Rest is originally designed to prepare for busyness. For years I’ve treated it as a result of exhaustion. Meaning, I would desire to rest when I felt out of energy instead of desiring it for energy. I knew my perspective needed to change. This upcoming year is going to be chaotic (part time grad school, part time working) so before my time is consumed with studying and learning and teaching, rest was vital. Here are my takeaways from the day.

I love adventures. I’ve had the privilege to share most of them with my closest and dearest friends exploring brand new places. I cherish those memories immensely. However, I desired to take a trip all by myself without meeting someone at the end of it. I wanted to purposefully plan an adventure. The desire to travel alone sparked a desire to take a day of rest. My sights were Big Sur, but I wasn’t about to go six hours for only a day. I researched other options and discovered southernmost part of Big Sur was only four hours away from LA. It was called Salmon Creek: it included a hiking trail and even a waterfall! A friend suggested Cambria when I asked what was her favorite central coast town. Moonstone Beach State Park was a highly recommended place. After gathering more information, I wrote my plan out in detail. I reviewed it as much as I could leading up and edited minor details. On Saturday September 5th, I left Los Angeles in the early hours, arrived to the trail at noon, departed Big Sur late afternoon, and returned to my apartment around midnight. There were several stops along the way (Mugu State Beach, Starbucks, a gas station in San Luis Obispo, Ragged Point and In N Out), but the main trip consisted of Salmon Creek and Moonstone Beach State Park.

As I shared with my friends about my adventure they asked if I was afraid when I encountered surprises like caves made out of rocks or narrow trails with no one else. I said no. Fear was absent the whole day. I think the reason behind it was the feeling of freedom. Fear holds you back. In the past, it has definitely kept me from stepping out. It has held me in a place of comfort and tricked me in believing that I was safe. But it was freeing to not worry about a time schedule. It was freeing to pull over to the side of the road at a whim. It was freeing to accomplish a feat such as a 6.5 mile hike by myself. I altered my plan several times before the trip and changed my mind during the trip. Certain things I wanted to do didn’t happen, but I didn’t dwell on them. There was no need to consult others about the changes. People-pleasing is nonexistent when you travel alone. No one influences your opinions. I love people, but I’ve come to realize that interacting with people can be emotionally exhausting. As I reflect on the day, I realized how much I rely on others’ thoughts about my surroundings and decisions in everyday life. I also learned I didn’t need to sit down at a coffee shop sipping a latte and writing in a journal to meet with the Lord (which I tend to believe always needs to happen.) My three favorite things in nature were seen in one fell swoop: ocean, mountains, and trees throughout my hike AND drive. “I love California” and “This is so amazing” were two phrases I repeated over and over. The Lord speaks to me in a plethora of ways: through His word, through prayer, through people, and through nature. On my day of rest, He continually loved me through prayer and nature.

I’ve taken many days of rest before, but nothing like this. What I experienced was absolute pure freedom. And it was that freedom that gave me rest.

Here is the playlist I played on repeat during my drive:
Dust- Little May
My Life, My Love- Family and Friends
If I’m Lucky- State Champs
Goodbye- Who is Fancy
Cloudline- Joseph
Take Me There- Trip Lee
Kanye- The Chainsmokers
When I Get Older- Wild Party
Morocco- Moon Taxi
Say My Name- ODESZA
Hanging By a Thread- Aaron Espe
First- Cold War Kids
Changing of the Seasons- Two Door Cinema
Ignition (Remix)- The Wine and the Wave
Unbreakable- Jamie Scott
Belly of the Deepest Love- Tow’rs

If you’d like to scroll through the photos I took during my adventure, visit my VSCO Journal