10 photos that will make you crave a desert vacation

I’m usually beachbeachbeach when it comes to vacationing and travel, but for some reason I wanted something entirely different. So I went to the desert.

And it reminded me of two things: dry heat is really, really good for curly hair, and (more importantly), beauty comes in all different destination types.

Utah was never exactly on my travel bucket list as I didn’t know much about it besides what everyone thinks they know about it, and then once I found out it was good for outdoorsy types, it still didn’t make my list because my idea of outdoorsy is lounging beach side with my feet in the sand.

But the thing about travel, like life, is you have to try things that aren’t your go-tos, because if you didn’t, you’d never really experience anything new.

Turns out, the desert is a stunning place, the landscape so different than anything else I know, that it’s really other-worldly. And the beauty of travel is uncovering the beauty in the world, no matter what form it comes in.

Bryce Canyon, Utah looked something like Mars—or at least the Mars of my imagination. Red everywhere, hoodoos of rock that look like human-carved statues but are just part of nature’s gift to humans. Vistas of canyons as far as the eye could see.

At Zion National Park, or Mukuntuweap as the Native Americans called their sacred lands (it more or less means straight canyon), just the grandness of the Navajo sandstone canyons and natural arches had this beautiful way of making you feel small in a big, magical world. Trudging through a gorge at The Narrows, (Zion’s narrowest canyon with a river running through it) with my sneakered feet fully immersed in water was equal parts not-me-at-all and one of the most beautiful experiences I’ve had.

Whether you think the desert’s for you or not, take a look at it in all its glory and then decide.