TRAVEL JOURNAL - Desert Dreaming


Last week felt like my body and spirit took a beating, with a major work deadline that required long hours coinciding with the results of the presidential election. The air around felt thick and filled with uncertainty, a sense of confusion and anxiety in the days following the shocking upset of the elections. Even though I'm merely a transplant who will always call Singapore home, in the last 6 years, I've grown to deeply love and cherish the spirit and passion of my adopted home and its people. Living here have broadened my perspective and sense of independence, teaching me empathy while opening my eyes to people of various walks of lives. With the events that had unfolded, the very ideals which I cherish about this country is being shaken and that fills me with profound sadness. The weekend couldn't come quick enough and I really needed an escape to re-set myself.

One of my favorite things about living in Los Angeles is the fact that just a couple of hours outside of the city, you get transported into landscapes so vastly different from the city. Whether, it's the majestic desert, the serene mountains or the laid back ocean side, it only takes a couple of hours to feel like you're on a vacation. And having 80 degree weather in November means, it's the perfect time for a little day trip! I remember the first time I went out to Joshua Tree National Park, and having no preconceived notion of what to expect, I was really disappointed with the Joshua Tree with its whimsical stumpy distorted forms. Seeing that it was national park with only Yosemite as a point of reference, I was expecting a lush, tall majestic treescape. (though I'm not sure why I would have expected that since it is in the desert but than again, I am a tropical island kid) My second visit, I came out to camp a night with some classmates and really came to understood the beauty of the desert with its sense of vast openness and serene isolation, especially at night when you hear the lone howls of the coyotes while staring up into the endless constellations. Even the joshua trees with their twisting forms and spiky pompom ends and the majestic rock formations that make for fun climbing have wormed their way into my heart, rejuvenating my spirit every time I wander amongst the misleadingly barren landscape.

"The journey not the arrival matters" - T.S. Elliot
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