“A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.” – Tim Cahill
When our time in Bali came to an end we flew to our homes on either side of the country. Making sure to keep in contact via quirky photo texts (not of the sexting variety) and phone dates. Not long after we made plans to continue our adventures together first in California and then in Michigan. Roughly 4 years after the birth of our friendship I traveled to California for a soul sister reunion. Where we embarked on a road trip to Salvation Mountain and Joshua Tree National Park.
Salvation Mountain feels like it is in the middle of nowhere, which makes it that much more special. I was enchanted the moment I saw the pastel colors peaking above the endless sand and rock.
There are designated walking paths all over Salvation Mountain, just follow the yellow brick road!
Colorful details cover the walls and ceilings. There are hidden rooms and intricate ceilings made out of tree branches covered in adobe clay.
Joshua Tree National Park
After our starry night visit, we headed to a Best Western hotel in Palm Springs. The following morning we came back to Joshua Tree to explore by daylight.
Joshua Tree National Park brags two distinctive desert ecosystems, both the Mojave and Colorado desert meet here.
We spent the whole day driving through the park, stopping at all the vista points, rock formations, and special little cactus gardens. I also spent a majority of the time searching for desert wildlife, with 0 luck. I had my heart set on seeing a ram, thanks to all of the signs.
In my short 25 years, I have become no stranger to the evolution of friendships and how they often take the back burner to families and life commitments. Some friendships can’t handle the distance or the changes and that is okay. Some friendships were only meant for a season of life, to get you through a certain heartbreak or to teach you something about yourself. However, I have found that the most beautiful friendships are the ones that grow and change with you through adulthood, the friendships that creep up on you in the most unlikely places and during the most unexpected times.
The friendship I found in Samantha came unexpected and has lasted through distance, heartbreak, differences, and big life changes. She has always been there to support me, encourage me, and teach me. We are two different people and may not always agree, but it gives me perspective and insight. I am ever-thankful to have found such a beautiful friend to share part of life with. If this friendship was the only good thing to come out of travel, it would have been worth it.
Have you made any life-long friendships with people you have met while traveling?