My Time in Arizona

Every year, I travel to a new destination for my birthday. Experiences over material gifts is the beat I dance to for special occasions. My last few birthdays were spent in Italy, England, Germany, Denmark and Vermont. Each adventure provided memories I treasure, and made my birthdays feel like the tangible turn of a new page and celebration of discovery. This year, I did something a touch unexpected (even to myself): I chose an old destination.

Arizona hasn’t been home since moving to Europe after college, and celebrating a birthday there? Even longer. Arriving in Phoenix this time felt drastically foreign compared to the other trips, which felt like a homecoming. So much life happened since I boarded that plane to Germany for a new international life six years ago. Paradoxically, it felt like exploring a new destination. It’s different. I’m different. I had the rare opportunity to see my hometown through a new perspective, and found beauty here which perhaps my eyes were immune to during my childhood. Sedona, which is my favorite escape in Arizona, felt like a sensory overload of pure southwestern magic. Were those endless red canyons always so marvelous?

I was meant to fly home last with with Daniel, but I found myself with the option to extend my trip…which I gladly did. It’s only a few more weeks until NYC is our homebase again and while I’m excited to enjoy a few more magical moments in Charleston, there is something poetic about preparing for the wonderful madness of a concrete jungle by hunkering down in a destination which celebrates mountain living, nature and wide open spaces (you know, like the Dixie Chicks song).

I’ve quite effortlessly slipped into an updated version of my old routine: an early morning hike, working from my favorite coffee shop (The Henry by Camelback mountain) and spending the evenings either reading or with friends. The great difference is work is my novel and brand, rather than studying for university exams and spending time in the classroom. I’ve also managed to make most of my dreams come true…and am in the middle stages of my greatest one.

When I get back to the city, I know life will suddenly go from 65MPH to rocket speed. Life will revolve around the book. It’s a dream come true, and I’m going to work endlessly for the goals surrounding it, but admittedly there are nerves. It feels like I’m about to board a long flight in a windowless plane to a destination I can picture, but don’t know the name of. Oh, and I’m the captain. Oh, and I’ll also be selling my child in this destination and hoping everyone loves the child.

Needless to say, I’ll be treasuring these writing days in the desert and not taking a single sunrise, sunset or summit vista for granted. Nor the fact that this place, Arizona, is where a desert girl dreamed of traveling the world and telling stories in the first place.

KG

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  • “One of my favorite things about female writers, about writers in general, about people who take what’s happened to them and they process it and they put it out into the world...is if you write, you can turn your lessons into your legacy.” -Taylor Swift. Her albums always, without fail, paint a musical narrative to complement whatever stage I’m personally and professionally journeying through. Can’t wait for my window seat airplane hours on Friday, listening to her new stories which will inevitably be the soundtrack to so many romantic, cinematic, modern jetsetter moments in Europe this summer. The life of a writer is the only life for me. xx 💋
  • Coffee date in the Italian Riviera, anyone? Every day in Italy starts with finding the perfect cappuccino. Three insider rules for Italy visitors to find that perfect frothy dream: 1️⃣ Don‘t be confused by the word “bar” (this is an Italian café and the center of social life for locals) 2️⃣ Venture away from the city center to find bars where the locals go; you should always pay less than €2 for a cappuccino. Tourist hotspots charge up to €7 and often a far cry from true Italian coffee culture 3️⃣ Do order a cornetto to go with your coffee; one must do as the Italians do 🥐☕️ 🇮🇹
  • With a summer in Italy around the corner, I’m quickly adapting to CPSR diet: cappuccino, pasta, spritz, repeat. May can’t come soon enough. Stay tuned to the blog this week for a guide to one of Italy’s most coveted destinations, my Nonna’s gnocchi recipe, weekend reads and our big wedding destination reveal (+ a little official change to our addresses in the world). #ModernJetsetter 💋
  • There is no destination in the world sweeter than the one I experienced today: next to my little brother’s side when he  found out he’s having a little baby boy - in the most country way ever. Thank you Kelsey for loving my brother the way you do, being an instant sister and for already being the most incredible mama to our Kipton. We can’t wait to spoil that boy with our love (and plenty of storytime with aunty in between duck hunting season). I love you three with all of my heart xx
  • Charleston is a perfect confluence of elegant southern tradition and European influence, especially when it comes to the food scene. Every time I discover a perfect charcuterie board or Aperol Spritz (far too often) it reminds me how short that Atlantic bridge between the USA and Europe is. During the next chapter of Modern Jetsetter, home time will be spent discovering the creme-de-la-creme of American living, and the million cultural pieces, flavors and patterns that make up our gorgeous presentation 🍷💋(food scene spotted st @goatsheepcow - one of my favorite Charleston restaurants)

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