, Tyson, Candice, Ed (his head was missed off :() Lily, Evan & Emma.

Then we had a Hummer tour which omg was one of my highlights from the trip. It was like Hot Wheels but in real life. We went up and down steep rocks, which at first made me feel like I was on Splash Mountain again but then I thought 'hang on this is actually really fun' and had the best time. We had so much fun and it was like being on a hardcore Disney ride. We then went for pizza and cocktails in the evening.

Then we moved onto Monument Valley for a surreal experience. We spent the night with Navajos in a hogan. Go google it. We had a jeep tour, danced around the fire, ate traditional tacos and listened to  stories. Though the rain was hammering down, I stood and thought 'what is life?' I realised I was  incredibly far away from home and I was here with these people who were now like my family taking in this amazing experience and it was all cause of my blog? It was all because one day back in 2010, I decided to start writing about nail polish. I couldn't believe it and suddenly had to pinch myself.

We then all slept in a hogan, and lay next to one another as we listened to Evan tell us hilarious stories about his youth, before we all tried to sleep. I say try, as Evan snored the whole night which lead to Hannah and me getting desperate and throwing a bra at him, before finally shutting him up with a sweatshirt. Hannah was worried she'd suffocated him but he awoke the next morning surprised to have a bra in his hand and why we were all so grumpy.

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Next we moved on to The Grand Canyon, which was a lot different to what I expected. I thought it'd be more red and orange, but it was quite brown and green. ( Great rock analogy there Corrie) We went on a helicopter over the Grand Canyon which words cannot describe or pictures show how incredible it was. I felt so nervy but safe at the same time and when we rode over the canyon the first time, it honestly took my breath away. I couldn't believe I was in a helicopter over The Grand Canyon and it was again another pinch me moment. The next day, we were given the option to hike, and myself, Hannah, Emma and Lily decided to have a girly chill day. We had lunch, walked around the rim of the canyon, sunbathed, sat on the edge with cake and had a really lovely day just taking in all the views and of course having all the girly chats.

Then it was day ten and it was time to head back to Vegas. We visited In N Out burger which was amazing hey now hey now this is what burger dreams are made of  before visiting Sephora and the drugstore (haul coming up) before hitting the town hard. We went on a party bus ( felt like I was in Geordie Shore) before heading to a few clubs before getting back on the bus to finish at a pool party. Another one of those surreal moments, being at a pool party in Vegas. We all had a few bevy's and called it night. None of us woke up with a tiger in the bathroom or a tattoo, but I will say a couple of people woke up with a soggy passport after falling in the pool fully clothed. Funny, funny night.

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Then it was time to head home. I was so worried initially about this trip and the people who I'd be with. But honestly I had the best time. I may have gone away with 9 other YouTubers and Bloggers, but I came home with 9 new close friends who made my trip the amazing adventure that it was.

So what have I taken away from this trip? Not just some great new friends, but with the notion that I can do anything that I want to do. I conquered so many fears on this trip, and am so proud of myself for doing so. I feel so much more positive about the future and just want to travel more now.

I'm sorry this has been such a long post, but I just wanted to tell you all about it. I had the best time and if you're looking to go on a similar holiday, YOU HAVE TO GO. Go and do stuff out of your comfort zone, go see the world and have fun! You will make amazing new friends and see some amazing sights. But most importantly I am so grateful to have been able to experience this kind of trip because of my blog. So thank you to Trek America for giving me some of the best ten days ever!

Watch the professional videos of us from when we were away, and also look on my YouTube channel for my vlogs too!

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