Travel Diary: Joshua Tree | A Metaphysical Adventure

The journey to the metaphysical mecca of Joshua Tree, deep in the Mojave desert is a spiritual one. There’s a connectedness and a solitary easeful feeling that arises passing through those gnarled trees that give this area its name. 

Joshua Tree At Night
On the road from Joshua Tree | Oui We
Joshua Tree at Sunset Oui We Girl

To get prepared for any adventure I like to get the vibe going at home first. I have my own little bohemian traveler library and there's a full list in my book for every single chapter and destination. I've pulled a few favorites from the "Way Out West" chapter to get you in the desert head space!

Movies to watch: Stones For Ibarra (1988), Lo Sound Desert (2015), Bagdad Cafe (1987), Young Guns (1988), Tiger Eyes (Judy Blume), The Darjeeling Limited (2007)

Books to read: Wind, Sand and Stars (Antoine de Saint-Exupéry), Joshua Tree (Rudy Vanderlans), A Field Guide to Getting Lost (Rebecca Solnit), Desert Solitaire (Edward Abbey), Complete Astrology: The Classic Guide to Modern Astrology (Alan Oken)

Bands to set the tone: U2, Queens of the Stone Age, Emmy Lou Harris, The Flying Burrito Brothers, The Rolling Stones, Best Coast, Wavves, Eagles of Death Metal


Joshua Tree Airbnb
Joshua Tree | Oui We
Joshua Tree | Oui We
Joshua Tree | Oui We

Painters, writers, poets and musicians have been making the pilgrimage to Joshua Tree for decades. John Lennon famously recorded “Imagine” and Come Together” from The Joshua Tree Tapes here. There’s a love story to enlightenment transcending from these rare landscapes.  

There’s a ghost of melancholy romance in the atmosphere.

Gram Parsons of the Byrds and the Rolling Stones, who died suddenly in room Number Eight at the Joshua Tree Inn, spent time there. He had a deep chemistry with Emmy Lou Harris - and while the two never quite solidified their love affair, the cosmic cowboy sound they created is reflective of the electricity between them. Outlaw artists of the early 70’s went for wide open spaces, psychedelic enlightenment, in an outpost surrounded by monumental rock formations, mojave yucca, juniper and sage. 

Joshua Tree at Sunset
Andi Eaton | Joshua Tree

What to pack for a trip to Joshua Tree

The Joshua Tree girl hangs with friends channeling the proper 70s-era rocker. She dresses in glamorous maxi gowns or in leather, fringe and concert tees. In Joshua tree she blooms. She’s a delicate cactus flower, stylish by nature mixing high end designer finds with hand-me-downs vintage beauties from her grandmother’s closet. 

Where to stay 

There’s so many Airbnb options, from tree houses to homestead cabins each offering a unique experience and a shift in perspective. On my most recent visit we chose the Cozy Dezert Retreat - for less than about $100/night there's 2 bedrooms, an outdoor firepit, jacuzzi tub and scenic views abound.

Another (super instagrammable option) is the Dome in the Desert. An 80’s era geodesic dome, stocked with books on palm reading and fortune telling and all sorts of knick knacks you’ll want to find for your house back home. Light up the palo santo here and allow your inner creativity to be unhinged.

Joshua Tree Sunset

Can't Miss Joshua Tree:

FOR THE SPIRITUALIST: Schedule a visit to the Integratron for a chakra alignment and sound bath. The Integratron is an energy machine built on a geomagnetic vortex in Landers, California, twenty miles north of Joshua Tree. According to the creator, the wooden dome was built utilizing the design of Moses’s Tabernacle, the writings of Nikola Tesla, and telepathic directions from extraterrestrials. Mmmhm, not quite sure who ET contacted but interesting right?!

According to the website, “The structure is designed to be an electrostatic generator for the purpose of rejuvenation and time travel.” You’ll float out the door afterward.

FOR THE FASHIONISTA: Throughout Joshua Tree and the neighboring Yucca Valley are several boutiques and bohemian-chic vintage shops. Ricochet Vintage Wears (packed with groovy printed frocks), the End (curated by a Hollywood costume designer), Hoof & the Horn (full of Americana styles), Funky & Darn Near New (for leather, fringe, and cowboy boots), and Trailer Trash (stocked with handmade art, clothing, and music memorabilia) are all worth an afternoon of deep rack diving. 

FOR THE MUSIC LOVER: Ease into Joshua Tree local life at the Joshua Tree Saloon for karaoke under a disco ball. Give the crowd your best Jagger and settle in for a night of cheap beer and deep conversations.

It's not a full trip without a visit to Pappy & Harriet's Pioneer Palace, so make sure to put it on your list. Standing on the site of an Old West Frontier Town movie set built by Hollywood investors including Gene Autry and Roy Rogers this place is a roadside dream. Known for its’ mesquite barbecue and mac and cheese Pappy & Harriet’s offers raucous good times and intimate music shows with bands like Best Coast, Vampire Weekend and the Pixies.

Joshua Tree Sunset

As you leave Joshua Tree, gaze up into the ethereal California sky, feel the heaviness of the air, and take off into the dreamscape, knowing you’ll never forget the out-of-body experience this whole trip has been. 

I can't wait to see what you find on your own adventures. Be sure to tag #AWanderfulLife so we can all follow along together.

Wanderfully yours,

Andi


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Andi Eaton

Andi Eaton is a creative director, author, entrepreneur, and cultural influencer in a variety of media. She produces Oui We (ouiwegirl.com) the modern bohemian's guide to everything from travel and style to beauty and holistic wellness. Andi and her projects have been featured on Domino, Glitter Guide, A Beautiful Mess, Southern Living, SELF, Hello Giggles, Refinery 29, WWD, Elle Canada and more; in 2017 she wrapped a year of road tripping throughout the U.S. photographing and documenting travel, style and culture stories available in her new book: "Wanderful: The Modern Bohemian's Guide to Traveling in Style".

Photo Preview: Wanderful! Pacific Coast Highway to the Beaches of 30A

Hi wanderful friends,

So this week I'm spending some time decompressing out in the magic of the Rocky Mountains for a few days... it's a quick little respite before the whirlwind of my book launch gets fully underway. 

If you haven't yet pre-ordered you've got a few more days to do so!

I've started to schedule my first round book events and as soon as things are finalized I'll give you all the details. I can tell you this so far: if you'll be in New York City I'll be speaking on September 19th and New Orleans friends, save the date for an event at Martine Chaisson Gallery on September 16th! Yay! 

In the meantime, here's a little photo preview and a couple of outtakes from the first two road trips featured: The Pacific Coast Highway and a jaunt from Miami to the beaches of 30A.

Enjoy!

The PCH

Miami to 30A

photo credits: (1, 2, 3, 7) Allister Ann, (4, 5, 6) David Donelson & Amanda Bjorn, (8, 9) Hunter Holder, (10) Hello Miss Lovely c/o Kaylyn Weir

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Andi Eaton

Andi Eaton is a creative director, author, entrepreneur, and cultural influencer in a variety of media. She produces Oui We (ouiwegirl.com) the modern bohemian's guide to everything from travel and style to beauty and holistic wellness. Andi and her projects have been featured on Domino, Glitter Guide, A Beautiful Mess, Southern Living, SELF, Hello Giggles, Refinery 29, WWD, Elle Canada and more; in 2017 she wrapped a year of road tripping throughout the U.S. photographing and documenting travel, style and culture stories available in her new book: "Wanderful: The Modern Bohemian's Guide to Traveling in Style".

Wanderful: The Modern Bohemian's Guide To Traveling In Style | Cover!

Time. It's a surreal thing, tumbling by on occasion and slowing to a halt on others... As I prepared to share this post: the reveal of the cover of my new book - "Wanderful: The Modern Bohemians Guide To Traveling In Style" I ruminated back on the last several years. I reflected back to the summer of 2014, road tripping through a foreign country - eyes ablaze - taking in new places everyday. Then fast forwarded to the summer of 2015, back home in America contemplating what wonderment my home country might hold for me. 

I came across a post I wrote then, August '15 - here's a little note from that post:

A year after finishing my first book, I'm so excited (and a little nervous) to share that I'm underway with book number two (eeee!). With an open heart, I'm ready to tell you at least this much -- this little story will be a girl's guide to the best road trip of her life...

It'll include road trip necessities, routes for weekend travelers and those who are planning a bit more time on the road. There will be picnic baskets (the kind that'll chill champagne for late nights camp side), piles of woven blankets to keep cozy in the cool desert air, and Polaroid snapshots along the way. Of course, it'll have music selections for long winding nights behind the wheel and a library of road trip reads for the bibliophiles like me. 

And here, a year and a half later I'm having for real, a moment of straight up euphoria in sharing this with you. I truly feel that THAT is exactly what we've created with this book! 


I'm often asked, 'how does one decide to take on writing a book?' and, then 'what's the process like?' - especially when it's a book that covers 9 road trips across America. I felt prepared going into this, I mean, hey - I've written a book before, and understood the joy and pain (and trust me there's much of both) even though this concept and approach would be so seriously different. 

However what I couldn't have prepared for was the beautiful travelers I'd meet along the way, the friendships I'd develop and those that would deepen from doing this sort of traveling. I couldn't have prepared for the genuine thrill of exploring my own creativity in a new way while concepting this book... the delight in seeing ideas come to life through photographs, and my own romance with the world at large that would expand with each passing hour on the road.

So without dragging this on any longer, I'm happy to share a bit more about the book, this is an excerpt from my publisher's site: 

"A girl with a love for off-the-beaten-path destinations, Andi Eaton found herself putting aside the Lonely Planet and Condé Nast Traveler guides and, instead, looking to bohemians and artists for travel and style inspiration: What do the flower children wear on their excur­sions? Where are the creatives’ favorite vintage shops? And where do the musicians go late-night dancing after the last encore? The dreamer in her wanted more than what a standard travel guide could offer, so she decided to create her own.

Wanderful is a stylish lookbook and travelogue for the adven­turous and nomadic at heart. Follow in Andi’s footsteps as she travels the United States to discover some of its most effort­lessly chic destinations—and the fashionable free spirits and wanderers who live there. Nine intimate and exciting road trip routes explore cities, forests, and in between, and will make you feel like you’re traipsing the country with your best, and best-dressed, girlfriends by your side." 


The book comes out on September 12th, so we've got a little ways to go, however you can pre-order now, and I will truly love those of you who do forever! And! In the meantime, I'll be sharing little peeks and behind the scenes stories every month leading up to the release.

Here's a bit more about the cover!

The cover features Photographer & Musician Amanda Bjorn. Each chapter features locals and wanderlusting road trippers that I met along the way. When I took off for my own Big Sur road trip I thought about Amanda. She had traveled the PCH with her boyfriend (and creative partner) and an old school Super 8 camera creating film footage for their band's newly released EP "Young and Restless."

Amanda was my muse for this route. She is the ultimate wanderful girl. 

Outtakes from Amanda's journey up Highway 1

Outtakes from Amanda's journey up Highway 1

As Allister (who photographed much of the Pacific Coast Highway chapter) and I pulled into Big Sur, I envisioned Henry Miller, Jack Kerouac and Joan Didion perched high on the rugged cliff’s edge in their writer’s retreats. What it must have been like for them when they first laid eyes on this place. I wanted to emulate their stories, and Amanda clearly had done the same.

Btw, in Big Sur, people make plans a different way. It’s old school; the mystics and mountain men, healers and musicians flow along without any need or want for the outside world’s static. I fell in love instantly. Big Sur was a highlight of my first road trip and embodied an energy and a feeling that would stay with me for the remainder of these wanderful travels. 

Without giving anything away, I've shared a few behind the scenes images and outtakes below, these photos capture the spirit of this sort of travel (I think)! Enjoy!

_MG_1234 copy.jpg

I can't wait to share more with you, and truly hope you all love it and are inspired to get out there in the world. 

Wanderfully yours,

Andi

outtake photo credits (from top, and l to r): Allister Ann 1, 3-5, 7, 8, 10 | Hunter Holder 2, 6 | Keiko Lynn 9

9 Comments

Andi Eaton

Andi Eaton is a creative director, author, entrepreneur, and cultural influencer in a variety of media. She produces Oui We (ouiwegirl.com) the modern bohemian's guide to everything from travel and style to beauty and holistic wellness. Andi and her projects have been featured on Domino, Glitter Guide, A Beautiful Mess, Southern Living, SELF, Hello Giggles, Refinery 29, WWD, Elle Canada and more; in 2017 she wrapped a year of road tripping throughout the U.S. photographing and documenting travel, style and culture stories available in her new book: "Wanderful: The Modern Bohemian's Guide to Traveling in Style".

Wanderful!

photo: Hunter Holder | outtake from Wanderful

photo: Hunter Holder | outtake from Wanderful

Hi wanderful friends!

I'm so excited to share with you a quick little update on my book. First, "Wanderful: A Modern Bohemian's Guide to Traveling in Style" is finished! After 5 months on the road, hundreds (maybe thousands?!) of photographs, 40,000+ written words and rounds and rounds of edits, it is finally FINISHED!

Next steps are sales and marketing and all of that takes a bit of time, so in the meantime, I'll be sharing a story each month leading up to the release on the making of the book (there were 9 total road trips, so trust me, there's lots to share!) and tips and style lessons we learned from the girls we met along the road. 

Be sure to sign up for my mailing list so that you don't miss a thing!

Thanks for following along - and I'll be back with a pre-sale link (so you can buy in advance) soon!

xoxo!

Andi

12 Comments

Andi Eaton

Andi Eaton is a creative director, author, entrepreneur, and cultural influencer in a variety of media. She produces Oui We (ouiwegirl.com) the modern bohemian's guide to everything from travel and style to beauty and holistic wellness. Andi and her projects have been featured on Domino, Glitter Guide, A Beautiful Mess, Southern Living, SELF, Hello Giggles, Refinery 29, WWD, Elle Canada and more; in 2017 she wrapped a year of road tripping throughout the U.S. photographing and documenting travel, style and culture stories available in her new book: "Wanderful: The Modern Bohemian's Guide to Traveling in Style".