The Spirit of Adventure: Joshua Tree National Park

Every once in awhile, we must travel to remind ourselves of what the monotony of life makes us forget.

For me, nature provokes clarity and allows me to transparently assess where my priorities lie. It’s a way for me to regroup, collect my thoughts, and approach every other aspect of my life with patience and gratitude, and the understanding that there are infinite things in this world that are beyond my control.

I’m also very fortunate to have friends who are just as hungry for this sense of clarity and adventure as I am. My friend Alyx is one of the most positive influencers of this realm, documenting her own expeditions through a rad-as-fuck blog titled, ‘Shoestring Adventures’

A few weeks ago I was feeling feelings. Uninspired and defeated; stuck in a full-fledged creative rut. While consoling my discontentment over carbs and brunch, I received a text from Alyx saying simply, ‘Hey! What are you doing today?”.  Within six texts we had established an impromptu weekend camping trip in Joshua Tree. I had two hours to get home, pack and get ready. 

This is the true spirit of the adventure; being able to drop everything, cancel your plans, fuck showering, pack a bag and do what you know is best for yourself. I rushed home, threw some clothes in a knapsack, grabbed my camera and waited for Alyx to arrive so we could pick up some essentials (read: s’mores).  Within two hours we were on the road, our friend Julie in tow.

With no campsite reserved, no cash and no real plan, I was prepared for infinite possibilities on the road ahead of us.

I’ve learned over the course of my adventures that travel, just as life, will always be OK with or without a plan. We made it to our campsite, pitched our tent in the dark, and set up a cozy campfire to indulge in s’mores and snacks. The rest of the weekend was filled with photos, food, stories and smiles.  I came home Sunday night exhausted, yet never more ready to take on the week.

Sometimes you have to find a way to silence the constant hum in the back of your brain, to turn off the voices that stir your fears and failures, and bury the ghosts in the back of your mind. That weekend in Joshua Tree, I learned that some of the most beautiful and amazing things are born from a lack of planning, an act of spontaneity and an open mind.



Photo by Alyx Schwarz

1 Comment

  • Jonathon Bolin says:

    Good morning Drea,

    I am hopefully seeking permission to use one of your photos for my band’s EP cover. We are a local rock band from Long Beach, CA. I have mocked up a few ideas I have utilizing your work. I will obviously give credit to yourself/model. The EP will be released on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, etc. etc as well as possibly pressed on vinyl. Please email me at to further discuss. I would really appreciate it! I love your work!

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