By Faduma-Dhool Mohamed, Guest Writer
“I always hear alumni talking about amazing experiences they had while here at Thunderbird. I had spent a few days wondering why I hadn’t had any yet, and realized that sometimes you need to make your own! So at 2:00 a.m. on a Friday morning, we got in my car and drove to the Grand Canyon, somewhere I had never been. And it was an amazing experience. Not only because it was the Grand Canyon, but because of the friends who went with me. Friends I will have for the rest of my life; my T-bird family.” -Cameron Segura (MA’18, USA)
As we were leaving a friend’s party in Phoenix, my now dear friend, Cameron, abruptly turned towards me and said, “Let’s catch the sunrise at the Grand Canyon!” My first reaction was laughter; I didn’t believe he was serious at that moment. I mean, driving for approximately 4 hours all the way to the Grand Canyon in the middle of the night? That’s crazy! I soon realized he was adamant about it and he was going, with or without us. My first instinct was to say no. I told myself this needs to be planned out, it’s too last minute…. But another part of me thought: what do I have to lose? Isn’t this what being at Thunderbird truly means? Leaping for opportunities to make unforgettable memories? And that we truly did. In half an hour, we went back to campus, changed into warmer clothes and hit the road.
Surprisingly the road trip didn’t take too long. We kept ourselves entertained by singing along to endless songs, taking embarrassing photos of one another as we nodded off to sleep, and believe it or not, by 6:30 a.m. we made it to the Grand Canyon Park! Of course we forgot that there was a fee payment required at the entrance, but that didn’t stop us from continuing on.
As we stepped out of the car, the bone-chilling air hit us; even with the warm clothes we had grabbed, the cold air was slightly unbearable. Regardless, we rushed and made our way to one of the empty spots so as to catch the sunrise. And it was beyond worth it.
The sun rays greeted the Grand Canyon, and the three of us were there to witness it…along with 100 tourists or so! We giggled as we embraced the splendor of the beauty right in front of us. Call us crazy, but we managed to take on one of the most spontaneous and rewarding road trips that either of us have ever taken! This is a T-bird memory I will always look back at and cherish. An experience that fastened an already-growing relationship with my lifelong friends.