The only trip I had taken this year was back in January. The trip was a Christmas gift that took us to the Mojave Desert and Big Bear. As I write this four months later – a lot has happened. A pandemic took place leading us to practice physical distancing. Some of us are restricted from traveling. Social activities are not taking place. The truth is that people’s lives have been forever changed. We all anticipate for the day life goes back to normal. That is why I am sharing this trip, as a reminder to be grateful for all the simple things.

big bear California travel guide

We stayed at an Apple Valley cabin amidst Joshua trees. Sipped some rosé, we drove to the nearest shopping center for quick Italian food. We held each other close at night, not realizing how lucky we were to be able to travel freely.

The next day took us to Big Bear. In winter the snow pillows the ground. January air is crisp against a slightly sunny day. Most of the snow had melted. People were strolling across the lake in handfuls. We went to a charming coffeehouse for some tea, we kept it short and headed off to a hike. After a moderate trail, we went to a favorite pizza spot of mine: Maggio’s Pizza. We stopped at the pet store to pick up some gifts for Bambi. We headed back to the cabin for a warm shower and brewed tea.

big bear california travel guide
big bear California travel guide
big bear California travel guide
big bear California travel guide

The final day had us waking up early to see the sunrise. The beauty of being far out in the valley is that there are no distractions in the sky. The Joshua trees linger along the hills. Above the sky painted a puffy pink good morning. We made some easy pancakes and topped them with honey for good measure. Cheap coffee brewed with almond milk. We packed our belongings, back to our home.

big bear California travel guide

What the pandemic has taught me is the value of our experiences. It showed me that perhaps I took them for granted. A few months ago I believed travel was forever a choice. That it is accessible so long as I could afford it. Now I realize the privilege of travel. Most importantly I reflect on the joy of coming home. To be able to return from an adventure and step foot into a home you love, with the people you love. For me, it serves as a solemn reminder to be grateful. Even for simple things, let us cherish them. 

big bear California travel guide

I wanted to remind myself and perhaps you as well, that with time we will heal.


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