Adventure Stories

One Day a Week to Travel

Written by ChelsaC

As I sit here eating a pint of Halo Top ice cream, I would like to tell you why people think I am constantly hiking and going out of town, when that is definitely not the case. I am a hardcore day-tripper.

Capital Reef National Park

Capital Reef National Park

A little back story for you: I currently live in South Jordan, Utah. I have lived in this state my entire 30 years, with the exception of about 4 years while my husband was in the military. My first time living away from home was also my first time in a foreign country. We were stationed near Pyeongtaek, South Korea and what an adventure that was. We used to take the train and Subways to Seoul on the weekend, get off at random stations and simply just explore. We’d get lost in the city and not panic, because we were always near another subway station.

 Next we were living in central Texas. That’s when I realized I had always taken my home state of Utah for granted. All the flat land and lack of true greenery made me miss the mountains. I could not wait to move back home. When I got back to Utah in 2014, I became obsessed with hiking the Wasatch mountain range. It was like seeing it for the first time all over again. Slowly, I got more adventurous and headed to Moab, which was 3.5 hours south. That changed my life. I had NO idea how special this place was until I saw it with my own eyes. These formations are older than we could ever fathom, the rocks bleed red and the desert brush gives you every color of the palette. Love at first site. And then there is Zion, but if we go down that road, I will never stop typing.

Red Pine Lake up Little Cottonwood Canyon

Red Pine Lake up Little Cottonwood                                       Canyon

Southern Utah is truly like another planet. There are 5 national parks, all unique in their own way. I’ve spent the last two years going down there as often as I could. Only problem is, “as often as I could” is hard to do without having full weekends off. I don’t get two days off in a row at my job…. That has left me one option…

Day trips. I take a whole lot of day trips around the state.

 We typically pack stuff the night before, wake up at 3am and leave the house. Depending on the time of year, some places we can catch sunrise by doing so at that time. I try to get in as many hikes or sites to see as I can that day, leave by late afternoon and arrive back home that evening. This gives us about 6-8 hours to spend at our destination. My husband and I take turns driving and we usually have one or two friends with us as well, so drowsiness is not a huge issue.


Right after Sunrise at Mesa Arch

In the car for 6-8 hours round trip can be exhausting. I typically do this about once, maybe twice a month. The long drives suck, but I am so grateful to even live within driving distance. Any given day I can go to Zion and back. It’s like, a really REALLY long day, but I can do it. Why do I do this? The alternative, sitting at home, sucks. I cannot live a life without adventures, I am too far gone to be content staying put. I am addicted to nature and seeing new things, so I sacrifice time and sleep to at least feel like I am seeing the world, even if it’s only a fraction of it.

Lately I have started to feel some frustration for my situation. The day trip thing has worked for a while, but I am getting antsier to have more free time. Not just a few days in a row, although that would be a nice start, but to have a week off here and there… I don’t have that with my current schedule and job. The only times I have had that kind of free time, I could not afford to travel. I find myself discontent and I know I am not alone that way. So what do women do when we want something else in life? We have 2 choices:

We continue to want for it, or we decide to work for it.

I choose the latter. I choose to figure out a way to extend these day trips and even leave the state sometimes. I really don’t know how to get that situation going, but I am excited to find out. I cannot go another year just looking at Instagram and wishing I was somewhere around the globe. I am making it happen. I hope others will join me in finding a solution to their situations. Whether your goal is to become a daytripper, or to hit a record amount of countries; you do not need to know how you’re getting there, only why you’re doing it. The rest will follow.



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