This post is sponsored by Airbnb but all opinions are always my own.
If I could tell you one of my dreams, it would be to work with Airbnb.
Back in the day, before I shared the blog with anyone really, I wrote a post called: True Life: I tried Airbnb. The post is really embarrassing and seriously shouldn't be seen or read by the world, but I was a babyyyyy back then (baby blogger that is).
This was two years ago, when Airbnb was new on the scene and people were still baffled at the idea of 'staying at a strangers house'.
But, I was into it from the get-go.
Airbnb is more than just an overnight stay. It's not a hotel, it's not an in and out experience with a coffee maker in your room, ironing board and wrapped up soap (well it could be I guess but...ya know). It's not sterile or corporate.
I know I'm being dramatic but it's true, if you know me you know I love speaking to Uber and Lyft drivers, learning from new people and experiencing new things. Whenever I book with Airbnb, I know that it's going to be part of the experience of immersing myself in the culture.
Part of the joy of traveling is meeting new people, experiencing the community, and really being 'in' it.
It's like when you go somewhere and just stay at the resort the whole time. You're not REALLY doing it.
Places I've done airbnb:
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Albaquerque, New Mexico
San Francisco, California
Palm Springs, California
Palma De Majorca, Spain
Sonoma County, California
Cape Town, South Africa
Santa Barbara, California
Newport, Rhode Island
New York City, New York
...just off the top of my head :).
So, I've have an amazing sense of what you get when you do airbnb, over a regular hotel.
There's something really amazing and special about being in someones home. Especially that of a stranger. You're reminded that, just like you, people can be trusted, and not everyone is all that bad (if at all).
So when airbnb asked me to write about one of their experiences, I was over DA MOON. My dream brand (one that represents, travel, adventure, and community) working with Hundred to share something exciting with you, my friends.
Airbnb experiences are excursions or other activities designed and led by local hosts. In my case it was Rian, a host for the 'Desert Wanderer' experience over 3 days in Joshua Tree. These hosts like Rian give guests unique access into places and communities in their city. In this case, Rian brought us to places I would have never gone to without her guidance.
With airbnb experiences, these hosts can offer both immersions and one day experiences. Immersions happen over multiple days and are offered as is—their schedules can’t be modified. One day experiences can last just a couple of hours. All experiences can range from workshops to long treks, and are available for various skill levels and interests.
Friday: Horseback riding and mimosas
On Friday, the group met in the Hollywood hills to embark on a 1 hour journey on horseback to see LA from a different view and set the tone for the weekend. After the ride, we had a little mountaintop mimosa to kick off the weekend in style.
Saturday: Justin and I packed up and headed from Los Angeles to Joshua Tree. The trip is super quick and easy, and we made it in under 2 hours. We left around 10:00 AM, just to be sure that we didn't hit any traffic leaving the city. Obviously packed the goodness from Erewhon (raw vegan burrito wrap, Moon Juice Crackers, and La Croix).
When we arrived in Joshua Tree, the address for our first activity was at the Integration.
How I didn't know about this, I DON'T KNOW, because it's SO me.
Integration is a rad, earthy, spiritual and cool sound bath experience that Justin and I both LOVED. Justin loves a good chill session, so anything we do where we are laying down, he's about it. I LOVED just relaxing, getting out of the sun, and being in such a beautiful space. It's all wooden, has the perfect acoustics, and has a really rich history that they told us all about before we started the sound bath.
What's a sound bath:
"This is an unforgettable sound experience for those who seek deep relaxation, rejuvenation, and introspection. All Sound Baths are 60-minute sonic healing sessions that consist of 25 minutes of crystal bowls played live and the balance of the hour to integrate the sound and relax in the sound chamber to recorded music.
You will be resting comfortably in the deeply resonant, multi-wave sound chamber while a sequence of quartz crystal singing bowls are played, each one keyed to the energy centers or chakras of the body, where sound is nutrition for the nervous system. The results are waves of peace, heightened awareness, and relaxation of the mind and body."
Pretty rad, right?
After that, we did another activity I would have never known unless it were for Rian, our guide. Even from searching online and looking at my usual spots for good recommendations, nothing said anything about Integration or this spot.
Dinner was perfect and super western vibes at Pappy + Harriets, a local favorite that surprisingly had way more vegan options that I would have thought for a BBQ joint. I got the vegan chili with avocado, green salad and enjoyed that with chips and guacamole (OBVIOUSLY). At the end of the night we went back to Joshua Tree acres for stargazing.
It was super exciting that, at Joshua Tree Acres, another Airbnb experience was happening that we joined in on. It was with Martin, who owns these INSANE telescopes that allow you to see the surface of the moon, galaxies and stars. We actually got to use our phones to take pictures of the moon.
I know this seems out there, lol, so bare with me. But we're in the desert, using our iPhones and a $70,000 telescope to take pictures of the moon and stars.
So rad, right?
It's nice to be in a place where we can see the clear sky, stars and sleep in the quiet night. Although L.A. is more quiet than NYC :) it still can be noisy and hectic at times.
Ticket to live music and sound bath at the Integratron
Transportation to, from, and within Joshua Tree and the hi-desert
1 night accommodation in Joshua Tree at Joshua Tree Acres
Sunday: As a finale, we spent the desert morning enjoying the best of the best. With turmeric lattes, food, nature, and a visit to a hippie commune.
YUP! Hippie commune, a community in the desert where they basically live off the land, and live amongst themselves in the desert.
First though, in the morning, we had the BEST breakfast La Copine. For real though this is a GEM. Again, would have never known about it or found it without Rian. The line to get a table here is gnarly, so if you go, go early or prepare to wait.
848 Old Woman Springs Road, Yucca Valley, CA
HOURS: Thursday - Sunday 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
People actually arrive before they open to write their names down on a list so they have a seat as soon as they open their doors. For food, I got the sweet potato hash and turmeric latte (actually two of them) and it gave me LIFE.
Another good spot for coffee in Joshua Tree is Joshua Tree Coffee Co.
With my full belly, we headed out to Joshua Tree National Park. So much to see, and you can spend as much or as little time in the park as you want, really. We decided to do the light hike, and take it easy just to walk around.
I like this guide for the best hikes in Joshua Tree.
Hours: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM 7 days a week
6554 Park Blvd.
Joshua Tree, CA 92252
After roaming the park for a little with our crew, I was BEAT, and ready to retreat back to my little bungalow on the beach.
Huge thanks to Airbnb for this, and for Rian for taking us to the best spots in Joshua Tree, this trip was AMAZING and I loved every second of it. Highly recommend for any desert adventure :).
Questions, ask me!