anuja shukla
ANUJA SHUKLA - GRAPHIC DESIGN

I use travel to change the way I think.

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joshua tree national park


"Does anyone know what those trees are called?"

I said as we passed miles and miles of oddly shaped trees - each sprouted of their own accord, without a care in the world.

We spent a Saturday traveling through Joshua Tree National Park to celebrate Earth day. 

As we passed through the blazing desert sprinkled with wildlife and jumbo rocks, I began to think just how unique each Joshua Tree was in a crowd of Joshua Trees. There were baby Joshuas, and toddler Joshuas, Joshuas that stood straight, and Joshuas that danced with crazy limbs. Leave it to me to find the allegory in nature, but I couldn't help but to relate these Joshuas to people.

People.

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We are all born with a blank slate, with no preconceptions of the world. As I saw baby Joshuas stick-straight and barely rooted in the ground, it reminded me of human adolescence. As we grow older, we become our own unique selves. We stretch our limbs, we are surrounded by our peers, but we grow at our own pace, and yeah, sometimes we even have to grow an extra limb or two. These Joshuas were exactly in the same situation.

As we were driving, I saw them grow and grow and grow and grow. I saw them grow into their own unique selves. And it amazed me that not a single Joshua Tree was like any other Joshua Tree. 

If traveling has taught me one thing, it is to fully appreciate the time you have and live in the moment. I love to spend time in one place and question its existence in the world. 

Have you ever been to Joshua Tree National Park? What are your thoughts and experiences?

Check out my feature on the May 2017 issue of Toph&her Magazine!