Designer Vaca | Part II — Joshua Tree

Following Designer Vaca, I headed to Joshua Tree with a group of four other ladies who had also attended the conference. We’d set it up in the lead up to the trip — one of my Designer Vaca roomies had been in touch with another group of girls who had shown interest in visiting Joshua Tree, and invited me along.

Before heading out, we spent some time at Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactarium. If you haven’t been before, it’s pretty awesome, and worth a visit. A huge array of cacti - an instagrammer’s dream (cue a group of creatives lining up to get the perfect shot). We spent a good hour wandering around, taking in the scenery, and taking plenty of photos - I have enough cacti photos to last me a lifetime.

We made a quick pit stop at Trader Joe’s for the essentials (wine), and off we went!

I’ve never felt so at home with a group of strangers before. As with Designer Vaca, I had a fleeting moment of panic, when I remembered that I was about to go off for a few days with three strangers. But, there as never a moment where I felt that I didn’t belong, nor any of the others. There was a great balance of personalities, and it felt natural.

On the few days we were in Joshua Tree, we had a great balance of exploring the National Park, as well as plenty of down time. While, I initially scoffed at waking up early to catch the sunrise in the park, I am SO glad we did it. Mother nature is incredible, and I am grateful for the opportunity to see the sun come up over the park; it was truly spectacular.

A quick stop to the farmer’s market, a few other shops and then on to Pioneertown. For the Aussies reading, it’s a very condensed Sovereign Hill (and not half as good in my opinion). It was set up in 1946 by Hollywood investors, as an Old West set that was also a town worth visiting.

It was smaller than I was expecting, but worth a visit; especially to Pappy and Harriett’s Pioneertown Palace to grab a bite.

We took a few trips to the park; we explored a number of points of interest, as long as heading back to catch the sun set. Sunset at Arch Rock was another highlight - the colours of the sun hitting the rocks is wonderful. Desert scenery is mind blowing to me; all the colours, the flora, the sky and the way the light hits the rocks. It’s such a visual delight.

The Cholla Cactus Garden was another sweet little spot. The cholla cacti, otherwise known as “Jumping teddy bear” cacti, aren’t as cute as they look. Their spines will insert into your skin at the lightest touch. There are other cacti/plants in this area, but the huge amount of cholla cacti is crazy.

And, it wouldn’t be a trip to Joshua Tree without some crystals! I managed to convince my roomies to head to Joshua Tree Rock Shop, to have a peruse. I always like to walk around and see what grabs my eye (I know, I know; hippy crystal sh*t. Don’t judge me).

I came away with a Tigers eye sphere and a small citrine rock. The crystals felt like a fitting way to encapsulate the feelings and thoughts I had had during the trip, and in the coming weeks.


In the end, we’re all in this together. I know, that there was a time that I felt intimidated and even threatened by other creative women. I think it can be a natural reaction; when we doubt ourselves, other women who are doing what we want to be doing and doing it successfully can be down right intimidating. I’m not proud of the fact I use to feel this way; i’d get so angry at myself for feeling so threatened by people.

This trip really highlighted to me that I’ve moved beyond this. I’m finally past all that, and appreciate the connection with other female creatives, and welcome their talent, wisdom and insights. I an also fully celebrate with others in their success, rather than feel that all too familiar stab of jealousy that I would have a few years back.

I’ll take connection, wisdom and learning from other amazing creative women, over jealousy, any day. Learning that were all in the same boat; often, none of us have any idea of what we’re doing! But, that’s why we have each other.

Shout out to my travel buddies; Elle, Melissa, Brooke and Linsey. All amazing in their own ways, I wouldn’t have had these moments of reflection without spending the weekend with them.

Shout out to Linsey for the Lightroom Preset — and her generosity in setting it up, cause I couldn’t figure it out!

Been to Joshua Tree? What’s your favourite place to visit??