10 Things I Want to do Before I Turn 16: #1 Visiting a New State

Madison Walker
3 min readJan 15, 2021

Hello and welcome to a 10 post long bucket list exploring what I want to do before I turn 16, which is in May. Each post will be new things that I hope to accomplish, or have accomplished over the week.

The first thing on my bucket list is to visit a new state. I was born and raised in Kansas, so I love when I have the opportunity to go someplace new.

This past weekend I had the pleasure of visiting Phoenix, Arizona. Known for it’s mountain climate and gorgeous cities, Arizona definitely lived up to the hype.

I was in Arizona for a softball tournament, but I still got to explore everything the state had to offer. My personal favorite was the geography. Everywhere you looked there were mountains and hiking trails. The view from the fields, shown below, was breathtaking.

The view from Desert Mountain Park in Mesa, Arizona.

I also loved seeing all of the palm trees and cacti that surrounded the areas. I actually ended up walking up to a cactus to compare sizes, and my goodness I was shocked. I had no clue that cacti were so tall! It towered over me as I stood there staring up into what seemed as a never ending cactus. The photo below is just an example of the many cacti in Arizona.

Photo by Christoph von Gellhorn on Unsplash

I love trying new restaurants and fast food joints, so I was very excited to see what Arizona had to offer food wise. My overall favorite of the trip was In-N-Out. I loved how the patty was thin and the bun had a little crisp on it. I also am a big critic on fries wherever I go, so I was anxious to try them. They were so good! I can now say that I have been to In-N-Out, and it definitely exceeded my expectations.

Photo by Andrew Weibert on Unsplash

Another fan favorite that I had seen everywhere on social media was Jamba Juice, a smoothie place. This is another place that is not located in Kansas, unfortunately. However, there was one right by my hotel. Me and my teammates headed over there as we looked at the menu on our phones. I ended up getting the Strawberry Surf Rider which has strawberries, lemonade, lime sherbet, and peaches. It was amazing!

Strawberry Surf Rider at Jamba Juice.

Overall my trip to Arizona was awesome. The weather was beautiful, and I loved trying new places. It is definitely one of my top 5 states that I have ever traveled to.

Next time I go, I would like to stay longer. I was only in Arizona for 4 days, but next time I would like to go for a week and explore. I would really like to visit the Grand Canyon or go hiking on Camelback Mountain next time. I also want to visit Arizona State University and The University of Arizona if I go back in the near future. When I visit Arizona again, I would definitely like to try Dutch Bros, a coffee shop and see if it lives up to what people say about it.

I would recommend visiting Arizona to anyone who wants adventure, fun, and new food. I will for sure be going again!


Mesa Parks, Recreation & Community Facilities. (n.d.). Retrieved January 15, 2021, from https://www.mesaparks.com/parks-facilities/sports-facilities/red-mountain-softball-complex

Taste the sun and summer with Jamba’s Strawberry Surf Rider™ smoothie. (n.d.). Retrieved January 15, 2021, from https://www.jamba.com/smoothies/classic/strawberry-surf-rider