If a year ago I was told I would get on a plane with 50 people I recently met and head to the desert, I would not believe any part of it. Yet that’s exactly what I did for spring break. Going to Namibia was never part of my plan but, in the short week we spent there, I had some incredible experiences I will treasure for life.
I spent a night in a “sand castle” oasis in the middle of the Kalahari Desert, walked across the striking, white plains of Deadvlei to see the iconic dead trees and climbed Big Daddy—the tallest dune in Namib-Naukluft National Park—before sliding down the side in the finest sand surrounded by an amazing view. However, the most memorable one was the day we spent in the coastal city of Swakopmund. After quad-biking in the yellow dunes of the Namib Desert, lunch by the Atlantic Ocean and haggling with local vendors, we boarded our bus and headed to one of the most incredible dinners in I’ve ever had. By now I was used to the idea of a “Sundowner:” having a drink watching the sunset. This one, however, was exceptional—the table of champagne accompanied by oysters looked surreal with the sun setting in the barren Erongo landscape. Just as we were getting comfortable we were ushered back on our bus. Immersed in our conversations we didn’t notice when it got dark or how much farther from civilization we went…
As we came to as stop an audible gasp passed through the bus. In the clearing between two rock formations laid hundreds of candles in paper lanterns illuminating a catered dinner under the stars. We started with quiet conversations around our tables, but we grew louder and more excited—for once we were free to party to our hearts’ desire. We truly bonded that night—eating exotic meats, drinking delicious wine, and dancing in the desert under the stars. As the night wound down, we settled on couches staring at the unimaginably big and clear stars hanging over our heads, relishing the newfound sense of intimacy found in this incredible experience together.
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