Outbound Collective logo

The Desert Strips Away the Noise

My friends and I set out for a 30th birthday adventure on our paddle boards in Lake Powell, below was my biggest reflection and take away.

By: Holly Mandarich + Save to a List

My friends and I set out for a 30th birthday adventure on our ISLE paddle boards in Lake Powell....

You know the noise that’s constantly floating around in your head.

Sometimes it’s the noise of endless scrolling, other times it’s the noise of intrusive thoughts or logical, analytical thoughts: “what decision do I make” - “I just want this thing to work” - “where am I going next?”

The endless circle, the endless cycle.

We all do our best in the modern day world to strip ourselves of these thoughts. We see the cycle, but don’t always know how to break out of it.

We can’t always win against it.

I’m a huge advocate for Outdoors Rx, the idea of prescribing the outdoors as medicine. When we venture outside - it gives us a second to breathe, to stop, to regulate - and to give to our body or mind whatever it needs.

I believe that different environments and different eco-systems give us different things when it comes to regulation.

And the way the desert regulates us, is by stripping away the noise.

The desert is empty, desolate and dry.

It evaporates almost all the water, and almost all of the life out of its environment.

So what better way to clear your mind, body and soul, than with a trip to the desert?

I’m telling you, there isn’t a better way.

You won’t stay for long, or dare I say you’d dry up.

But when you MAKE the time to be with yourself stripped away from all the noise... My, ohh my, you’re simply reminded of who you are at your core.

Who you are at your essence.

What you are.

What you care about.

And who and what you love.

It all shines bright.

The desert will seemingly cast a “spell” over you, but my dear, do realize. This is no spell. But simply a crystal clear picture of you and your desires.

The desert gives you permission - no matter how it may seem.

Next time you need some clarity, I invite you to run away to a place where you’ll find yourself alone.

Alone among the open spaces.

Alone among the red rock walls.

Alone, in a place, where you feel all the noise stripped away.

Where you’ll find your heart and see it whole.

You’ll know when your welcome has run out, and it’s time to venture home.

And you’ll walk away with more clarity than you could imagine, from a trip of returning to your soul.

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Do you love the outdoors?

Yep, us too. That's why we send you the best local adventures, stories, and expert advice, right to your inbox.


The perfect 3-day road trip through Lassen Volcanic National Park & Crater Lake National Park

Gwyneth and Amiana Manser

TINCUP Mountain Mixer Series recap!

Hatie Parmeter

A 3-day road trip adventure in Western Rocky Mountain National Park

Nallely Bean

Check out these Native American businesses in CA

The Outbound Collective

Two Native-owned and -operated organizations to support in CA

The Outbound Collective