Southwest Landscapes Road Trip Q&A
The landscapes of the American Southwest are unrivaled, and best seen with the time and freedom of the road to unlock the spontaneity of one’s own unique experience. Upon our arrival in sunny San Diego, California, we hopped in our Chevy Camaro.
In the front seat, sporting wind-blown hair and a sun-kissed face, was Ana Maria, our star guest from São Paulo, Brazil. With a background in law and a serious knack for travel, she recently shifted her full focus to her travel company, Magari Blu, offering adventure tips and secrets for fellow globetrotters, and making her an invaluable travel companion with smiles for miles.
Q: What was the most unique place you visited and why?
A: It's hard to pick just one, but I'd say the Grand Canyon. It's magnificent and overwhelming; one of the most beautiful places I've ever been to.
Q: What was the most delicious thing you ate on the trip and why was it so amazing?
A: The whole meal at Nobu, in Las Vegas, especially the Rock Shrimp. Dinner was delicious, very simple and delicate Japanese food in a sophisticated and fun place.
Q: What was the most visually beautiful thing you saw on the trip and why was it so impressive?
A: Besides the Grand Canyon (seen by foot and by helicopter), the view I had from the paragliding flight in San Diego was something unique. I felt like a real bird, checking out the clear blue ocean, fancy homes and a golf course, feeling the wind on my face.
Q: Tell us a funny story that happened on the road or a surprising fact that you learned.
A: There were some funny stories during the trip. We were inspected by some guards while heading to Hoover Dam. The guard wanted me to get out of the car and then open my carry-on. The way he said "Step out of the vehicle, ma’am. Ma’am, stay behind the white line" was very funny, a stereotype from an American movie. I'm glad we were fine and they let us go!
Q: What were your impressions of traveling in the USA before this trip?
A: I've been to the USA four or five times before, but only to 1 or 2 destinations in each trip, and we traveled by plane. I've been to NYC, Miami, Palm Beach, Vail, Aspen, Los Angeles, and Santa Monica. My impressions were (and still are) that the USA is a country where things actually work and where you feel safe. Streets are clean, roads are good to drive, there are signs everywhere, and people are often very kind. And food and drink portions are always huge!
Q: What do you think an international traveler would find the most interesting about your trip?
A: The fact that we did it all by car in a road trip, and that driving can be pleasant and fun. I had the opportunity to visit very unique and different places, most of which I had no idea how far were from one another. I had some of the ocean, beach, desert, mountains, my very first paragliding flight and hot air balloon ride. There's so much to see and so many different atmospheres and landscapes.
Q: What advice would you give a traveler wanting to brave the American Southwest?
A: I believe that the end of summer/beginning of fall, as I did the road trip in the Southwest, is the perfect time to be there, because it's still warm and you can enjoy the sea, the desert and the mountains, all in one trip.
Q: Is there anything else you would like to add about the trip experience?
A: Yes, I'd like to add that I could notice how hard you guys worked to build a unique itinerary, based on our previous conversations. I was very comfortable the whole trip and doing things that I probably would do if I had studied the destinations and planned the trip by myself, as I usually do. That felt good! Thank you.