I had never been able to experience the mystical desert because I was raised in England’s cold winters. These two worlds did not meet until 2018, while I was studying in Spain, when the international student network advertised a four-day trip through Morocco.

The trip would end with an unforgettable night spent sleeping deep within the Sahara Desert; a chance to discover the secret universe that had up until this point only been seen on postcards or in Middle Eastern stories. There was no discussion. We immediately signed up to go camping in the Sahara with my friends.

And boy, were we glad to do so. An inexplicably epic cultural experience was camping in the Sahara in Merzouga, on the South-Eastern side of the Sahara Desert. Here’s an overview of what we did and why it was, at the risk of sounding dramatic, one of the best days ever, even though words can’t quite capture its magic.