I was born and raised in western Tucson and have no wish of being anywhere else. Sure when I was 8, I would say things like I want to move to New York, or California, or Florida! Now that I have had a while to live life and see the USA, I see now that Arizona really is the place to be.

Sixth grade was when I first saw the real Arizona on a 3 day trip to the Grand Canyon. We went on a long bus ride with pit stops such as Montezuma’s Castle and Well, the Ponderosa Pine Forests, Walnut Canyon, Sunset Crater, Mt. Humphrey, selective parks and museums, and the piece de résistance- the Grand Canyon. On this ride I saw that our state had more to provide than desert shrubs and saguaros. I learned there were a variety of climates, wildlife, and more importantly history and culture.

I later took a ride through the USA by car to see family in upstate New York. I was able to see, and stop in many different places meeting many different people. The mid-westerners were too dull; the southerners were too self-absorbed and proud; the easterners were too god awfully staunch and cookie cutter. I was glad to come back to Arizona where people are diverse, calm, easy going, athletic, jacks of all trades, and not too focused on things that don’t really matter. From then on, I had a new sense of respect for this place I call home.

Where else could you get 360 days of sun, 2 seasons (summer and fall), complex big cities, easy going small towns, and an un-comparable outdoors with every climate of the US packed into it’s borders? That is what Arizona really is. It is so diverse in people, culture, and landscape that it is like a condensed version of the entire country in one state. I’ve seen what our country has to offer, and nothing compares to what Arizona can offer. If you want to see the country, just visit Arizona and head home. As far as I am concerned there is no where else I could have, or would have chosen to call home.