The Magic and Beauty of the Desert

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I look forward to Thanksgiving weekend every year. There’s nothing like getting together with people you love, gorging yourselves on delicious food made with love, and having amazing leftovers to keep gorging on for the rest of the weekend.

I’m very blessed to come from a big family who loves any occasion to get together and eat. While I wouldn’t trade these family gatherings for the world, all that commotion and fun gets a bit overwhelming for me, so every Thanksgiving weekend for the past few years, my favorite travel partner and I have made it a tradition to retreat to the desert after the Thanksgiving hoopla.

Growing up, I was always a beach girl. I spent countless days with my best friends boogie boarding, tanning, and eating Wendy’s on the shores of Coronado. It was my boyfriend’s family that took me on my first amazing trip to the desert. Before this, my idea of the desert was Las Vegas, or the far flung sands of the Sahara. I had no idea that just a few hours away in the opposite direction of my beloved beach was another world full of beauty and adventure.

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With it’s dramatic sunrises and sunsets, extreme temperatures, semi-isolation, and mysterious legends of aliens and the desert dwelling “Yucca man,” it’s easy to see why the desert is often associated with being a spiritual and magical place.

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For me, the magic of the desert lies in building a campfire, roasting hot dogs, and catching glimpses of falling stars.

Fireside with Family
Family Fireside. Photo by Tim Trevaskis

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Living in the city, I’m often lulled to sleep by the hum of cars on the freeway, and have the glow of a street lamp or neighbor’s light pouring in through my bedroom window acting as a nightlight of sorts. These do not exist in the desert and it’s extremely refreshing. The only sounds you hear when you’re not having a conversation with your companions are the crackle of the fire and the soft whisper of the wind (unless it’s a windy night, then it’s the crazy howl of the wind). The only light you see besides the fire is the light from the stars and moon. In other words: Bliss.

Not far from our isolated little campfire spot is Joshua Tree , a surreal National Park where the Mojave and Colorado meet to form a an enchanting and picturesque ecosystem.

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My favorite travel partner had a hard time pulling me away from snapping photos of this beautiful place.

I can’t wait until I can retreat to the desert again, and I’m so thankful that a place like this is only a few hours away from me. It’s the perfect place to seek solace and be alone with your thoughts…and the Yucca Man.

Where do you escape to when you need a breather? Leave some ideas and inspiration in the comments!

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Jamie is a writer with a passion for adventure, history, and more. When she’s not out exploring the world, Jamie is at home in sunny San Diego, CA chasing sunsets and carne asada fries, preoccupied with research, or invested in a good book and a cup of tea.

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