How This YouTube Sensation Planned Her Dream Road Trip
When Safiya Nygaard took a break in 2020 from her YouTube channel, it got us all really worried. Yes, we love traveling, but the human nature of delving into what soothes our senses is also essential for us all. When she came up with this "We Moved Across The Country" video on her YouTube channel, we breathed a sigh of relief! She was back with a bang! She was on everyone's dream road trip!
Her trademark soothing voice, gothic-ness, and all things weird were seen in a minivan with her husband and her ancient cat, moving to the opposite coast!
Safiya Nygaard announced in her blogs a few times that she is going to move to a different state. And in her video, she stated precisely why.
Los Angeles was just not working out for her and her husband anymore. They were pretty far away from their family and their entire support system. They felt blockages and were just not doing good.
No matter how much we love the state, Los Angeles is a cause of concern, really, since more YouTube stars are actually moving away from the city. So, just like other YouTube stars, Safiya also planned to move away and start afresh.
So the packing really was the fun part here. Both of them seemed to enjoy packing all of their belongings into huge boxes and cartons, saran wrapping everything, and loading it into a moving truck.
So, suppose you are actually planning a dream road trip and moving to a different state altogether. In that case, this one's actually a tutorial for you!
The first thing Safiya did, which in my opinion, everyone should really follow, is pack up all of your valuables together. Moving or even just going on a road trip for a few days can be a daunting task.
You have to sit in your vehicle and just move around for days on end. It sounds amusing but can get extremely tiresome. And to top that off, imagine losing your valuables on your moving trucks or while coming back home? It's chaos!
Safiya chose to pack all of her precious belongings like her video footage for her YouTube channel in a massive hard drive. She decided to take it with her in her car rental service's provided minivan.
Losing her precious footage would have cost her a fortune, which is why packing it and taking it with her on this journey of a lifetime was a wise move.
So, where are they going? What's the final destination of this dream road trip we all want to take at some point in our lives? As a surprise, the final destination was still in talks between the couple. But they were currently heading towards her husband's parent's home in Philadelphia.
It looks like a pretty long journey from Los Angeles to Philadelphia! Since they were traveling during late 2020 and early 2021, the preferable mode of transportation, according to them, was a car rental service.
This did actually help them follow social distancing protocols, travel freely as per their choice, and bring along as many items as possible. It was also an appealing option because of their pet cat, who could not have otherwise followed through the journey on other modes of transportation.
And, of course, the minivan also offers them the ability to carry all of their belongings safely along with them.
The Journey Begins
So, on December 29th, 2020, Safiya and Tyler got their Covid-19 negative test results back! There was absolutely nothing stopping them from going on their dream road trip, all the way to Philly!
It was going to be a 3,000 miles long journey that would span over six days by driving almost 7-8 hours every day.
1. First Destination
The YouTube duo started their journey from their home in Los Angeles, heading towards Williams, Arizona. It is a little town outside the Grand Canyon. So, while driving to their first destination, they planned to visit this magnificent wonder too.
The mission of their first day was to get out of the vast Los Angeles basin and cross the entire massive chunk of California. While on their way, they crossed the primary sights that we all love, from valleys to huge rocks this specific region is known for!
After stopping for a short break in Barstow, they were now headed to Needles. To reach Needles, they took the i-40 highway. After a really long drive, two giant coffees, and a whole sunset and moonrise later, Arizona was finally here! And somewhere during the night, they finally reached their first destination, Williams.
Williams was an absolute winter delight! Every good adjective that could be used to describe winters in Williams would fall short! It definitely was freezing with snowfall everywhere and just a little under 22 degrees. For their stay, Safiya chose the Best Western hotel in Williams to spend the night and get some much-needed rest!
The next day brought in new surprises for the couple. They drove around, exploring the town a little. The entire village was wrapped in Christmas decorations, lights, and Christmas trees.
It is not really a surprise, but Williams is a small Grand Canyon-themed town on the historic route 66. The theme of this town often resembles that of the wild west! You can easily find multiple Americana Motor Chic stores, vintage motels, neon signs, and other hidden clues of the kind. Overall, this town gives you a relaxed, rustic, vintage vibe.
After exploring Williams a little, they finally head out, back to their minivan on their journey to the next destination. But before that, they make a stop at the scenic Grand Canyon. From Williams, the Grand Canyon is a short detour to the north. Despite the traffic and no cell service or connectivity to the outside world, the Canyon did not disappoint. It was worth every minute spent in traffic.
2. Second Destination
Santa Fe, New Mexico
After experiencing the surreal beauty of The Grand Canyon, it was now time to head back to the route and reach the second destination on the overall course. From the Canyon, this duo goes south to head back again to America's beloved i-40 to Santa Fe, which is 416 miles and is almost 6 hours East.
They bid their final adieu to the iconic Arizonian red rocks that resemble an almost Mars-ish vibe during the journey. Stopping on their way multiple times to refuel themselves with some coffee, the duo reaches New Mexico later in the evening. In Santa Fe, Safiya chooses to stay at the Courtyard Marriott.
On Day 3, Tyler and Safiya explore some quirky facts about their second destination while poking around downtown Santa Fe. Santa Fe is surrounded by giant rocks and mountains that are surreal and magnificent to look at!
Santa Fe is your typical small town with multiple historical buildings, historic vibes all around, and mesmerizingly beautiful adobe architectural style. In the center of this town is the Town Square that was also featured in the first season of the 2010 reality TV show, The Great Food Truck Race.
Walking towards the other end of this quirky little town, Safiya and Tyler find Gilmore Girls come to life with a small gazebo resembling the one featured in the show, along with other small stores and restaurants and diners. The town also features America's oldest Capitol building. The entire town was charming, giving off southwestern vibes.
So, if you ever miss Lorelai and Rory, you must spend a day or two here in Santa Fe. You can get in touch with Leisure travel agents to plan out the perfect itinerary for you!
After exploring the southern charm of this cute little town, both Safiya and Tyler were now headed to Oklahoma City, which was their third destination on the overall route. However, during the time, Oklahoma was met by a massive ice storm, which is why both of them detoured their plan a bit and instead opted to travel further to Amarillo, Texas.
3. Third Destination
While on their way to Amarillo, they witness some majestic and beautiful mountains on both sides of the highway. After driving almost the entire length of daytime, crossing thousands of cliffs, boulders, and billboards, the couple advanced toward the last sunset of the year 2020.
New Year's even welcomed them both to a small hotel in Amarillo with a couple of treats, peeled clementines, and biscochitos.
On the first day of 2021, they both packed and headed out of Amarillo to their next destination - Little Rock, Arkansas.
4. Fourth Destination
Little Rock, Arkansas
When you are traveling across the country on the i-40, going towards Arkansas, beauty in simpler things will surround you. This is precisely what YouTube's favorite couple saw!
While on their way, they saw multiple locations right next to the highway roads with several Cadillac cars buried one-third of the way into the ground. This art installation fancies the eyes of many travelers from around the world. It's truly one of a kind and worth visiting on your next dream road trip!
Coming back to the route, Safiya explains how they are now going to travel across the top hat portion of Texas, which will take them across Oklahoma and then lead them to their new destination. So, on day 4, they are going to be covering 598 miles over a span of 9 hours.
Hogged up and fueled immensely by Starbucks throughout the day, our duo reached the Residence Inn hotel in Little Rock, Arkansas, at 1 in the morning. The next day started early for them because being an exploratory soul does take up a considerable chunk out of your travel plans!
The second day of the new year brought in a little spell of rain in Little Rock. Yet, they did not deter from their path to explore this small town in America. With nothing planned in sight, they turned to Google's recommended site - T.R. Pugh Park, which is actually the home of The Old Mill. Inside, they found a charming and rustic bridge that everyone enjoyed the most.
The park is actually a recreation of the 1880s style of watermills, further surrounded by different spritely wood sculptures. This random destination turned out to be one of the best on their entire dream road trip. It was also highly calming in its overall vibe and reflected the spirit of Arkansas a lot. Arkansas is known for its multiple waterfalls and trees all around. Did you know Arkansas is also the spinach capital of the world?
5. Fifth Destination
The last stop before Philadelphia! Safiya and Tyler will have to travel for 8 hours straight in their minivan across another 527 miles to reach Knoxville.
As they started heading towards Knoxville, they were bidding adieu to Arkansas' natural beauty, leaving behind all the trees, the wind, and rain. Traveling across the mighty Mississippi River, they saw one of the most iconic landmarks in America - The Bass Pro Shop pyramids.
Stopping in Memphis for a quick lunch, they continued driving on the opposite side across the i-40 towards Tennessee. Towards the latter part of this journey, and after making stops in Dollywood and Nashville to get fueled up, they finally reached uphill, Knoxville.
Day 6 saw the duo exploring downtown Knoxville, which is actually located in the Appalachian Valley, also known as the gateway to the smoky mountains. The region is also home to one of the best universities in America - The University of Tennessee.
The overall vibe of the town is cute yet mysterious! Tennessee is overloaded with all sorts of brick buildings around, multiple shops, restaurants, and other historic buildings with canons right in front of them.
After exploring Tennessee a bit, our favorite duo headed to reach their final destination - Philadelphia.
6. The Final Destination
The drive has been extremely long, over five days to finish, but Safiya and Tyler are going strong and are on the last leg of their 3,000-mile journey. This pretty long journey to everyone's favorite Philly will take them nine and a half hours to cover the remaining parts of Tennessee, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, including West Virginia, spanning over 626 miles.
Mountains, mountains, and some more mountains, and off they go! After much turmoil and adventure, they finally got off the i-40 and turned north, crossing the smoke-laden mountains into Virginia.
With a few quick spots around Roanoke for lunch and coffee, they diligently drove towards the later part of this day's journey. After Roanoke, the couple crossed four states, from Virginia to narrow slivers of West Virginia, Maryland, and then finally Pennsylvania. And mind you, all of this was covered in a matter of 30 minutes.
Upon reaching their final state, they now get on to the 76, which is the Penn Turnpike, their last major highway merge and drive through Western Pennsylvania. Driving even further, they were welcomed into Philadelphia with heavy rain showers. So, it's not always sunny in Philadelphia!
And suddenly, in a matter of a few minutes, they reached Tyler's parent's home.
The Final Outcome!
Covered over six days, spread across 3,000 miles, Safiya and Tyler's dream road trip was indeed something not to be missed. Upon reaching their final destination of the trip and spending a couple of weeks with Tyler's parents, they finally decided to move to Raleigh, North Carolina.
The road trip was rough on them at specific points, often posing physical and mental turmoil, but the two stood firm in this test of time and patience.
Raleigh was a journey for them, not just during their road trip, but during the period of their life till now. They are here, excited, and looking forward to rebuilding their lives all over again.
If you are still in a dilemma over that road trip, immediately take charge of your wheels! Life will not stop for anyone; traveling is the only way to find calm, peace, and sanity. In these challenging times, with flights, cruise ships, trains all coming to a halt for most of these two years, road trips are the only solution to find ourselves in this journey called life!
Happy vacation to you!
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