During my study abroad Maymester program in Morocco, one of my favorite times was the days that we explored the Sahara desert. Ever since I was little, I have been absolutely fascinated by desert landscapes, reading about them, watching movies or shows set in deserts, documentaries, you name it. With that in mind, I was particularly looking forward to going to the desert while in Morocco as I’d never had the privilege of seeing or experiencing a desert landscape before, especially not on the scale of the Sahara. It was the end of the first week of our study abroad program, and we spent several hours traveling by bus to reach the edge of the Sahara. Once there, we took a break at a lovely villa for a few hours, greeted by mint tea (it’s a tradition in Morocco to offer visitors mint tea) and a quick lunch. Afterwards, it was finally time to explore the desert. We spent the afternoon cruising up and down dunes in the Sahara on 4 wheelers. I had expected that sand on that scale would be tricky to navigate with a 4 wheeler, expecting that the sand would be very deep in areas, however it was actually quite smooth zooming around in the sand. I did end up getting stuck at one point going up a dune where the sand was deep, but even that couldn’t sway the fun we were all having. After riding the 4 wheelers, it was time for the sunset camel ride. This was what I had been most excited for, and it did not disappoint. We rode the camels through the desert to reach a tent camp where we would stay overnight, however we managed to get caught in a sandstorm on the way there! The sand is super fine in the Sahara and you almost had to keep your eyes closed to prevent the sand from feeling like it was piercing through. It cleared up after a little bit though and we rode on anyway, eventually reaching the camp. The next morning we got up early to watch the sunrise and climbed up and down dunes while the moon was still bright. While we left shortly after breakfast that morning, this experience is something that will stick with me for the rest of my life. Seeing a desert landscape on that scale was truly magical and reflecting back on those days spent in the sand with the program, I know that the little girl who grew up loving the desert was screaming internally the whole time at the chance to finally experience it, especially in such an immersive way.