For over 3 years now, one question we’re almost guaranteed to hear from people when they find out that we travel full time is “Where is your favorite place?” Since the first time we’ve been there, we’ve always said without a doubt, “Tucson.”
The funny thing is that I don’t think either of us would want to live in Tucson full-time (no offense to our Tucson friends), but it is always our favorite travel destination. We are rarely filled with more excitement than when we’re driving west on I-10 in wintertime. Right now, we’re enjoying our 4th stay in Tucson, and in the last 3 and a half years of RVing, we will have spent 8 months total in Tucson. That’s the longest cumulative amount of time we’ve spent anywhere by about 6 months.
So why are we so obsessed with Tucson? It all comes back to a concept I wrote about in another blog post called ‘Personal Checkpoints in Beautiful Places.’ Each time we come out here, we discover something new about ourselves, as well as something new to love about the area.
The first time we visited Tucson, we had only been on the road for about 4 months. We had very little experience traveling for pleasure, having spent most of our time on the road traveling for work. We really weren’t sure where to go (or more importantly, why to go there), and our decision to go to Tucson was rather arbitrary: it was cold everywhere else and we had never been to Arizona.
But we immediately fell in love with the landscape. The jagged, rocky mountains dotted with towering saguaros under an infinitely sunny, blue sky were more than enough to win over two Midwesterners. We spent the vast majority of that first winter outside, walking miles of trails and starting to learn how we could become the best versions of ourselves.
Each time we returned, we made new friends and strengthened old friendships, something that is often extremely difficult to do on the road. We’ve pushed ourselves to embrace the discomfort of training at a new jiu jitsu gym only to have to prove on returning that we’d grown while we were away. We’ve gotten in shape, spent time in the sun, improved our health, and improved ourselves. We’ve spent time alone in introspection, worked on our weaknesses, and taken a good hard look in the mirror. These things aren’t inherent to Tucson, but they are inextricably a part of our Tucson.
To us, Tucson is a place of endless sunny skies, wonderful friendships, physical fitness, and personal improvement. A place with mountains, trails, friends, archery, a favorite jiu jitsu gym, and a million ideas for date nights. It’s a place of opportunity, where there’s nothing standing in the way of being who we want to be; we just have to make it happen. And year after year, it’s a joy to see how close we’re getting.
Tyler & Andrea
If there’s one thing we know in the Hixson household, it’s that we want our lives to be wild, free, and lived intentionally. With that as our motto, it makes sense that our resume is pretty eclectic; we’ve started and successfully run our own marketing company, we’ve lived in an RV and traveled the country, we’ve created documentaries, hosted podcasts, learned to hunt and fight, and most recently helped build a no gi jiu jitsu gym in our new home of Bastrop, Texas.
We love doing things ourselves and finding self-sufficiency and independence in unexpected places. From the food we cook all the way up to the businesses we run, we put a lot of thought into everything we do (probably too much thought!) and we feel strongly that that’s what makes our life extraordinary.
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