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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Welcome to the Dirty T: Pitaya’s manager says Tucson shaped her young adulthood

    Victoria Pereira

    Samantha Daly, a Pitaya employee and Tucson resident, poses for a photo on a sunny day in Main Gate Square. Daly moved to Tucson as a child and didn’t like the change of scenery at first but has since learned to love the desert and all it offers.

    I found Tucson local Samantha Daly working at Pitaya on University Boulevard in a very “Pitaya-esque” outfit.

    “I didn’t like Arizona at first,” Daly said with an earnest expression on her face. “But I have come to really love it.”

    Daly said she loves her job. She has been working at Pitaya since August 2014 and aspires to be a manager.

    “I would like to stay here for a few more years, but eventually I want to move somewhere on the upper West Coast,” Daly said. “I would love to stay with Pitaya, but the only other location is in Boulder, Colorado. I guess I could live there.”

    Daly, originally from Minnesota, said she was used to drowning in green sceneries and living in almost complete tree coverage. Her family uprooted from her beloved Midwestern digs and relocated to Tucson in order to be near her grandparents. Moving to Arizona from any “green” place is a shock and it certainly took Daly some time to adjust and overcome her Arizona-centric resentment.

    “When I was 10, in 2001, we moved [here] and I really didn’t like it at first,” Daly said. “I hated the heat and the lack of trees. I didn’t like the dirt — so much sandy dirt. I also couldn’t get over how open and exposed this place is.”

    Despite her initial dislike of her new high-desert home, Daly admits she has come to really love, grow and resonate with the Grand Canyon State. She said she is happy here.

    “I have grown to really appreciate the mountain ranges and landscape here. I think part of the connection I have with Arizona now is based on my teenage years here,” Daly said. “Now I am a young adult and I feel like Tucson has helped to shape me into the person I am. The place and especially the people.”

    Daly said she knows that she wants to leave Arizona at some point, but that is about as far as her plan goes. Though she does not know exactly how it will happen, she said she is open to change and gives this advice to other 20-year-olds and college-aged people:

    “Keep an open mind and an open heart,” Daly said. “You can grow and change and should never be afraid of that change.”

    Follow Thea Van Gorp on Twitter.

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