“Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it.” While I know it’s a little cliche to use a sappy quote from Eat, Pray, Love in a blog post about my travels, as I’m currently reading Big Magic, I suppose I just can’t get enough of Elizabeth Gilbert’s relatable and comforting words to this ever-feminine heart of mine. More so, as you probably know if you keep up with this little blog o’ mine, a girls’ trip to California after an immensely busy end of 2017 + some major life transitions was just what the doctor ordered. If I’m being completely honest, my gal pal Lauren and I planned this little getaway spontaneously whilst enjoying copious amounts of giggles and red wine. When I woke up to an AirBnb “Welcome” email from Sarah + Rich at the Joshua Tree House, I’d immediately decided all of my future travel planning might need to be done among fellow friends who love food, travel, and wine. Kiiiiiidding. But really…
Lauren is an immensely creative friend of mine who spends her days running her own business, homeschooling her daughter, and traveling to as many places as possible. She and I have been wanting to take a trip together, as we knew our shared love for great food, beautiful places, and soulful life experiences would make us great travel buddies. This trip came at such a perfect time and I’m ever grateful for the entire experience. Both Palm Springs and Joshua Tree captivated my heart in the way that California always seems to do.
If you don’t currently travel by way of Airbnb, I highly suggest giving it a whirl. This is far from the first time I have; however, each experience in someone’s carefully curated living space leaves me a little more smitten than the last. The Joshua Tree House and the Dome House we stayed in in Palm Springs were among some of the most breathtaking spaces I’ve ever slept. The energy that oozed from the meticulously crafted homes was the perfect environment for us to renew our creative energy, rest, and recharge.
Most mornings we woke up and sipped our coffee as we watched the sun rise and got a few hours of work and/or personal reflection in. From there, we would formulate our game plan for adventure that day. Discovering the best eateries in the area is something Lauren has a particular knack for, and every culinary experience left us our bellies more full and happy than the last.
If you find yourself visiting Joshua Tree, I highly recommend grabbing breakfast or lunch to go from The Natural Sisters Cafe’. We loved this fresh eatery so much that we had it three times while in JT. The rest of our meals here were spent cooking in and soaking up every inch of the beautiful house.
While I was pretty confident that I would love Joshua Tree, I had no inclination of just how fun thrifting would be in this little desert town. Lauren and I spent one afternoon beep-bopping from shop-to-shop and finding the most unique treasures. I even found some fun clothes that we decided to play dress-up in during our sunset drive through Joshua Tree National Park.
The End, Pioneer Crossing, and The Joshua Tree Gift Shop, believe it or not, were a couple of the many charming stores I stumbled upon. Don’t let the generic name fool you, I actually found some of the coolest vintage clothing finds from there.
Despite being only about 3o miles from one another, Joshua Tree and Palm Springs possess two very different, yet equally enchanting personalities. I plan on making a much longer trip out again to explore the many experiences time didn’t allow for and to just soak in the rich creative vibe that both places cultivate so naturally.
While Joshua Tree was fabulous for some low-key R+R, Palm Springs boasts the most amazing mid-century architecture, food, and a vibe that just left us continuously exclaiming, “This is so good I could cry.”
While our super-modern geocentric Dome House AirBnb exuded the absolute coolest furnishings, my favorite part of the space was the dome room of windows, which allowed for the most breathtaking views of sunrise and sunset. Lauren and I had a massage therapist come out to the house one morning as we started one of our days in Palm Springs with a relaxing massage. Throughout the trip with each splurge on a vintage item, delicious meal, or frivolous massage, I gently reminded myself, “This is what the first experience in a beautiful new place should be.” No guilt over money spent or road poorly navigated, just some good soul-fulfilling self-love.
Palm Springs + Joshua Tree, until we meet again…
Interested in visiting Joshua Tree? Check out this great guide about camping in Joshua Tree National Park!