A pleasant economic surprise occurred when I left California: Gasoline prices were much lower on all state lines.

To be honest, the landscape was not my focus in this part of my road trip. As I drove my trusted Subaru to Tucson, Arizona, two things were on my mind: 1) I would reconnect with family friends I had not seen in four decades, and 2) I would stay on the famous, flagship property. of Canyon Ranch, located in the Santa Catalina Mountains.

During this one-way road trip from West to East Coast, the thought of familiar faces welcoming me was an emotionally comforting reward. So was our dinner with “juicy spaghetti” fed with Sangiovese. And indeed, once there, I wish for a longer stay. But I also wanted the physical and mental rewards of a world-class welfare resort. The promise of an itinerary to connect me with a team of experts who would personalize fitness moves on the street and a plan to eat meals to boost immunity motivated me. And my muscles ache for a special Canyon Ranch massage to unravel the joints in my back and hips.

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With 40 years as the virtual package leader in holistic health, the name Canyon Ranch is synonymous with stunningly beautiful accommodations that offer every guest the opportunity to become healthy – and stay healthy for months and years to come. departure – in an atmosphere of casual elegance and natural beauty.

On my first day on the farm, my digestive tract was definitely cluttered. And no wonder. After nearly a week of controversial meals along the way and the gluttonous pasta feast the night before, the selection of noticeably light and healthy on-farm menu items was a welcome revelation. It was obvious that all the meals were sent to the spacious guest rooms during the pandemic. Half a bagel of whole wheat for breakfast. A grilled salmon tako for lunch. And low-fat lemon pie for dessert at dinner.

I embraced this restorative break in my exhausting car, and so did my fluffy baby friend. The Tucson Canyon Ranch is extremely pet friendly (for a fee) and the dogs have easy access to the property’s widespread areas in the Sonoran Desert, while I had easy access to recharge.

Honestly, there is nothing like 80-minute deep tissue massage to erase any memory of recently spent many hours of travel. While I was at the massage table, my mind turned to a previous Canyon Ranch experience I had enjoyed the previous fall at Canyon Ranch Woodside, just outside San Francisco. This was the place where nationally renowned breathing trainer Sandy Abrams taught me the benefits of deep breathing – three to be exact – in order to control one’s response to the stresses of everyday life. I also remembered the life lessons I learned from Eckhart Tolle’s transformative bestseller in the NY Times, “The Power Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment,” which I had heard along the way through the audiobook.

During group sessions at Canyon Ranch Tucson, I learned how to create a personal plan for the life I love, courtesy of Sheila Sornsin, known as the Grateful Goddess, whose sound words resonated with everyone: “If you do not have time to meditate, meditate twice a day. ”

Private sessions included “Cultivating the purpose of life,” which explored my core personal values ​​and how they relate to the core purpose of my lifelong writing career. My objective? To show my readers a host of ways in which we share our humanity. Another individual consultation called “Life Management” offers a lifestyle reset by teaching someone how to live a purpose-based life.

Life-changing changes are and have always been Canyon Ranch shares in the trade, and their life and career coaches can help one recognize opportunities that have not been considered before. In fact, all three Canyon Ranch properties: Tucson, Woodside and Lenox, Massachusetts, now offer seven new “trails” that help guests achieve their specific needs and goals. Examples include how to achieve optimal mental and body health, while another path focuses on optimizing one’s time outdoors. Healing from a recent physical / mental / emotional trauma? Canyon Ranch can provide a trail for this as well.

And so, the muscles calmed down, the mind cleared and a few pounds lighter, my road (first highway) took me away from Arizona and across the Rio Grande to Las Cruces, New Mexico.

A recent survey of 2,000 Americans revealed which songs would be on the latest road trip playlist. A quarter of respondents said ‘On the Road Again’ by Willie Nelson should be included on their road trip play list. “Take Me Home Country Roads” by John Denver was the fourth most popular choice. In third place was Tom Cochrane’s “Life is a Highway,” with 27% of people including it on their road trip playlist. The Eagles’ classic “California Hotel” ranked second. ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ by Lynyrd Skynyrd was the most popular choice, with 39% of people including it on their playlist. Other popular songs included in the top 20 list include “Drivers License” by Olivia Rodrigo and “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X.

Stay tuned for more cross-country road trip stories, as shared by Charlene Peters, author of “Travel Makes Me Hungry: Tale of Indigenous Tastes and Recipes to Share.” To contact Charlene, email